The Baofeng UV-5R is a good, reliable, and inexpensive dual band walkie-talkie that is commercial grade. These radios are work-horses that should exceed the needs of almost all small to medium local radio use cases. They are durable, have great range, and are feature packed.
One of the key features of this device is that it has both frequency and channel modes. Thus you can use this device to monitor a channel in the background while listening to another channel, say FM radio stations. So, if a broadcast takes place on the frequency you are monitoring, it will stop the playback and play whatever is being transmitted. Just for fun, I have successfully heard the police frequencies. Please do note that broadcasting on those ranges is illegal and may carry penalties. One thing to note is that it will not scan all the frequencies in its memory while listening to FM radio, and the device is limited to only being able to monitor 1 channel while listening to FM.
Sensitivity appears to be on par with any other quality handheld. Contrary to the UV-3R, the new UV-5R is perfectly capable of handling strong out-of-band signals.
Battery lasts a very long time after a single charge. The battery will last 18-19 hours when in scan mode. After 8 hours of use it will take about an hour to completely recharge with a green light. The 1800 mAh battery is quite okay.
Installation and programming
So we have programmed it according to the american repeaters, even this is a fairly simple task for the workmen, but still widely explained in the manual. We are rarely used to programming frequencies in memory, because we are used to using only a few frequencies, which are easily plugged through the front keypad. Unfortunately in this sense we had little problems with the BaoFeng UV-5R, for example on the 12.5KHz channel it was impossible to enter frequency 144.5125. On any other device you only need to enter “144.512”, while the final 5 is inserted automatically.
The BaoFeng instead sets the frequency to 144,500 when you press the Up key to increase the 12.5KHz frequency. The same problem is detected on UHF, unfortunately. Programming memory frequencies is also not a simple task, because the correct procedure, oddly, is not indicated in the manual! We immediately found out that to access menu 28 we had to erase the old memories. In addition, only visible frequencies in VFO A can be programmed.
Range and Sound clarity is perfect
Dual band capability
Long lasting battery life
High quality antennas
Microphone hole is too small for adequate TX
Selectivity can be an issue atimes
Overall, this radio is very sensitive and useful for normal portable radio use. At Banggood.com it is available for purchase for $24.44