Baofeng UV-5RC: different look, different shape
The Baofeng UV-5R is now available in number of flavors. We have the Plus version, the A version, the B version, the E version, and the UU version. Electronically most of these varieties are identical inside, it’s mostly about the looks. Only the UU version, with its extended UHF range up to 520MHz, is different.
It’s impossible to deny that the Baofeng UV-5R is a big hit. Not without its flaws though. Some flaws were related to the hardware, some to the software. One small flaw was its rectangular, sharp-edged shape. According to most users the original UV-5R just doesn’t feel right in your hand. I tend to agree.
Limited UHF frequency range, latest firmware
Now the UV-5RC popped up. Strangely, the UHF frequency range is back to square one and can’t transmit above 470MHz. VHF range is unchanged. For Ham radio operators this doesn’t matter; the frequency range is way beyond what we’re allowed to use. The radio features the latest firmware to date, which is 291.
Most striking about this radio however is its shape. No sharp rectangular edges here, but nice rounded ones. Now I know where the ‘C’ stands for – we witnessed the birth of the UV-5R Curve. The display looks much better too, thanks to the way the it’s smoothly integrated into the body of the radio.
The UV-5RC is expensive. On eBay I could only find one UK-based seller, which means there’s no competition. Paying ± €50 / $65 (which doesn’t include shipping) is a lot.
After reading the comment of Julian G4ILO, I did the math. When compared to the original UV-5R (shipped from China), the UV-5RC (shipped from the UK) is about 70% more expensive. I included all shipping and handling fees before calculating the difference.
However, this difference in price is only true when my package slips through customs unnoticed. This is the case for at least 90% of all shipments, but there’s always a 10% chance that I to pay VAT plus additional custom clearance costs. In such a case, my ‘profit’ as a Dutch citizen would be a meager €5. The guys and gals at 409shop.com don’t have this variety in stock yet. It probably won’t take long before this radio will be available elsewhere. If I missed a seller, please let me know in the comments.
Whether the radio is technically different from its predecessors in other respects is hard to tell. My best guess is “No”, but I’ve been in for a surprise before.
If I can get hold of a review sample, you will be the first to know.