There are now so many radios build around Baofeng UV-5R circuitry and software that potential buyers don’t know which one to pick. Most questions I get by e-mail are about choosing one of these three Baofeng radios: UV-5R (whatever variety), UV-82 and the new GT-3.
My personal opinion is: get the Baofeng UV-82.
- Big, professional looking radio, dual PTT key is located where it should be,
- Better overall performance thanks to more efficient stock antenna
- One Watt of extra power output on both bands (5 Watts VHF, 4 Watts UHF),
- Display located where it should be, doesn’t go dark after long transmissions,
- Better designed keyboard with the 0 (zero) in the right place,
- Better RX audio thanks to the bigger enclosure (improved acoustics),
- No issues with muffled or low TX audio,
- Battery life as good as the other two contenders.
- Poorly designed charger. If you buy a UV-82, be prepared to fix it from the moment you pull it out of the box. It’s an easy job, click here to find out why and how.
- Front-end just as poor as the other two, which means that the receiver overloads quickly. If you need a better receiver, buy a Baofeng UV-B5/B6.
- New and/or after-market batteries are often labeled and advertised incorrectly. Whatever the label says or whatever the seller says, the battery is 1800mAh, not 2800mAh.