Which one? UV-5R vs UV-82 vs GT-3

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.

33 comments on “Which one? UV-5R vs UV-82 vs GT-3

  1. What about the UV-B5 then, why did you not put this radio between the three?
    I think the B5 (or 6 but has no rotary encoder) is the real winner!

      • I would still choose the Baofeng UV-B5 because of its receiver qualities. That said, most people don’t live in such an RF polluted area as I do, and might be just as happy with one of the other three.

      • I have 3 UV-5/BF-F8+ units. Two with B/W screen and one with tricolor. I saw the review on the UV-B5/B6 units and had ordered one for my brother-in-law as a Christmas gift. When it arrived it would “reboot” when the volume was too high, when it received a signal from close by, or when we tried accessing it with chirp. The screen would blank, then come back up with the welcome message. I sent it back and got another BF-F8+ for him.

        I would still like to get one of those at some point but will stick with the F8 units for now as they’ve been “bulletproof” out of the box. Regardless of the bad luck we had with the B5, your reviews have been very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to put a “pen” to “paper”. I know a “thank you” isn’t much, but I do appreciate your insights and info.

  2. Pingback: Baofeng UV-5R vs UV-82 vs GT-3 : Lequel choisir ? | Radioamateurs-France

  3. I have a UV-82 and I enjoy it. For the price it’s a great radio. The only gripe I have about it is that when monitoring a local public safety frequency it has a nasty squelch tail at the end of receiving a transmission(I’m assuming that’s what it is, does it regardless of what STE is set to). Any idea what causes that or how to limit it?

  4. I’m looking for a radio solely for use on Australian UHF CB channels. I obviously don’t have a ham license and the only radio’s I have had in the past are small consumer uhf radios like uniden etc. I figure that a lot of these Chinese radios are much more powerful and cost effective, and will work on CB with a little programming. What would be your model suggestion for newbie like me who just wants a reliable handheld for use on UHF CB?
    PS. Great Blog!

  5. Hi Ash I would suggest UV-5R then program it with Chirp. I use mine for work as a Traffic controller and it out performs the Unidens and with the bigger battery pack mine lasts for over 4 days before it need charging

  6. hi I have uv82 and im wondering if its a dead donkey from the get go I followed the setup of miklor however I have poor reception and I ant seem to hit the repeater even though the antenna is thirty odd feet off ground level
    here is the setup
    sql 0
    men 1 step 2.5
    men 2 txp high
    men3 save 3
    men4 vox off
    menu 5 wn narrow
    menu 7 tdr off
    menu 9 tot off
    menu 11 r-ctcs 110,9
    menu 13 t-ctcs 110.9
    no matter what I try its not looking good if someone has a simple list of what the settings should be this would be great as loosing the will to live and wondering was it worth the eight months worth of study for my license

    • Dear hungersjourney
      You do not say which repeater you are trying to access, this can make a difference.
      Heve you entered the correct frequency offset for the TX and set which direction (+ or _) the VFO should shift when you key down?
      If it is a UK repeater then you should not need the recieve ctcss so that should be off (with it set you could be accesing the repeater without ever knowing it).
      If you tell us which repeater we can tell you what settings may help.
      How far are you from the repeater? are there big buildings or hills etc in the path? All of these things are relevant.

  7. Hallo everbody,
    about the Baofeng Family 5R type. Have now a bad experience more.
    General the most are the same board, but the firmeware is the hard Problem.
    Try programming them in chirp and you will have sometimes strange things.
    Not working squelch, wrong frequencies in Memory, no A/B vfo more. etc.
    Had a new BF-9Fplus is manly the same BFB297 firmeware calling by Power on
    +6 key. Programmed it and had no Audio more in RX. Squelch blocked nearly at
    setting0 all.
    Got a Info about from KC9HI factory Settings of Baofeng in chirp.
    Tried there the Setting N5R20 Software, same as BF-8 uses.
    BFB297 don`t ask me why. After flashing reset N5R20 all workes again.!!!
    Be careful about using Software and the used Settings.
    And never use a BFB297 Firmeware programmed lower in List that is lower as the used.
    ———– BFB295 BFB293 BFB291 that will kill you functions.


  8. hi i want to buy a radio I have two alternatives the baofeng gt -3 mark II and baofeng gt -5 which you would choose .
    I will give enough use because I ‘m a firefighter

    • Are you sure you’re allowed to use a Baofeng? As far as I know it’s forbidden to use these cheap radios for such purposes unless these are certified by your government. Apart from that a Baofeng isn’t as sturdy as a professional radio and they’re not sealed either, which will pose a danger when exposed to water or when used in close proximity to flammable vapors.

      So my answer must be: take your pick, as it really doesn’t matter for your purpose. They would all suck.

    • The GT-5 is just a UV-82 in another package. The GT-3TP (sometimes referred to as Mark III, but it’s really a Mark II with a different PA stage) has a much better receiver and modulation.

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