Probably because Baofeng is running out of letters (although I didn’t see the Baofeng UV-5Y or Z yet), there’s a new numbers game in order. The FF-12P is essentially a UV-5X and my sample came in…. silver.
The radio houses the latest chip set and firmware. Pressing various keys confirm this: pressing ‘0’ for a bit more than a second shows the battery voltage, pressing PTT + Band generates 2100 Hz, PTT + A/B generates 1750 Hz, and PTT + VFO/MR generates 1450 Hz.
The display is of the inverse type, the antenna the short one we all learned to hate, “FF-12P” is printed on both the left and right side of the radio. Batteries / accessories aren’t compatible with the standard UV-5R. While I could find enough suppliers of the FF-12P and UV-5X, not a single one appears to sell spare batteries or any other accessory.
Charger / battery combination
I wasn’t able to charge the battery at first, because the battery and charger don’t match: the two indentations of the battery prevented it from being inserted in the charger. After scraping away enough plastic in the charger I got it to fit.
CHIRP recognized the radio as being a UV-5R and squelch thresholds could be modified without a problem.
A clip on YouTube suggested that the UV-5X / FF12P scans faster. This proves to be true: the FF-12P outperforms all other Baofeng radios I own, including the GT-3 Mark II. Scan speed is about 5-6 channels/sec.
Frequency accuracy of the sample: +2 Hz on VHF, -11 Hz on UHF.
Power output VHF: (@ 145 MHz): 4.1 Watts (high), 1.7 Watts (low)
Power output UHF: (@ 435 MHz): 3.6 Watts (high), 1.8 Watts (low)
TX Audio: Bright and loud. Very nice.
Harmonics: the usual peaks on VHF and UHF. Still not very impressive.
RX Audio: good.
Front-end: surprisingly good, just like the GT-3 Mark II. Nice.
Sensitivity: -127 dBm (VHF), -125 dBm (UHF). These are good numbers.
The FF-12P aka UV-5X is the typical Baofeng: value for money, but not without its flaws. Harmonic suppression is a mixed bag and the lack of accessories is a potential problem.
The fact that I had to modify the charger to make the battery fit is a dumb factory mistake. The short stock antenna just doesn’t want to die — put a few bucks aside to buy a better one.
The positive side of the radio is the good receiver, good TX audio and faster scan speed. And, if you care about such things, it comes in shiny SILVER!