The market for Two-way radios is a vast one; there are so many options to choose from. Thus, finding a model that is rich in features yet affordable, especially for beginners, can be a daunting task. One of the more popular options that exist both for newbies and avid users is the BaoFeng BF-F8HP.
We’ve written this BaoFeng BF-F8HP review to help you determine if this dual band radio is truly worth the money, or maybe it’s just another product in the mix.
In case you don’t know, the BF-F8HP is the latest improved version in the UV-5R series, which simply means it has a lot of things in common with the second generation model. But it also comes with some advanced features which make it superior in terms of power and overall performance.
Here, you will find out what to expect from the transceiver and why it’s a brilliant choice for ham operators of different skill levels. Let’s start with the key features of the product.
BaoFeng BF-F8HP Review
As earlier indicated, the BaoFeng BF-F8HP is a simple two-way radio transceiver that is easy enough for newbies yet equipped with some advanced features that also make it valuable to experienced users. Let’s see what the nifty little unit offers.
3 Power Levels
One of the major differences between the BF-F8HP and the other members of the UV-5R series is that it comes with three power settings instead of two. While the original model has a maximum power output of 4W, this one offers 8W, which is double the amount.
To be specific, with the BF-F8HP, you get 1W, 4W, and 8W power outputs. You can set the device to any one of these depending on the kind of performance you want to achieve.
But setting the power low allows you to conserve the battery life. Thus, you should only set the radio to full capacity when there’s a need to, or else you will end up replacing the battery sooner.
Wide Frequency Range
With the BaoFeng BF-F8HP, you will get access to a wide range of frequencies – from 65 to 108 MHz, which is quite satisfactory for its price. However, this range is only for commercial FM radio reception.
That said, you can also tune into UHF (400-520 MHz) and VHF (136-174 MHz).
We found the receiver’s sensitivity to be quite impressive. Though we wish we could say the same for the selectivity, that’s not the case. The performance is a little less than average. In normal open areas, the lack of filtering is not usually an issue; however, in areas with much RF activity, this might become apparent.
Another thing we like about this unit is that it’s durable, which is not surprising as this is typical of BaoFeng ham radios.
Although the casing is no different from the traditional design, it is more rugged than its predecessors. However, without the battery or antenna (i.e., the dry weight), it’s still a bit heavier.
Sadly, the device is not water-resistant. So, you need to be very careful not to allow it to get into the water, or else there’s a huge chance it could get damaged or malfunction. Notwithstanding, this doesn’t make the unit less durable, provided you use it with care.
30-Percent Larger Battery
Compared with the original model, the BF-F8HP comes with a battery that is 30% larger. So, if you were not impressed with the charge provided by the previous series, you could be comforted to know you’re getting more with the BF-F8HP.
To be more specific, the battery is rated around 2000mAh on a full charge, which simply translates to more time for your radio. Thus, you can extend your radio activities or operations, knowing you have a battery you can bank on.
The average battery life is around 20 – 24 hours, which is enough to last you the whole day. With less power output, the radio can even last longer. Thus, there’s no need to carry a charger if you plan to spend just a day out.
High Gain Antenna
To ensure a better user experience, this radio is equipped with a high gain dual band antenna as a replacement for the original antenna used for its predecessor. This new antenna provides a greater reach and better clarity in communication. You will find this antenna being used in many high-end models.
However, you can still add your own antenna if you don’t like the idea of using the one provided.
Luckily, the BF-F8HP is easy to program. You don’t need to be an expert to set it up for use. The radio is provided with an operation manual that is very straightforward and easy to understand. Besides, the manufacturer provides complementary support to help you just in case you encounter any issues.
To program the unit, you will need a PC for the software and a good cable.
- Comes with a flashlight
- Built-in FM radio
- VOX (Voice Operated Transmission) function
- Semi-duplex design
- Tri-power function
- Tri-color LCD display
- Long-lasting battery
- Good sound quality
- Easy to use
- Comes with FM radio
- Affordable price
- Durable construction
- Comes with hand strap
- Slow memory scanning
- Not waterproof
Frequently Asked Questions About BF-F8HP
Can I use privacy code on this device?
Yes, you can. The BF-F8HP comes with CTCSS/DCS encoding, which allows you to use privacy code on your communication channel.
Does this have channel scan?
Luckily, it does –another reason you should get this unit.
What is included in the product package?
Apart from the radio, the other things you will find in the package include hand strap, belt clip, battery pack, desktop charger, earphone, antenna, and manual.
Does this come with a programming cable?
No. You will have to purchase this separately. We advise getting an original BaoFeng cable to avoid compatibility issues.
Where can I get this unit?
To purchase the radio, all you need is to click the corresponding product link, and you will be taken to the product page.
Alternative Option: Yaesu FT-60R – Features, Pros & Cons
Overall, the BF-F8HP is a terrific ham radio with an enticing price point and build that is meant to take a beating. Despite its simple design and ease of use, it comes with a ton of advanced features that users would be pleased with regardless of their experience level.
For its price, this is definitely a workhorse, and you will hardly find a better offer.
In this BaoFeng BF-F8HP review, we have tried to capture some vital features of the unit as well as its merits and demerits. We encourage you to get the radio as it’s one of the best choices out there.
Let us know if you have any more questions.