Ham Radio Comparison UV-3R+, UV-5RA, VX-7R, and VX-6R

radios_compared_sm

   Model UV-3R+ UV-5RA VX-7R VX-6R
   Brand BaoFeng BaoFeng Yaesu Yaesu
TX 6 M no no 30-59MHz no
TX 2 M 136-174MHz 136-174MHz 137-174MHz 137-174MHz
TX 1.25 M no no 222-225MHz 222-225MHz
TX 70 CM 400-470MHz 400-480MHz 430-470MHz 430-470MHz
Wideband Receive No No 0.5-999MHz 0.5-999MHz
Channels 99 127 900 900
TX Power 2 Watts 4 watts 5 watts 5 watts
Dual band display yes yes yes no
Alphanumeric Display no yes yes (but not in dual) yes
Waterproof no no fully submersible  fully submersible
Shortwave Radio RX no no yes yes
AM Radio RX no no yes yes
FM Radio RX yes yes yes yes
Part 90 Certified yes yes no no
Cost (New) $33 $39 $370 $230

BaoFeng UV-3R+
Smallest and cheapest radio.  No DTMF keypad.  It doesn’t have the transmit power of the others but it is easy to pocket–the best radio is the one you have with you.  Part 90 means it can be used for ham and business.  Slow scanning.  This is the radio of choice for your pocket.  Accessories are very cheap.

BaoFeng UV-5RA
Best bang for the buck, not easy to program without a computer.  Part 90 Certified means it can be used for ham and business, it’s a great all-purpose radio and I have a few in my emergency kit.  Slow scanning.  I think this model is the best value for the dollar.  Accessories are very cheap.

Yaesu VX-7R
I found this radio to a little too complex for my tastes, I would constantly have to get out the manual to figure it out where the other three radios are pretty intuitive.  It just has too many options I don’t care about.  For being so complex, I couldn’t find that it had an advantage over the VX-6R other than dual receive.  Magnesium case, submersible.  This is the best radio for someone who likes to tinker with all the settings and learn it inside and out.

Yaesu VX-6R
This is my radio of choice and the one I take hiking, it’s easy to program on the field and relatively compact.  It can handle just about anything I want it to do including outside the amateur bands (shortwave, AM/FM radio, etc.).   Magnesium case, submersible.

One neat feature on the Yaesu radios is ARTS, I was curious about the simplex range I’d get so I put one on my desk and the other in my car and drove around town, the radio will tell you when they go in and out of range.

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