Baofeng BF-T1 70cm Budget Handheld Radio

Baofeng BF-T1

The Baofeng BF-T1 is an ultralight 70cm radio meant to throw in your pocket, purse, or bag without weighing you down. How does it stack up to other offerings? Read on and find out!

Right off the bat, I need to say that the Baofeng BF-T1 is not what most amateur radio operators will want, and it does not even pretend to be comparable to even the Baofeng UV-5R. What the Baofeng BF-T1 tries to do, and succeeds fairly well, is provide personal communications between two people at short and medium ranges, primarily outdoors, for an extremely attractive price (typically less than $20).

Think of the Baofeng BF-T1 as an FRS bubble-pack radio that you can easily hook up to your computer with the supplied programming cable, and put in amateur radio frequencies. While I am not certain of the legality of using the radio on FRS frequencies, I don’t see any reason it should be illegal with the Baofend BF-T1, but check for yourself before doing it.

What I love about the Baofeng BF-T1 is that you can grab it and throw it anywhere, even in a front pants pocket, and get going. It is tiny and weighs next to nothing so there is no excuse to not have it on you. It is also a pretty well built Baofeng walkie talkie.

The Baofeng BF-T1 is also very easy to show someone how to use making it an excellent radio for you and your friends or significant other to carry for large events where you go your separate ways. A few great examples are large flea markets, crafts shows, etc.

Oddly enough, on the Baofeng BF-T1, I actually have used the FM radio whereas on pretty much all my other radios the FM feature remains completely unused. I think it is because this radio is so small and that FM button is right there on the front.

Both charging and programming for the Baofeng BF-T1 use the USB port on the bottom of the radio, but they ship you a standard USB cable for charging and another cable specific for programming which has a bulge on one end that says Baofeng on it.

 

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Photos

Baofeng BF-T1 Test Results:

Screen readability Very Good
In-hand feel Good
Included antenna Unknown
Construction quality Good
Belt clip Fair
Programmability Good
Transmit audio CLICK TO LISTEN
Maximum power output (2m/70cm) N/A /1 watts
Size 105 * 56 * 31 mm
Actual weight 3.6 oz
Baofeng BF-T1 manual CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Programming software CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Baofeng BF-T1 Overall score
Baofeng BF-T1 SRD spectrum analysis
Baofeng BF-T1 SRD spectrum analysis
If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.

 

FEATURES:
  • 65-108Mhz FM radio
  • Emergency Alarm
  • LED flashlight
  • Time count down (0.5 / 1hr / … / 8hrs)
  • Voice prompt
  • VOX
  • 50 CTCSS tone / 104 DCS code
  • Tail tone elimination
  • Battery saving
  • Width / Narrowband
  • SOS call notice
  • PC programming
PROS:
CONS:
  • Works pretty well
  • Thin and light
  • Very inexpensive
  • CHIRP programmable
  • The antenna is not replaceable
  • The battery is not easily replaceable
  • Transmit frequency is considerably off

Conclusions

The Baofeng BF-T1 is a nice pocket-sized radio which is perfectly usable for the amateur radio operator who wants something like a bubble-pack radio that can be programmed for ham frequencies. If this sounds like you, this might be the best walkie talkie for you, much better than the non-programmable Motorola walkie talkie amazon may carry.
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I hope you enjoyed my Baofeng BF-T1 review!

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