Baofeng GT-3TP Dual Band Radio Review

Baofeng GT-3TP

The Baofeng GT-3TP was a purchase that I thought for sure would be my new daily carry radio, and wound up staying at home. Read on to find out why.

I really liked the looks and specs of the Baofeng GT-3TP when I first saw them online so it didn’t take long for me to have one delivered so I could play with it. On Amazon, it showed a really nice screen with 8watts of output power with a really nice looking black and dirty yellow case complete with a black PTT button as shown below.

Baofeng GT-3TP amazon ad

Once it arrived I immediately noticed the Baofeng GT-3TP was more orange than dirty yellow, did not have a black PTT button, and after a little testing, did not come anywhere near its claimed 8watts of power.

To that disappointment, you can add that the Baofeng GT-3TP’s Call and MONI buttons above and below the PTT button are super squishy things that have absolutely no place on an amateur radio. Yech!

Another interesting quirk of the Baofeng GT-3TP is that most handheld radios these days have a higher power output on the 2m band than the 70cm band, not this one! The Baofeng GT-3TP outputs only 2.9 watts on 2m but ups that to 4.5 watts on 70cm. That makes the Baofeng GT-3 dual band unique in my collection of handhelds.

So yeah, not at all happy at this point. But then something funny happened, I started using the Baofeng GT-3TP and found it was actually a pretty good radio!

The Baofeng GT-3TP antenna is a completely different style than other Baofeng radios, and remarkably good at 2m while lacking quite a bit on 70cm. Since I don’t use 70cm much except for digital and this isn’t a digital radio, that really didn’t bother me that much. I do like the fact that when I wear it on my belt the antenna is so flexible that it never stabs me in the side, even when I get in my car wearing it. Score one for the Baofeng GT-3 antenna!

The in-hand feel is pretty good although I find myself holding the Baofeng GT-3TP differently than most of my other radios and I really like the belt clip which is shaped a bit differently than standard and has a slot cut into it which helps with the whole sport look thing.

I was expecting the orange sides to be made of a grippy rubber type material, it is not, but it does have some texture in places that help you hang on to the radio. If you are looking for grippy rubber, the only real piece of that on the Baofeng GT-3TP is on the power/volume knob on the top of the radio, which is actually pretty nice. I am not sure why they felt the need to make the knob chrome, but oh well. That is one of the glaring differences between the Baofeng GT-3 and UV-5R. Get it? Glaring? I crack myself up.

What I found really interesting with the Baofeng GT-3TP dual band was the transmit audio and signal quality. The transmit volume is about average and there is a little too much treble but unlike a lot of other radios it doesn’t tend to overdrive any part of the voice too much so your speech is pretty clear even at long ranges. Looking at the spectrum during transmitting the radio seems dead-on accurate and clean, both of which can be difficult to find in less expensive radios.

The Baofeng GT-3 programming is straight forward just like any other Baofeng radio from the keypad or using CHIRP. Just don’t expect much from the tiny little Baofeng GT-3 manual! Of course that isn’t anything you haven’t read a dozen times in every Baofeng GT-3 review.

Check Price & Reviews

Photos

Baofeng GT-3TP Test Results:

Screen readability Good
In-hand feel Good
Included antenna Very Good
Construction quality Good
Belt clip Good
Programmability Good
Transmit audio CLICK TO LISTEN
Maximum power output (2m/70cm) 2.9 watts / 4.5 watts
Size 303 * 61 * 50 mm
Actual weight 7.4 oz
Baofeng GT-3TP manual CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Programming software CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Baofeng GT-3TP Overall score
Baofeng GT-3TP VNA Antenna Test
Baofeng GT-3TP VNA Antenna Test
Baofeng GT-3TP SRD spectrum analysis
Baofeng GT-3TP SRD spectrum analysis
If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.

 

FEATURES:
  • High / Med / Low Power Settings
  • Broad (Wide) / Narrowband (Narrow)
  • Selectable Frequency Step: 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25 kHz
  • 65-108 MHz (Only commercial FM radio reception)
  • VHF: 136-174 MHz (Rx/TX)
  • UHF: 400-520 MHz (Rx/TX)
  • Optimal SQL Setting
  • Optimal Modulation of TX/RX Power Tube
  • True 8W Output Power
  • Up to 11KM effective talking range
  • 128 Channels
  • 50 CTCSS
  • 104 DCS
  • Function Busy Channel Lock “BCLO”
  • Function “VOX” (Voice Operated Transmission)
  • “OFFSET” (frequency offset for repeater access)
PROS:
CONS:
  • Remarkably good transmit audio
  • Remarkably good overall signal quality
  • Really nice antenna
  • Includes power adapters for both home and auto
  • Not what the pictures in the ad showed
  • Nowhere near 8watts of power
  • Not the grippy sporty thing you think it is
  • Squishy messes of Call and MONI buttons

Conclusions

I really wanted to love the Baofeng GT-3TP, then I really disliked it, but after using it I have come to respect its capabilities even if I am not a huge fan of the misleading ads. The case, buttons, and screen certainly did not live up to what it was billed as, but the actual electronics inside make it a very serviceable unit.
If you want the Baofeng GT-3TP for a good radio that looks different and already has an outstanding antenna that won’t poke you in the side, this radio will absolutely not disappoint, particularly if like me you are primarily on 2m. If on the other hand, you want something that feels as sporty as the pictures suggest, you might want to look elsewhere (although in all honestly, I don’t know where).
Check Price & Reviews


GET THE BOOK!

I hope you enjoyed my Baofeng GT-3TP review!

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment