Baofeng UV-5RA Dual Band 2m/70cm Radio Review

Baofeng UV-5RA

The Baofeng UV-5RA looks a lot like the UV-5R with a facelift. Is it basically the same radio, or have there been improvements? Read on to find out!

Not too long after the rise in popularity of the UV-5R I started seeing this Baofeng UV-5RA so I decided to pick a couple up and run them through some tests to see what made them different, the results are, not much.

Let’s start with the good news about the Baofeng UV-5RA and that is, it seems to use the same electronics, firmware, buttons, keys, knob, battery, and belt clip as the standard UV-5. I say this is good news because the UV-5R is a solid radio for its price.

What seems to be new is the plastics housing the electronics inside the Baofeng UV-5RA, particularly the front face. This actually is a downside because the top half of the front is now shiny like a mirror, and that is not something I want in my radios. During a sunny day, or at night with bright lights in the area, make the radio a challenge to read with all the reflections.

Other than that difference, the Baofeng UV-5RA is as far as I can tell a UV-5R in slightly new clothes. You can swap batteries, belt clips, antennas, programming cables, microphones, drop-in chargers, and pretty much everything else.

The programming menus on the radios are identical, you can literally export your configuration from CHIRP of your UV-5R and upload it right into your Baofeng UV-5RA with no changes (I did, if you try this, do so at your own risk).

One improvement they made with the Baofeng UV-5RA is the power output is increased. I am not sure this was changed because of the new model as much as it is my UV-5Rs are a couple of years older than my UV-5RA so it may be that all the newer Baofengs output a little more power. Don’t get too excited though, while the power increase is indeed a reasonable increase, it is not so much of a difference that you will see much difference actually using the radios out in the field.

I am sorry this isn’t much of a review of the Baofeng UV-5RA, it is a good radio for the price, just like its almost identical brother. The only differences are subjective. If you really want to know more about the radio itself, check out my review of the UV-5R. If you think you might like it, pick up a Baofeng UV-5RA and enjoy it!

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Photos

Baofeng UV-5RA Test Results:

Screen readability Good
In-hand feel Good
Included antenna Good
Construction quality Good
Belt clip Good
Programmability Good
Transmit audio CLICK TO LISTEN
Maximum power output (2m/70cm) 5 watts/ 2 watts
Size 245 * 59 * 45 mm
Actual weight 7.6 oz
Baofeng UV-5RA manual CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Programming software CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Baofeng UV-5RA Overall score
Baofeng UV-5RA VNA Antenna Test
Baofeng UV-5RA VNA Antenna Test
Baofeng UV-5RA SRD spectrum analysis
Baofeng UV-5RA SRD spectrum analysis
If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.

 

FEATURES:
  • Frequency Range: 136-174 / 400-520MHz
  • Dual-Band Display, Dual Freq. Display, Dual-Standby
  • Output Power: 4 /1Watts
  • 128 Channels
  • 50 CTCSS and 104 CDCSS
  • Built-in VOX Function
  • 1750Hz Brust Tone
  • FM Radio (65.0MHz-108.0MHz)
  • LED Flashlight
  • Large LCD Display
  • High /Low RF Power Switchable
  • 25KHz/12.5KHz Switchable
  • Emergency Alert
  • Low Battery Alert
  • Battery Saver
  • Time-out Timer
  • Keypad Lock
  • Monitor Channel
  • Channel Step: 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25KHz
  • ROGER SET
PROS:
CONS:
  • The same radio as the UV-5R
  • The face is too shiny
  • Nothing new from the UV-5R

Conclusions

The Baofeng UV-5RA is literally a UV-5R in slightly new clothes, nothing more. If you prefer the looks (I don’t like the shiny face), then buy this one. If you want something less shiny, get the UV-5R. Either way, excellent radio for the price.
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I hope you enjoyed my Baofeng UV-5RA review!

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