Radioddity GA-2S Review
There are a lot of radios in the same market as the Radioddity GA-2S, namely the Baofeng BF-888s, eSynic zESY66, and the Arcshell AR5/AR6 models. The Baofeng is clearly the sales leader while Arcshell distinguishes itself with colorful cases. So what does Radioddity bring to the table with this entry?
The Radioddity GA-2S feels blocky in the hand, and it is not nearly as smooth and curvy as the 888 is. The clip also doesn’t fit in your palm as nicely as the 888’s clip. Most people won’t really notice or care, but if you plan on using the radio for any length of time then these kinds of details matter.
Speaking of the belt clip on the Radioddity GA-2S, it is a huge downgrade from any of its competition that I have seen. Instead of the standard spring-loaded clip, they opted for a simple single piece of plastic that has a little bit of flexibility. It isn’t just bad, it is horrible. The only radio worse that I have tested is the Alinco DJ-G7 because it doesn’t come with a clip at all.
Comparing it to the Arcshell AR-6 the Radioddity GA-2S is much thicker and heavier making it less comfortable than that radio as well.
The knobs and buttons on the Radioddity GA-2S are about the same as other offerings with the exception of the channel knob which is much better. One of my gripes with the AR-6 or 888 is that the channel knob is a little too easy to turn, allowing you to move more channels than you intended. This knob is a little more firm and has better detents making it easier to move one channel at a time.
Looking at the spectrum of what the Radioddity GA-2S actually puts out shows a much cleaner signal than almost all of its competition. I am not going to say the signal is really good, but it is certainly a good improvement over others in this class of radio.
Audio transmitted by the Radioddity GA-2S is passable, probably slightly worse than the AR-6 but a little better than the 888. Most of the audio is clear and unclipped with a little harshness on the sound for S. Overall, not bad at all at this price point.
One of my biggest complaints about the Radioddity GA-2S, which is the same as with the 888 and AR-6 as well, is the frequencies that come programmed in the radio from the factory are not legal for use by just about anyone. Most of them are well above the amateur radio frequencies but well below both FRS and GMRS putting them smack in the Land-Mobile Radio band. This band is typically reserved for public safety and some business use.
This means that if you pull the Radioddity GA-2S and start transmitting, depending on where you are, you could be transmitting over the top of the police, fire, or ambulance service. When they catch you, that guy they threw under the jail, well he will be looking down at you laughing.
These Chinese manufacturers know this as they have radios like the Baofeng BF-88ST which is basically a BF-888s with a fixed antenna and the correct, and legal, frequencies already programmed in. Why that is not done on radios like the Radioddity GA-2S is beyond me. I suspect they just don’t care since the FCC can’t do much to them in China and they don’t care what the authorities do to the people using their radios in other countries.
The good news for owners of the Radioddity GA-2S is that you can easily reprogram the radio using the freely available CHIRP radio programming software. Of course, at the price point, you have to purchase the programming cable separately.
Looking at the antenna that comes with the Radioddity GA-2S one has to wonder where they sourced them as they are just plain terrible. The antennas on the AR-6 and 888s while nothing really special, are at least not completely abysmal at the frequency the radios operate at. Not so with this radio, you would probably do better with a coat hanger stuck in the top (unmeasured and uncut).
|Transmit audio||CLICK TO LISTEN|
|Frequency accuracy||446.000 @ 446.000|
|Maximum power output (2m/70cm)||N/A / .25 watts|
|Actual weight||6.6 oz|
|Radio manual||CLICK TO DOWNLOAD|
|Programming software||CLICK TO DOWNLOAD|
Normally here I ask the question of whether the radio is a good value for upgrading, first-time users, whatever. With the Radioddity GA-2S I am asking if there is any reason at all to buy this radio. The easy answer is no.
Pretty much any cheap radio from Baofeng, eSynic, or Arcshell is a step up, don’t waste your money on the Radioddity GA-2S .
This was really a let-down as I like a lot of the offerings from Radioddity. I can only hope this is a blip and they will continue releasing quality radios at good prices like their GD-77.