Baofeng UV-9R Plus Dual Band Waterproof Radio Review

Baofeng UV-9R Plus radio

The Baofeng UV-9R Plus is a dual-band (2m/70cm) waterproof radio and my favorite cheap Chinese radio despite its flaws. Keep reading to find out why!

In the world of cheap radios, it is almost always about the UV-5R and for pretty good reasons. Rarely do you hear about a better standard dual-band Baofeng than that ubiquitous radio. The Baofeng UV-9R Plus is, in my opinion, a better Baofeng than Baofeng.

The first thing I really liked about the Baofeng UV-9R Plus radio is that it is waterproof, or so they say. I am not about to test that out as I really like this radio and don’t really want to trash it. Maybe later. Any way it goes they obviously made an attempt at water resistance and that is good enough for me.

I don’t really need the Baofeng UV-9R Plus to be waterproof but I really like the idea of not having to worry if I get caught in a downpour or drop it in a puddle. After all, some radio operators are into Skywarn and this necessitates being able to transmit in bad weather.

Waterproof or not, when I pulled the Baofeng UV-9R Plus out of the box there were two things that immediately jumped out at me; the belt clip and how it fits in my hand.

The belt clip is the same idea is the one I use on my Yaesu FT-270 tank, and I love that clip. This one is not quite as sophisticated but close enough that I really like it. The idea is two pieces; a knob on the back of the radio and a separate belt clip with a receptacle for that knob.  The Baofeng UV-9R Plus one clicks in and out with a little resistance while my FT270 will not come out unless you turn the radio upside down. I like the FT270 version better but for the price, this one will do just fine.

The Baofeng UV-9R Plus has a hard, rounded cover on the right side where you would expect to find the jacks for a headphone and mic. This cover is screwed closed and covers a flat panel of electronic contacts, no jacks are found on the radio at all. This of course means that you have to have a special Baofeng UV-9R Plus programming cable to program the radio, and it also means that there are no points of ingress for water or dust, smart.

The designer of the radio also made this rounded cover just the right curve to fit between my right index finger and thumb, making the radio extremely comfortable and stable in my hand. With no belt clip on the battery, my hand just wraps around this radio like it was made for me.

The menu system and keypad keys are virtually identical to most other Baofeng radios and so are really easy to use if you are already familiar with them, and easy to learn if you are not. The Baofeng UV-9R Plus has one quirk that kinda miffs me; in order to switch from VFO to memory mode and back, you have to turn off the radio, hold down the MENU key, then switch the radio back on.

Since the radio was already slightly larger they went ahead and upgraded the Baofeng UV-9R Plus battery to a 4800 mAh battery without making it too large or heavy. That’s right, 4800 mAh. Every time I write that I have to pull the battery off and look because I don’t believe it either, but that’s what it says.

One thing you need to know, if you look online you will see ads for Baofeng UV-9R Plus 18w, Baofeng UV-9R Plus 18w, or any number of other output wattages, they are all wrong. The radio might be 5 watts and is no more powerful than most other Baofeng radios, with the included antenna as a load mine was putting out just shy of 4 watts on 2m.

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Photos

Baofeng UV-9R Plus Test Results:

Screen readability Very Good
In-hand feel Excellent
Included antenna Very Good
Construction quality Very Good
Belt clip Very Good
Programmability Very Good
Transmit audio CLICK TO LISTEN
Maximum power output (2m/70cm) 3.75 watts/2 watts
Size 275 * 64 * 45 mm
Actual weight 9.6 oz
Baofeng UV-9R Plus manual CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Programming software CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Baofeng UV-9R Plus Overall score
Baofeng UV-9R Plus VNA
Baofeng UV-9R Plus VNA Antenna Test – Click to enlarge
Baofeng UV-9R Plus spectrum
Baofeng UV-9R Plus SRD spectrum analysis – Click to enlarge
If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.

 

FEATURES:
  •  IP67 waterproof and dustproof (Not diving)
  • Relay Forwarding Confirmed (1750 HZ)
  • Dual Band, Dual Display and Dual Standby
  • High &Low Power Switchover
  • Battery Saving
  • VOX Function
  • Wide/Narrow Band Selection
  • Auto-Back Light
  • Dual-Band Standby
  • Time-out Timer (TOT)
  • 50 CTCSS and 104 DCS Codes
  • Voice Prompt
  • ANI Code
  • PC or Manual Program
  • DTMF Code
  • PTT-ID
  • AUTO Keypad Lock
  • Busy Channel Lock Function
  • Low Battery Warning
  • Emergency Alarm
  • Priory Scanning Function
  • U/V Cross Band Dual Watch
PROS:
CONS:
  • Great in-hand feel
  • Uses CHIRP
  • Good power output
  • Includes drop-in charger
  • Really nice belt clip
  • Water/dust resistant
  • Swapping between memory and VFO requires turning the radio off
  • Requires special programming cable and accessories

Conclusions

The Baofeng UV-9R Plus is a little trickier to use than a UV-5R, it requires different accessories and programming cable, transmits less power and is less frequency accurate, but I would rather carry it than the UV-5R every day of the week and twice on Sundays. It sounds better, fits in my hand better, has nicer buttons, is supposedly waterproof, has a bigger battery, and has a nicer belt clip.
Sometimes, it is not about the charts and graphs, sometimes it is about what you want to carry. Odds are if you see me carrying a Baofeng, the Baofeng UV-9R Plus will be it.
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I hope you enjoyed my Baofeng UV-9R Plus review!

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3 thoughts on “Baofeng UV-9R Plus Dual Band Waterproof Radio Review”

  1. Thanks for the review! The “sales promo power output” was confusing … 5,15,18,20 …. why not just say 100Watts!

    I noticed some sellers claiming digital D-star mode. This seems to be only FM mode …. would you agree?

    Reply
  2. Interesting, and thankyou for your review. I bought 3 UV9R (not the +) and they have all died, all of the same disease. None lasted, all were gone 6 months. the TX dies even the one I was running on low power. and on its own antenna. Ok they are cheep,, but even NZ$70 each, adds up with 3 of them. so was wondering if the + was the same board. Any Ideas?? ZL1XRZ

    Reply
    • I honestly don’t know. My UV-9R lasted quite a while, almost a year before I sold it still working. I would venture to guess that these do not have very good quality control and so ones bought at different times might have different reliability. They will never be a Yaesu or Kenwood, but at their price point, I wouldn’t expect them to. I am surprised you had three fail that fast. Serious bummer.

      Reply

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