Baofeng UV-S9 Plus Handheld Radio. Tri-Band, or is it?

Baofeng UV-S9Plus

Baofeng UV-S9 Plus Review

I am just going to start with the elephant in the room, this radio is not a tri-band radio, full stop. The Baofeng UV-S9 Plus appears to be a UV-9S Tri-Band with the 220MHz band removed and a very slightly different case. And I mean very slightly.

The Baofeng UV-S9 Plus is so close to the UV-9S that I actually have had people comment and tell me I had the name wrong. I had to send them the link to the Baofeng website to see the UV-9S for themselves.

Even when you dive down into the test results you can see that at best, the Baofeng UV-S9 Plus might be an iteration, and at worst the same radio but neutered.

Power readings for the Baofeng UV-S9 Plus are a little better, the clarity of the signal is a little better,  and the transmitted audio is a tad better. All of these take some work to actually see. As far as a typical user being able to distinguish the two in a blind listening contest, not gonna happen.

It still has the same cheap plastic feel, the same sharp edge on the pointless charging port on the battery, and the same cheesy belt clip.

And of course, the Baofeng UV-S9 Plus is just completely missing the third band that you see in all the advertising. I know what you are thinking, maybe my radio just has a problem, maybe I have to “unlock” the 220MHz band, maybe….just stop. The UV-9S has a second antenna in the box for use on that third band, this radio does not. They just plain do not have any intention of you using it on that third band, period.

One gripe I had about the UV-9S that seems to be “fixed” with the Baofeng UV-S9 Plus is that I can actually find the battery for sale. My guess is that the batteries are the same but when I was doing the review for the UV-9S I could not find a battery that said it would fit the radio. This was a serious problem in my mind as once the battery had died (which is not that uncommon with these cheap Chinese radios), you were stuck out. At least with this radio, they released batteries that explicitly state they will fit it.

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Photos

Test Results:

Screen readability Very Good
In-hand feel OK
Included antenna OK
Construction quality OK
Belt clip OK
Programmability Very Good
Transmit audio CLICK TO LISTEN
Frequency accuracy 145.000 @ 145.000
Maximum power output (2m/70cm) 5 watts / 2.3 watts
Actual weight 7.6 oz
Radio manual CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Programming software CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Overall score
Baofeng UV-S9 Plus VNA Antenna Test
Baofeng UV-S9 Plus VNA Antenna Test

Baofeng UV-S9 Plus SDR spectrum analysis

Baofeng UV-S9 Plus SDR spectrum analysis
 

If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.
FEATURES:
  • Frequency Range: VHF/UHF136-174Mhz & 400-520Mhz
  • Dual-Band Display,  Dual-Standby
  • Output Power: 5Watts
  • 128 Channels
  • Built-in VOX Function
  • 1750Hz Brust Tone
  • FM Radio (65.0MHz-108.0MHz)
  • LED Flashlight
  • Large LCD Display
  • Hight /Low RF Power Switchable
  • 25KHz/12.5KHz Switchable
  • Emergency Alert
  • Low Battery Alert
  • Battery Saver
  • Time-out Timer
  • Keypad Lock
  • Monitor Channel
  • ROGER SET
PROS:
CONS:
  • Good screen
  • Uses CHIRP programming software
  • The red color is nice
  • Is NOT a tri-band radio
  • Terrible in-hand feel
  • Cheap build quality

Conclusions

I am sorry but I can not think of a single reason to buy the Baofeng UV-S9 Plus. It might be just a slight bit better than the UV-9S but it is lacking one of its primary features.

It isn’t like anyone really uses the 220MHz band, that isn’t the point. The Baofeng UV-S9 Plus is supposed to be tri-band, it is not, and everything else about the radio is fair at best.

Save your pennies for a few more weeks and buy something like the Baofeng UV-9R that is built very well and waterproof to boot. You will get a lot more enjoyment out of it than you will this Baofeng UV-S9 Plus.

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I hope you enjoyed my review of the Baofeng UV-S9 Plus!

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