The Yaesu FT-70DR is currently the cheapest way to get into Yaesu’s Fusion digital radio technology and a remarkably capable analog radio as well. Read on to get the details!
Yaesu has entered into the Chinese radio market with some of its newer radios such as the FT-65 and FT-4XR, but the Yaesu FT-70DR is made in Japan, and it shows.
Now that isn’t meant to knock Yaesu’s Chinese made radios, they are still some of the best radios around in their price range, but rather to say that the Yaesu FT-70DR is a step above.
The Yaesu FT-70DR is virtually all plastic unlike some of their other radios like the FT-270 I love, but the plastic is extremely well made and put together. In fact, everything on this radio feels fantastic. The rubber antenna feels like softer rubber and is more flexible so it doesn’t stab you when you bend over or sit down.
The belt clip on the Yaesu FT-70DR is very sturdy and has no slack in it. It opens very wide and has a great little hook at the bottom to keep it from falling off your belt.
The knob on the top of the radio is larger than most, feels great to turn, and has very definitive bumps as it goes around. In addition, the Yaesu FT-70DR designers put a nice curved shield to the right of the knob to keep you from accidentally changing settings by bumping into things.
All of the buttons and keys on the Yaesu FT-70DR feel very nice and work as expected.
The screen on the Yaesu FT-70DR is amazing. No, it is not a fancy color screen like some, it is just a basic back on grey, orange backlit screen. So why am I saying it is amazing? Because it, like a lot of the pieces in this radio, is top quality. The characters and icons on the screen are clear, sharp, and very black. Unlike other screens which you clearly see the dots in the numbers, this one is nice and smooth with no visible dots or segments. You really need to see it, you too will love it.
Turning the radio around and looking at the Yaesu FT-70DR battery is no less impressive. The radio uses a 1800mAh Li-ion battery which I am sure is more powerful than many of the Chinese 2800mAh marked batteries. Aside from that though, the battery fits in smooth and clicks into place really nicely. In addition, right below the release for the battery is a small slide that locks the button so you can’t accidentally release the battery.
Using the Yaesu FT-70DR is really nice with excellent transmit audio as well as a good speaker for its size. In fact, it has one of the clearest transmitted audio in analog mode of any of the radios I have used. Looking at the charts below bear this out with a nice clear spectrum.
While I don’t use the 70cm band much for anything other than my hotspot, I might be a little concerned if I needed serious range as the included antenna is fairly lackluster on that band. Of course, antennas are easy to replace but it is a little sad considering I really like the antenna included with the Yaesu FT-70DR so I would hate to replace it.
One thing I really like is that you can program this radio in CHIRP and the Yaesu FT-70DR programming cable is included in the box.
Yaesu FT-70DR Test Results:
|Included antenna||Very Good|
|Construction quality||Very Good|
|Belt clip||Very Good|
|Transmit audio||CLICK TO LISTEN|
|Maximum power output (2m/70cm)||3.9 watts / 1.2 watts|
|Size||273 * 68 * 47 mm|
|Actual weight||10 oz|
|Yaesu FT-70DR manual||CLICK TO DOWNLOAD|
|Programming software||CLICK TO DOWNLOAD|
|Yaesu FT-70DR Overall score|
GET THE BOOK!