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BAOFENG BF F8HP – Review and Recommended Accessories

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The Baofeng BF-F8HP is a handheld two-way ham radio, the upgraded successor to the notorious and popular UV-5R.  We'll compare the two and suggest some recommended accessories.

This radio can listen to: VHF and UHF Ham frequencies and FM, NOAA, GMRS and FRS without a license.  All transmissions (broadcasts) require an FCC license.  Transmitting HAM or GMRS radio without a license is a federal offense, so don't skip getting your license(s).

Note, this handheld does not support 28/29 MHz CB (citizen band) radio.

BAOFENG BF-F8HP review

Baofeng BF F8HP Summary

This is a powerful, inexpensive, versatile handheld radio. This two way radio is great for hunting, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, sailing, long caravan car trips and camping.

It also doubles as a great prepper radio. It is probably the best handheld emergency radio giving you the ability to listen to FM, NOAA and listen or transmit (broadcast) on FRS, GMRS and HAM frequencies. As noted it is also compatible with Baofeng UV-5R accessories.

If you use this radio for a construction site or team, get the FRS or GMRS licensing and set the max wattage to remain legal.

The downside is the complexity such as setting wattage and programming channels and of course the required licensing.

Baofeng BF F8HP Features

  • Variable 8 watt, 4 watt or 1 watt (lots of power) radio walkie talkie
  • Licensing – because of the power, you must program the radio to use less power to follow FCC transmit regulations for.
    • You must have a license to broadcast on ham frequencies
    • While this radio can be programmed to transmit on GMRS or FRS frequencies, this radio is not FCC approved for this use.
  • The F8HP has one built-in receiver but it can monitor two channels, in semi-duplex mode
  • The radio must be programmed using the keypad or software to access: FM, NOAA, GMRS and FRS
  • It has a 30% larger lithium ion battery than the UV-5R.  It also has an optional AA battery pack and an optional larger rechargeable lithium ion battery pack
  • Includes a fairly good 7” antenna.  We recommended the aftermarket Nagoya NA-771 optional whip antenna for better range.
  • The BF F8HP is backward compatibility with UV-5R accessories
  • It is not water resistant / waterproof 

Recommended BF F8HP Accessories

USB programming cable
USB programming cable
BAOFENG BF-F8HP with and without Nagoya whip antenna
BAOFENG BF-F8HP with and without Nagoya whip antenna
BaoFeng, BTECH BL-5L 3800mAh Li-ion Battery Pack
BaoFeng, BTECH BL-5L 3800mAh Li-ion Battery Pack

The Baofeng bf f8hp vs uv 5r?

The BAOFENG BF-F8HP is the winner across the board except on cost.  Even with the slightly higher cost we recommend the BF F8HP over the UV-5R.

Baofeng BF-F8HPBaofeng UV-5R
Wattage (output power)8W VHF7W UHF8/4/1 watt4W VHF4W UHF4/1 watt
Antenna7 inchesAbout 5 inches
Supported Frequency RangesFM radio 65-108 MHz rx (receive only)VHF 136-174mhz rx/txUHF 400-520Mhz rx/tx
with programming
VHF 128-176mhz
UHF 384-524mhz
Rx (receive)Tx (transmit)
** older models may be 400-480mhz not 400-520mhz
UV-5R series covers FM radio 65-108 MHz rxVHF 136-174mhz VHF rx/txUHF 400-520 MHz rx/tx
Note 5RAX only covers 150-220 Mhz rx/tx
Note 5RAX+ covers 150-450 Mhz  rx/tx
** older models may be 400-480mhz not 400-520mhz
Comparison of Baofeng bf f8hp vs Baofeng uv 5r

If you are looking for an American made transceiver radio, be prepared for sticker shock. Here's an example, the BK KNG2-P150 Digital VHF Radio.

BAOFENG BF-F8HP

Baofeng BF F8HP Reference List

Related Common Sense Home articles

Special thanks to David W. Cripe of NM0S Electronics for his assistance with this article.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the information. Are there any handheld radio/walkie talkies that don’t require a license to transmit?

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