Baofeng Bf-F8HP Review – Most Powerful Handheld Ham Radio

Baofeng Bf-F8HP

  • Top selling Baofeng Ham Radio
  • Most Powerful Ham Radio
  • Great price with many features(under $100)
  • Great sound quality
  • Great Battery life
  • Amazing range (over ten miles if minimal obstructions)
  • Squelch settings work
  • Transmit and monitor on all GMRS, FRS, Marine and Business bands

Baofeng BF-F8HP Review

Finding the best Baofeng Ham radio can be frustrating. The market is full of several Ham radios and it can take forever to figure out what you want.

What you need is the Best Baofeng ham radio that can do the following;

  • Has higher battery power.
  • Transmit and receive signals over wider ranges.
  • Has a clear display with a backlit keyboard and is easy to use.
  • Has a high power output, and
  • It is easy to program.

Seriously, there is only one brand of Baofeng ham radio that meets these criteria. This is the Baofeng Bf-F8HP, a dual-band and handheld ham radio that improves on the UV-5R radio.

Baofeng BF-F8HP Specifications

  • Display:Tri-Color
  • Battery: 2000mAh, 7.4v, Li-ion
  • Frequency Range: 65-108MHz (FM Receive only) 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz (TX/RX)
  • Antenna: High Gain Dual Band Antenna 7″ Antenna
  • Mode of operation: Simple or semi-duplex
  • Transmitter Output power: 8W/5W / 1W (Max 8W)
  • Modulation Mode: 16k F3E / 11k F3E
  • Maximum deviation: 5kHz(Wide) / <2.5kHz(Narrow) CTCSS/DCS deviation: 0.5+/-0.1kHz(Wide) / 0.3+/-0.1kHz(Narrow)
  • Speaker/Audio output power: 700mW
  • Audio output: Jack 3.5 mm headphone

History of Baofeng Bf-F8HP from UV-5R

UV-5R ham radio was first introduced in 2012 as a dual-band radio with dual display. Since then, the radio has seen significant improvements. In particular are the firmware upgrades of 2013 and 2014 to BFB297 and N5R firmware respectively. This was the improvement and upgrade to the 2nd generation model.

Also, within this two year period, new variants to UV-5R were introduced to the market. These are; UV-5R V2+, UV-5RA, UV-5RE, UV-5R+, BF-F8+, GT-3, 997-S.

In fall 2014, UV-5R saw the introduction of its successor–BF-F8HP. This was the 3rd generation model with improved features and better performance. 

Who Can Use Baofeng BF-F8HP?

This is pretty simple! One, this radio is designed for amateur use. Therefore, you can only use it for personal and non-commercial related activities.

Second, you need to qualify as a user and as per the FCC regulations. What does this imply? You need to take and pass a licensing exam

It’s the licensing exams that qualify you as a ham radio user. There are three licensing levels. These are; Technician level, General level, and Amateur extra level.

The first two levels have restrictions in terms of how you can use the radio and some limitation on radio privileges. Therefore, you need to aim for the Amateur extra level license so that you enjoy using Bf-F8HP ham radio.

Features – Baofeng BF-F8HP Review

This is it!

Let’s delve deeper into Baofeng BF-F8HP review and find out why it’s the most powerful Baofeng radio.

a) Frequency

Baofeng BF-F8HP operates on three frequency capabilities. These are; frequency modulation (FM), very high frequency (VHF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF).  

FM works on 65 and 108 MHz and is only meant for commercial radio reception. VHF works on 130.000 and 176.995 MHz while UHF works on 400.000 and 520.9995 MHz when programmed.

Ideally, UHF has a range of 400-479.995 MHz. However, you can learn how to expand the range of a Baofeng radio under UHF by using programming software and cable.

b) Power Output and Range

Baofeng BF-F8HP radio features three selectable power settings. Unlike its predecessors and other ham radios, it runs on the maximum power output of 8 watts. The other levels are low and mid at 1 and 4 watts respectively.

Owing to its high power output, it can cover up to a maximum Baofeng radio range of 20-25 miles depending on the level of obstructions.

c) The Display

The radio features a tri-color LCD display with selectable blue, orange, and purple colors. Furthermore, the display supports all alphanumeric characters such as letters, numbers, and special characters.

d) DTMF

This radio is Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF) enabled. Therefore, it is possible to get the right DTMF tones A, B, C, and D with the press of its upper keyboard buttons.

e) The Receiver

The Baofeng BF-F8HP radio features a high gain V-85 antenna that is powerful and has high sensitivity and selectivity. This makes it possible to receive FM, VHF, and UHF signals.

f) The Transmitter

A standard transmitter operates at 4 W. However, the Baofeng BF-F8HP transmitter has three selectable power setting levels. In this, VHF transmits on a high of 8 W while UHF at 7 W.

g) Software

BF-F8HP CPS.rar is the BF-F8HP radio’s factory software. However, you can still use CHIRP programming software that is versatile and makes it easy to program on Windows, Linux, and Mac computers.

h) Case Design

BF-F8HP radio resembles the previous models only with the exception of a bands button. Also, it’s black in color, made of sturdy plastic material, weighs 214g, and measures 10.5*2*2 inches.

i). Weather Resistance and Durability

Baofeng BF-F8HP radio is made of a strong plastic material that is waterproof, dustproof, and super durable. Thus, you can take with you the radio to any place and it will still work well.

j) Noise Filter

BF-F8HP radio features CTSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System) and DCS (Digital Coded Squelch). These two systems are responsible for locking out unwanted transmissions from a channel.

Ease of Use – Baofeng BF-F8HP Review

This is a fact:

Not everyone is tech-savvy or has all the necessary skills to operate a radio. This is applicable when one is a newbie or when transitioning to new ham radio.

Clearly, you don’t have to beat yourself up trying to be one. Baofeng BF-F8HP manufacturer understands this very well and made this radio user friendly and easy to operate.

Besides, it comes with a 76-page user manual. The detailed guide will show you step by step instructions on how you can customize the radio according to your preference. More importantly, the guide will show you all the capabilities of the radio.

The guide uses a simple language that’s easy to understand. As if that’s not enough, you’ll have exclusive access to customer service help whenever necessary.

Value for Money

BF-F8HP radio is the best Baofeng radio and is good for value. This is why it is the top-selling Baofeng radio in the market. It’s not just an improved version of UV-5R, but it’s packed with lots of benefits. 

  • It has a larger battery with more power to last you for longer hours before taking it for a recharge
  • It operates on high wattage which increases its efficiency and maximum range coverage
  • It’s easy to program and to use
  • It’s dust and waterproof and durable. No need for frequent repairs or replacements
  • Customer support and service is fully available at any time

What Is Included In the Box

  • Baofeng BF-F8HP radio.
  • 2000 mAh battery.
  • V-85 antenna.
  • Power adapter.
  • Earpiece.
  • Belt clip.
  • Hand strap.
  • Battery charger.
  • User manual.
  • 1-year complimentary concierge service and warranty support.
Cons/Downside
  • Not water resistant
  • The display may be difficult to read with polarized sunglasses
  • The duplex and repeater use at times appears to be trial and error
  • You may need to use the USB cable and computer to configure.

BF-F8HP radio is top-performing and gives many brands a run for their money. This has seen the rise of counterfeit BF-F8HP radios in the market because they’re in high demand.

Therefore, the only way to be safe is to buy from verified sellers. This will also help kick counterfeit radios out of the market.

The Bottom Line

Amateur radios are awesome for personal and emergency radio use. There are lots of Baofeng ham radios in the market, nevertheless, BF-F8HP radio remains the best Baofeng ham radio.

You get the idea. Right? So, are you ready to try the most powerful Baofeng radio?

Paul Dudley