TYT TH-350 Honest Review
As tri-band radios go, TYT TH-350 is amongst the popular options, aided by its attractive price tag. True to its name, the radio can work on three bands. These are 2m, 1.25m, and 70cm. To work seamlessly with these bands, the radio includes features like tri-display and tri-standby.
When in tri-standby mode, the radio listens to channels in the respective bands and looks for any relevant communication.
Usually, you can see the three bands or frequencies on screen, with a pointer marking the band or frequency that’s currently active. Pushing the PTT button at this point will start transmitting to the pointed frequency.
Although, it is possible to override this setting and transmit only at a specified frequency. This feature is useful where you want to listen to a channel, but not transmit over it. For example, you may choose to listen to weather reports, but there’s no point in trying to transmit over those channels.
Both settings have their uses and can be helpful depending on your preferred usage.
It all seems streamlined at this point, but things aren’t as clean as they seem.
Antenna Issues and Features
The default packaging for TYT TH-350 includes two antennas. One of these antennas works on the 144 and 430 MHz bands, while the other works on the 220 MHz band.
This means even though you have a tri-band radio, you’d have to switch antennas on the radio to actually use all bands! Wouldn’t be helpful in an emergency for sure.
That’s a very inconvenient setup and kind of defeats the point of getting a tri-band radio.
TYT does recognize this problem and most of the new packages also include a third antenna. Usually, this is a Shengda Tri-Band 144/220/430 MHz 13-inch antenna.
With the tri-band antenna available, the radio works as a straightforward tri-band radio (like it should have in the first place)!
This gives users freedom from the trouble of having to switch antennas to work with the radio. To be clear, this isn’t a very impressive tri-band antenna, but it sure beats having to switch antennas when you switch bands.
User Friendly Against the Competition
The other notable thing here is the programming, or the troubles of handling it. TYT TH-350 isn’t compatible with popular software like CHIRP or RT systems. To solve this problem, TYT includes a CD or pen drive in the package with the programming software. It’s also available for download on their website.
Once you have the software, you’ll have to carefully select the bands and manage the optional settings. While the process isn’t very complex, it does take some know-how.
Even though it feels complicated, the TYT TH-350 tri-band radio is a fairly decent ham radio. Once you get used to the radio, it starts feeling better and its functions seem more intuitive.
The radio works better than competitors like the Baofeng UV-S9X3 Tri-Band Radio. To be fair, though these radios are often compared, the comparison is a bit excessive.
There’s no denying that the TYT radio works better than the Baofeng tri-band. But then it’s also true that the Baofeng UV-S9X3 is way cheaper than the TYT TH-350.
Now that we’ve got the functions and features, let’s take a quick look at the battery and power. The TYT radio draws power from a rechargeable 1600 mAh Li-ion battery. The battery is good enough to last for several hours even with continuous usage.
However, if you’re an avid user, it makes better sense to buy an additional battery. This way, your radio is always good to go, even when the other battery is charging.
As with most handheld ham radios, the maximum RF power output for TYT TH-350 is at 5W. You can also switch to the low power option, where the radio transmits at 1W power.
-Attractive price point.
-The sound quality is good.
-Good battery life.
-Acceptable build quality.
-The packaging may not always include a tri-band antenna.
-Not compatible with CHIRP.
Value for Money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8.5/10