If you’re looking for a reliable, high-grade level walkie talkie, consider having the Baofeng BF-F8HP. Baofeng, the company behind the product, has delivered this compact radio that has standout features for a reasonable price. The Baofeng BF-F8HP is believed to be the updated version of the UV-5R. With a new chipset, it has a higher transmitting power and a much better performance. To get to know more about the Baofeng BF-F8HP, I have created this review for you.
- Brand: Baofeng
- Range: 25 miles
- Power output: 8 Watts
- Frequency ranges: 65-108 MHz (FM radio reception), VHF: 136-174 MHz (Rx/TX), UHF: 400-520 MHz (Rx/TX)
- Battery: 2,000 mAh Li-ion Battery
- Size: 3.75 (+ 6.5 inches with the antenna) x 2 x 1.25 inches
- Weight: 0.49 lb
- Waterproof: no information
- License needed: yes (amateur / FCC license)
Scope of Delivery
The overall performance of Baofeng BF-F8HP will not disappoint you. I tested it and found out that it has a wide range of scope, covering over 10-15 miles without too many obstructions. Coming with a full kit, a 76-page user manual, and a large Lithium-ion battery, it’s a versatile two-way radio since it can work on different frequency levels. I have no complaints about its functions. It’s a high-quality product with a budget-friendly price.
Aside from the battery, the Baofeng BF-F8HP is delivered to your doorstep with the main unit. It comes with a separate antenna with a Female SMA connector, which you will attach to the main body. There is a CH-5 desk charger with a CH-5 110V Adapter and a wall-wart. You can either use it to charge the radio with the battery or just the battery. It shows on the user manual, so don’t forget to check that out. It also comes with an earpiece kit, a belt clip, and a wrist strap that you can attach for the convenience of carrying it around.
You need to assemble the radio first before it can be used. To start the assembly, attach the antenna by aligning the two connectors and turning the antenna clockwise until it reaches a full stop. Don’t tighten it too much to avoid any damages. After the antenna, remove the two screws at the back of the device then connect the belt clip to the body. Once the belt is in place, attach the Lithium-ion battery at the back by sliding it upwards following the guide rails. When you hear a click, that means that the battery is locked in place.
To start using the device, turn the Power Knob found at the top right. You’ll see the LCD screen lighting up when it’s on. Program the handheld radio by downloading the software CHIRP. You can also click the orange VFO/MR mode key to select between the channel mode and the frequency mode. If you go into frequency mode, you can input six numbers to set the frequency channels.
Meanwhile, the channel mode allows you to choose the channels or frequencies that you have saved. That’s the primary way to use the Baofeng BF-F8HP. You can also check out the 76-page user manual to help you customize the device.
It doesn’t say whether the Baofeng BF-F8HP is waterproof or not. But some sources say it is waterproof. To play it safe, make sure that you don’t drop it into the water.
The Baofeng BF-F8HP uses a 2000mAh, 7.4v, Lithium-ion battery, which is 30 percent larger than the typical batteries in handheld radios. Depending on the power level, it can last up to 24 hours after one charge. You can recharge the battery while it’s still attached to the device. All you have to do is the portable radio on its desk charger, which is included in the purchase.
According to the manufacturer, the maximum range that the Baofeng BF-F8HP can cover is 20 to 25 miles. But to reach the widest coverage, the device needs to use the highest power level, which is 8 watt.
The Baofeng BF-F8HP has VHF and UHF. It has three frequency ranges:
- 65-108 MHz for only Rx only
- 144-148 MHz for Rx/Tx
- 420-450 MHz for Rx/Tx
It can store up to 128 channels. You can start programming the device from 2.5 kHz to 50.0kHz. The default setting of the UHF is 400 to 479.995, but you can change it with the help of the CHIRP software.
But a word of caution: you should be careful in programming channels. If you don’t have the proper license, you’re not technically authorized to use any frequency signals whenever you like. Transmitting frequencies without permission is illegal, and you might be fined or sent to jail for it. Although, in most cases, it is legal to transmit frequencies and listen to conversations, it is imperative to know about the laws regarding the use of handheld radios.
What I truly appreciate the most about the Baofeng BF-F8HP is its features. It has so many things to be proud of, and it has been updated with new features. Here are some of them.
- Power Levels
- consists of three power levels: Low, Mid, and High (1w, 4/5w, and 7/8w, respectively).
- Single Push Talk Button
- lets you talk after pressing the talk button once.
- a voice-activated feature that allows you to operate the device through commands.
- Tri-Color Display
- the LCD screen can display three colors, including blue, orange, and purple.
- 7-inch Antenna
- gives you a clearer reception, especially when the users and far apart from each other.
- Keypad Lock
- when this is activated, you can’t use all the keys except for the three keys on the side.
- the device has a built-in scanner that searches for UH and VH frequency bands.
- Dual Watch
- locks the frequency that you have transmitted to one monitored channel.
- Selective Calling
- allows you to call one person or a group of people. There are three ways to do group calls: CTCSS, DCS, and Tone-burst (1750Hz).
- Memory channels
- the device has 128 memory channels, and each of them has the following information:
- Rx and tx frequencies
- Transmit power
- Group signaling information
- ANI/PTT-ID settings
- Six-character alphanumeric channel name
- the device has 128 memory channels, and each of them has the following information:
- Battery-saving Function
- works when the device is low in battery.
Baofeng BF-F8HP is around $60 to $70, which is relatively affordable for a high-quality device. Is it worthy? I believe that it is worth it, especially if you’re licensed and a pro at using handheld radios. It offers a lot of features, which you don’t see on other devices. There are more expensive radios on the market. But with this price, you get a portable two-way radio that is at par with more costly models.
However, the Baofeng BF-F8HP is not the right choice if you’re only looking for a simple walkie talkie. Remember that you need a license before you can use this. So if you don’t have the license, it may not be wise to purchase this high-end handheld radio.
- Great value for your money; affordable price for a high-quality device
- Easy setup; comes with a well-detailed user manual
- Has many features that make the device a powerful tool to use
- Excellent sound quality and a reliable battery
- Commendable transmitting power and wide coverage
- Multiple selections of power levels
- Built with a voice command for easy and convenient usage
- Manual frequency search on Frequency Mode
- Comes with an earpiece
- May not be waterproof
- Complicated use, especially for beginners
- Software needed to configure and program the device
- No license for commercial applications
- Difficult to use if you’re wearing gloves
Conclusion – Baofeng BF-F8HP Review
I have mentioned this many times in the article, but I want to say it again. When it comes to excellent portable radios, the Baofeng BF-F8HP is one of the models to consider. Although the licensing requirement may be a frustrating factor, you do have a great device that you can use for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing. It has an exceptional reception, wide coverage, and excellent overall performance at an affordable price.
Yes, it may not be easy to use at first, but you’ll be able to learn its functions with the help of the user manual. If you’re already a licensed user, go for the advanced walkie talkie like the Baofeng BF-F8HP. Don’t settle for something cheap but something that goes a long, long way.
Where can I find a manual for the Baofeng BF-F8HP?
There is a PDF User Manual for the Baofeng BF-F8HP online. Here is the link: https://baofengtech.com/usermanual/BF-F8HP_Manual.pdf.
What is the range of the Baofeng BF-F8HP according to range tests?
The range of the Baofeng BF-F8HP can go as far as 20-25 miles. Remember to get a license before using the device within that range.
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