Are you looking for a reliable and durable walkie-talkie that offers considerable range, much more than what FRS or GMRS radio have to offer? Do you have experience with operating ham radios? Then you might find this review interesting.
This review aims to compare the price, functions, and other features of the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP, both of which are ham radios.
3 Levels (1 watt / 5 watts / 7 watts)
VHF: 136-174 MHz (Rx/TX), UHF: 400-520 MHz (Rx/TX)
65-108 MHz (FM radio reception),
VHF: 136-174 MHz (Rx/TX), UHF: 400-520 MHz (Rx/TX)
yes (amateur / FCC license)
yes (amateur / FCC license)
1,800 mAh Li-ion Battery
2,000 mAh Li-ion Battery
8.1 x 7 x 2.5 inches
10.25 x 2 x 1.25 inches
Scope of Delivery
Comparison – Baofeng UV-82HP vs BF-F8HP
Frankly, configuring both the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP is not for the faint-hearted. Or at least not the beginner walkie-talkie users.
For starters, both the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP require some level of assembly before configuration and use. The antennae for both models are detachable so you will need to screw those on to the handheld units first. Be careful not to screw them on too tightly because you might damage the connectors. You will have to remove a couple of parallel screws with a screwdriver before you can attach the belt clip to the handheld unit. Fortunately, you do not have to do the same for the installation of the battery pack. You just have to align the battery pack properly along the back of the radio the slide it into place. To remove it, you just have to click a button above the battery pack to release it from being locked in place. Make sure that the battery is fully charged before you switch on the walkie-talkie.
Once you are done with the assembly, you have just finished the easy part. Now comes the far more complex part. After you have successfully switched on the walkie-talkie, you will have to re-program it and reduce its power before you use it here in the US. In order to do this, you will have to download the CHIRP software. You can also click the VFO/MR mode key so you can choose between the channel mode and the frequency mode. You will need to input six numbers to set the frequency channels if you choose the frequency mode.
Both the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP come with a user’s manual. You can use this to guide you through the configuration process.
No information could be found on whether the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP are waterproof or water-resistant in any way. To be on the safe side, avoid getting these walkie-talkies wet. These may be made of highly durable material but I cannot say for sure whether these will withstand moisture or splashes from precipitation, much less survive a plunge in water.
The Baofeng BF-F8HP runs on a 7.4v 2000mAh lithium-ion battery. Physically, this is much larger than the typical batteries that power walkie-talkies. However, it lasts much longer. Depending on the power level usage, this battery type extends usage of the Baofeng BF-F8HP up to 24 hours after a single charge.
By comparison, the Baofeng UV-82HP uses a 7.4V 1800mAH lithium-ion battery, which is also on the clunkier side. However, as with the Baofeng BF-F8HP, the battery life of the Baofeng UV-82HP can last up to a day, even up to three days according to some users.
The Baofeng UV-82HP is compatible with a BL-8 battery style and a CH-8 charger style. Conversely, the Baofeng BF-F8HP is compatible with a BL-5 battery and a CH-5 charger. The batteries for both radio models can be recharged while the battery is still attached to the device. You just need to attach the walkie-talkies to its desk charger, which is included in the package.
According to the manufacturer, the maximum range for the Baofeng UV-82HP can reach up to 50 miles under ideal conditions. That is quite a promise. However, as with almost all walkie-talkies in the market, this projected maximum range is hardly ever met, if at all. Given that, the range of the Baofeng UV-82HP under normal conditions is still impressive as it can reach up to 10 miles. In less than favorable conditions, the range of this walkie-talkie is at 2 miles.
The manufacturer’s guarantee for the maximum range of the Baofeng BF-F8HP, on the other hand, reaches up to 25 miles. Still, as with the Baofeng UV-82HP, the maximum range of the Baofeng BF-F8HP when operated under normal conditions, and even in less than favorable conditions, still fares well compared to other radios.
The Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP are both ham radios. Because of this, both radio models can access a wider range of frequencies and channels compared to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service). The Baofeng UV-82HP can transmit over Very High Frequency (VHF) of 136 to 174mHz and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) of 400-520 MHz. These frequencies cover around 255 channels. The Baofeng BF-F8HP can also transmit over VHF and UHF. It has three frequency ranges: 65-108 MHz for only Rx only, 144-148 MHz for Rx/Tx, and 420-450 MHz for Rx/Tx. It can also store up to 128 channels. Re-programming both of these walkie-talkies can be done using the CHIRP software.
Do note carefully, however, that operating a ham radio requires an amateur license, as per the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Transmitting over GMRS channels also requires a license to operate. Transmitting over channels that are exclusively for FRS is the only one that is license-free. Because of this, you have to be extremely cautious when programming or re-programming the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP walkie-talkies. You even need to keep an eye on the level of power on which you are transmitting in order to avoid unwittingly breaking any federal laws.
If you want to know more about the laws that cover the use of FRS, GMRS, and ham radios, you can read about them here and here.
Both the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP share standard features for upgraded walkie-talkies such as a built-in flashlight, keypad lock, VOX hands-free feature, and frequency scanner. The frequency scanner searches through VHF and UHF frequency bands. You can also save up to 128 channels in its channel memory. Both have backlit tri-color display, in orange, purple, and blue. It is a bit of an inconvenience, though, that the backlight period for the Baofeng BF-F8HP is quite short, making it hard to read the display. The Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP both have a 7-inch High Gain V-85 antenna that effectively increases its range and offers a crisper reception quality. The Baofeng UV-82HP is also built with a louder speaker that operates on 1 watt, compared to the 700mW speaker of the Baofeng BF-F8HP.
You can select from three power levels for the Baofeng UV-82HP: you can set it to high (1 watt), medium (5 watts), or high (7 or 8 watts). Its PTT button also has dual options which will enables you to transmit over two frequencies: Frequency A and Frequency B, both of which can be programmed to your preference. This means that you can monitor two channels or frequencies. If both frequencies transmit incoming calls to your unit, the Baofeng UV-82HP has the capacity to prioritize the whichever frequency was the first to make the call. Alternatively, if you do not need to broadcast on dual frequencies, you can easily set the PTT button to simply serve as a PTT button with a single option. The Baofeng BF-F8HP only has a single option for its PTT button.
The Baofeng UV-82HP has the technology that enables you to make a group call. There are three ways for you to make a group call: through CTCSS, through DCS, or through DTMF methods. It also supports the latest standards for private line tone calling.
The Baofeng UV-82HP has the option to lock the frequency mode (VFO/MR) through the use of software. This walkie-talkie is also much more programmable compared to the Baofeng BF-F8HP. Both models use the CHIRP software and you need to connect these walkie-talkies to a computer in order to download the software. The PC03 FTDI Cable is recommended for easy computer programming. However, this is not included in the package so you will have to purchase this separately.
The Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP are both built with the latest BaoFeng chipset and PCB board. Because of this, both the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP run superior to previous Baofeng models in terms of output, range, and accuracy.
The Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP both offer concierge support.
The package for both the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP contain the following: walkie-talkie, battery pack, detachable antenna, desktop charger, adapter, earpiece, wrist or hand strap, belt clip, and a user’s manual.
The Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP are both within the $60 to $70 price range. Are these radios worth their price? Yes — if you are an experienced amateur radio operator. If not, a simpler FRS/GMRS walkie-talkie might be a more cost-effective purchase for you.
Conclusion – Baofeng UV-82HP vs BF-F8HP
If you are an experienced amateur radio operator, the Baofeng UV-82HP and the Baofeng BF-F8HP are both good ham radios to choose from. Both are made with the latest Baofeng chipsets and are highly programmable. Both also offer considerable range and a impressively clear reception. One advantage of the Baofeng UV-82HP over the Baofeng BF-F8HP is the dual PTT button of the former.
It is true that both models are packed with advanced features. However, you will not be able to make the most of these features if you are not used to operating ham radios. As I hope I was able to show in this review, configuring and operating ham radios is not as easy and intuitive as FRS/GMRS radios.View the Baofeng UV-82HP on Amazon* View the Baofeng BF-F8HP on Amazon*