BaoFeng BF-888S – a two way radio for outdoors

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BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio
4.6 / 5 Rating
Pros
  • The frequencies can be reprogrammed
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good sensitivity
Cons
  • Voice may be distorted
  • Programming cable not included
Dimensions4.5
Weight4.5
Batteries5
Talk Range4.5
Storage Channel4.5
Price4.5

The BaoFeng BF-888S is a very small yet nicely built 2-way radio. It’s great for short distance communication, with a nice and strong construction at a very good price. The fact that is mere, easy and money saving makes it perfect for neighbor community, family games, nature activities, airports or official events like, for example, concerts.

Features

Dimensions10 x 7.1 x 4.5 inches
Weight1.5 pounds
Batteries1 Lithium ion battery included
Talk Range1.2-3.2 miles
Storage Channel16
Frequency Range400 ~ 470 MHz
Antenna Impedance50 ohm
PriceYou can get a great deal on this walkie-talkie here.

The Looks

Considerations

Firstly, inside the box you receive the BaoFeng BF-888S radio, the User’s Manual which will help you to install your radio and will show you the channels that are available for it.

By the first touch it seems very solid and does not give you the “cheapo” feeling. The sixteen channels are announced for easy navigation, which makes it very simple to use by anyone. Remember! The channel sixteen is set as the “scanner”.

The BaoFeng BF-888S comes with a Lithium Ion Battery included in the package. This battery generally lasts around 12 hours before it gets drained. The nice part is that it takes only 3-4 hours to charge. Caution! Plug in the charger before you put the battery inside, otherwise the radio will drain. You can find disposable batteries, but they are not cheap compared to the price of the radio.

On the top, you have the space for the antenna. Why do I say space? Because you can replace the original antenna with another one, maybe to improve your frequency or talk range. On the top, you will find the dual plug connector too, which is a standard “Kenwood-type” for easy programming. Between the antenna and the dual plug connector you will find another button, which can be configured for Power (high/low), Squelch or Sound Alarm.

BaoFeng BF-888S

On the back of the radio you will find the belt clip. A pleasant surprise is the fact that the belt clip is a string one. The fact that the space designed for the battery is under the clip, makes the BaoFeng BF-888S more practical – you can easily change the battery when needed.

BaoFeng BF-888S

On the left part of the BaoFeng BF-888S you will find two orange buttons. The lower button is used for the flashlight: continuous or blinking. The upper button is for the signal alarm.

These HAM radios can be reprogrammed for other band operations, such as FRS or GMRS or can be used for emergency purposes.

The BaoFeng BF-888S is good for official events. Why? Because the frequencies of the machine are not legal for everyone to use – you’ll need a license. However, if you really want a strong and cheap two-way radio, you can change the frequencies over to legal channels, as showed in the video below:

If you decide to buy the BaoFeng BF-888S and this video does not help you, the best place to get informations is the Yahoo group made specially for this type of radio. On this group you will find out about how to change frequencies so that you can use it without a license, how to apply for legal clearance and so on.

If you want to change the frequencies of the radio, you must know that the BaoFeng BF-8000S cant receive or transmit MURS transmissions, because this is a UHF radio. However, this radio has a lot of cool options, such as VOX (Voice Operated Transmit). This option gives to your radio the capacity to be voice operated. You can set up private channels, which only you and your partner can use. If you are not an English native, you can change the language to the one you want. Isn’t that awesome?

What you can not do with this type of radio is to lock it on a specific channel – you can’t prevent the accidental channel switching. In conclusion, if you want to use this BaoFeng with someone who did not used a machine like that before, make sure that this person understands how to use the radio.

The radio’s sensitivity is very good, however, the sound quality is not so bright. If you are not used with this type of devices, there’s a chance you will find it difficult to understand with your partner. Unfortunately, this radio does not have a voice scrambler so you won’t be able to manipulate the data steam before transmitting. Thus, the radio is unable to remove the unwanted sounds.  But you have to consider the fact that the kit comes with two units, both working perfectly.

Another fact is that the kit does not have included a programming cable, so you must purchase one separately. You can easily find a programming cable at a decent price. The good thing is that the BF-888S is compatible with CHIRP.

What makes this radio better than an usual walkie-talkie is the fact that it has a solid 3.5 Watt output, which is 2x more than what we’re used to see in walkie-talkies. That power delivers a good range even with the original antenna. Imagine the result if you replace it with a bigger one – the distance can be substantially improved.

If you are not convinced about the qualities of the BaoFeng BF-888S, check out this review video, where you will see the components and some pros and cons about this device.

Conclusion

It’s easy to program; you can use it for simple activities, like nature walks or more official activities. With a nice, easy and simple design you can use it with many occasions. For simple operation, good range ease of use and the price, the BaoFeng BF-888S is a great little UHF radio. Even the seller rank on Amazon says that – this product topping on #3.

What do you think, would you try this radio for personal or professional use?

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