If like me, you were recommended to use this simple two-way radio among a large number of different walkie talkies, then you surely would want to know what this small radio has that made it so special.
The radio spent a couple of months in my glove compartment. I couldn’t believe this small stuff could do what I was told it could do, especially with the stress allocated to setting it up, so I just decided to keep it carelessly.
With this BAOFENG BF-888S review, you will put its quality to the test. And here are what you will find about it.
Appearance And Design
The BF-8888s radio has a 70cm band. It is about 115 mm long, 60 mm wide and 30 mm deep. Just a little above the size of a mouse. The shape of it always reminds me of a huge athlete with his pacs upside down.
Well, that is what it looks like. Black and rugged. With a shell hard, compact casing. Black and strong. After intentional and careless falls, I found out it doesn’t break, nor does it malfunction.
On the front where a screen was supposed to be, the 888S has its loudspeaker, and right under it is a little hole that serves as the mic.
The antenna stands right on the head of the radio on one side, followed by the Channel switch controller to manually move successfully between channels.
After this, two is the controller that serves the double function of a power switch and volume controller. All the buttons you need to operate are right on their sides.
The PTT button is the first button on the right-hand side of the radio. You hold the PTT button to send and receive messages. Under it is the monitor button, then the function key. On the top, the antenna bulge right out of its head to receive and send the signal.
On the left side of the radio are the speaker and microphone jack. This helps in switching between the use of the mic when you want to send a message or the speaker when listening.
To show the radio is on and ready to transmit signals, there is a led indicator right on top of the speaker jack.
At the back of the radio are the battery compartment and cover. You insert a 1500mAh Li-On battery, and right then, the radio starts work. It is a lightweight and compact radio.
Very easy to hold and drop too. But that shouldn’t be a problem. It can always be picked up and reassembled.
In times of disaster or emergency, there are 16 free channels already installed on it. All you need is to pick the right channel.
The radio comes boxed with a charger, 110-240V US plug Power adapter, belt clip, a pair of earpieces and mic, battery, small 12-page manual, and 11cm SMA antenna.
Performance Of The Baofeng BF 888S Review
Once the batteries of the 888S are inserted, the radio is good to go. When you power it on, a sizzling sound will welcome you, and the led indicator would switch on automatically.
Range: The range of a radio is not always predictable. It depends on the distraction between the radios. But when I tried the Baofeng 888S, with many obstructions, it worked 1 km.
I haven’t done more than that. But the sound quality of these radios is so good, even when foreign languages like Chinese and Arabic are spoken through them.
And you could try it outside too, that went about four kilometres when one of my friends tried it on a hike. In a flat open country.
Transmission: One thing I consider most interesting is the toggling between the microphone and speaker with the mic and speaker jack. Immediately you switch to the microphone, the sizzling sound stops, and you can get your messages across with ease.
Programming The Radio: Another impressive feature of the B-888S is that it is one of the few radios that require programming before usage. You can’t grab it and go straight with the transmission process unless you’ll be using it as an emergency device.
And even an essential part of the 16 pre-installed program frequencies are allocated to the UK emergency service. Not for amateur transmission. But don’t get confused.
Programming is just simple and straightforward. All you need is to get the lead. A USB lead with two plugs. This plugs into the microphone and speaker hole just on the left side of the radio.
And the next thing you would need is the Baofeng BF-888S programming software. I’m surprised they didn’t make the software added to it.
Once installed, start the program on your PC, Select the program, connect your radio with your PC using one of the comm ports and select “Read from radio” to get the channels.
Then you see a list of options. The transmit and receive frequencies for each channel and a lot of commands. Once set, you can then “Write to radio” Then done!
Though trying to program an unsupported frequency won’t work, and that is not a problem, an error message would be displayed. You can also tweak the radio’s settings. Including Mic. sensitivity, voice prompt, squelch, and TX time out.
Other Notable Features of the Baofeng BF-888S
The Baofeng BF-888S has power-saving features to extend battery life, a Low voltage sound alert, and an Incredible charge power.
The frequency range of the radio is 400-470MHz alongside 16 channels.
Built-in high illumination flash to show the way in the dark during emergencies and power outages.
Has CCTS/DCS function.
- Very inexpensive. Affordable to little pockets
- Durable and easy to use.
- Comfortable and straightforward to small hands
- Decent battery life.
- It doesn’t require a license to operate.
- It has only 16 channels.
- Requires programming to use as amateur radio
- Frequency cannot be changed unless you have additional cables and technical know-how.
- Works only on the 70cm band
- Has no screen making it impossible for quick change settings such as the CCTS function.
Looking at the limitations of using this radio, and the stress of setting it up, you may think it is better off get something better. That may be true to some extent.
But I would say this is a good option for anyone who wants to use the radio as a backup, or your needs are just simple, maybe only for emergency purposes.
Nevertheless, if you could go through the stress of doing all these, you’ll value the little companion you just got for yourself.