I have two of these radios and have done some preliminary testing. I am a ham operator, and a member of our local ARES/RACES and NET/CERT organizations.
Baofeng has taken their UV82 radio and repurposed it for GMRS use. UV82 accessories, including the high capacity battery and AA battery pack, all work with the GMRS-V1. The radios are pre-programmed for the GMRS/FRS and GMRS repeater frequencies, with the repeater offset already set. The radio will also scan the ham VHF/UHF bands (there are approximately 100 channels available), has a FM radio, dual watch and the rest of the UV82 and UV82HP features. Advertised power is 1W/5W. The radio is programmable through the keypad and CHIRP; I highly recommend the latter.
Before testing the radios, I cloned one using CHIRP, and made some modifications, including adding the VHF/UHF emergency communications channels for my area. Note that the pre-programmed GMRS frequencies/offsets can not be changed and the radio cannot be programmed to transmit on any other channels. The GRMS PL tones, channel names, power level, and scanner inclusion can be programmed. Programming is straightforward, as is cloning a CHIRP image from radio to radio.
In my test rig, I used an inline power and SWR meter and tested the units with both the stock antenna and a J Pole that that I with my VHF/UHF rig.
VHF power: 2W/5.4W, SWR (with J pole): 1.1 to 1.5 across the band
UHF power 1.75W/5W, SWR (with J pole) 1.1 to 1.7 across the band
Using the stock antenna, low power performance in an treed, hilly urban environment is, as expected, less than a mile. High power performance was between one and two miles. I need to do more testing, with a j pole and a whip antenna to get better numbers. I don't have a local repeater to test against. YMMV.
The audio is clear and undistorted. Features like dual-watch, two line display, transmit timer and scanning are handy to have, especially if you are used to using them on a ham HT. If you have UV82 equipment, the ability to swap batteries, antennas and the like is terrific. Scanning, like on all Baofengs, is usable but not fast and when scanning, the two line display does not stay synchronized.
What I really like about these radios, other than 5W, interoperability with the UV82 and FCC compliance, is they can be set up, the keypad locked so the unit can't be accidentally reprogrammed, and handed to someone without a lot of experience. I am looking at them for NET/CERT team use and they will certainly become part of my family go bag. And for less than sixty bucks, including charger, microphone and battery, they are a real deal.
- jwilkers, bud, Hans and 4 others like this