I have to admit the Baofeng HT’s have come a long way. To set the record straight, I am first to say that there is no comparison between the quality and features of equipment sold by the big three and these Chinese knockoffs.
However, for a $40 radio it works rather well and is suitable as a gift for a new ham. a grab-n-go radio for camping, fishing, Hamfests or any time you don’t want to have your $300 radio end up lost or swimming with the fishes!
Some time ago I purchased a UV-3R and had all kinds of stray RF getting into the front end. It was so annoying, I sold it within two weeks. Anyway, with much cajoling on the local repeater I finally broke down and bought my next “throw away” radio. This time I chose the Baofeng UV-5R Plus.
While there is nothing really unique about the Baofeng UV-5R Plus, it does have a sturdier case than the other UV-5R’s. After downloading the daily build of CHIP I was able to use all the features of the HT. In addition, with the daily build I was able to determine that the firmware is newer.
One caveat worth mentioning is that the extended battery model BL-5L does not fit the UV-5R PLUS. However, that problem can be easily remedied with a dremel tool. I did my modification within a few minutes.