Without a doubt Baofeng Radio (and its relative Pofung) has created a stir in the ham radio hobby since 2012. A dual band handheld for $30 US…ridiculous. Its a pretty decent handheld for the entry level operator or the ham that needs a “rain day” radio or a gobox and glove box radio. Some I know have several with one dedicated to scanning away while the other with the speaker mic does talking duties. Vendors sold skids full of these radios at Dayton in 2013 with the rig of choice on everyone’s belt by sunday was the UV-5r.
“I cannot believe that one can buy a handheld , speaker mic and extra battery for the price of a japanese handheld battery” stated Tomas VE3FKN during one of the clubs social events.
Like anything there are low end radios and high end radios and consumers choose at what price point they want to participate in.
Recently, with increased interest in the 220 Mhz band the Baofeng has become the entry radio of choice once again.
Sales have increased once again with the release of the Camo Red-White-and-Blue designed for the USA market.
I teach a local ham radio class and last year we had 15 new hams added to the GTA area with 75% of them purchasing Baofeng radios.
Go Baofeng Go