Ever since the invention of walkie talkies, several models and designs with different features have trilled people and yet, none seems to have eclipsed the Baofeng BF 888s.
This device is the Michael Phelps of Walkie Talkies, a top three in any ranking of two-way radios created and will be made in the nearest future. It is a fan favorite simply because it is packed with unique features in a portable body.
So if you are searching for a tremendous two-way radio, the Baofeng BF 888s is a no brainer. At the end of this article, you will be convinced beyond doubt as to why you should purchase this gadget. Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
- 1 Baofeng BF-888S Review
- 1.1 Features
- 1.1.1 16 Memory Channels
- 1.1.2 50 CTCSS /DCS
- 1.1.3 Battery Saving Features
- 1.1.4 Low Battery Alert
- 1.1.5 VOX( Voice Operated Transmit)
- 1.1.6 Scanning & Monitor Functions
- 1.1.7 English Voice Prompt
- 1.1.8 Beep Tone
- 1.1.9 Emergency Alarm
- 1.1.10 High Illumination Flashlight
- 1.1.11 Transmitter Time-Out Timer (TOT)
- 1.2 Pros
- 1.3 Cons
- 2 FAQs
- 3 Conclusion
Baofeng BF-888S Review
There are a few considerations choosing the Baofeng BF 888S. Indeed, before deciding on a specific device to purchase, several parameters are considered, the ‘selling points,’ so to speak. These are essential characteristics that cannot be overemphasized. The following are crucial considerations when choosing this radio.
Most devices are either too big or too small, and many manufacturers cannot find the perfect balance. Of course, we all have different hand sizes, but getting a walkie-talkie that would be suitable and comfortable irrespective of the user is paramount, and serious consideration was put into this. And the outcome is a stunning build that fits right in your grasp. The dimensions of the radio are 10 x 7.1 x 4.5 inches and weighs only 0.07 kilograms.
This sturdy build gives it a rugged look, which would fit right in, irrespective of the condition it is being utilized. The absence of a keypad is another reason for the stunning size and build.
And when the device is not in use, it possesses a large belt clip at the rear end that you can attach to your sash or strap, and you most definitely not feel its weight or have it inconvenience you. At the same time, you go about other activities because of the fantastic compact size.
A lot of work was done to ensure that the batteries weigh just right and would not cause the device to look bigger or even weigh more massive than it should be.
This perfect blend will surely swing you in favor of purchasing this radio. You need not worry about being uncomfortable while holding onto it for an extended period, or even bother if its grip is insufficient because it is just right.
I saved the best for the last in this section, and that is the option to strap the radio to your wrist, courtesy the wrist strap provided when you purchase this device. It certainly would be mission impossible strapping something big and bulky to your wrist. This radio, however, mitigates that because of its stunning build—two words, SIMPLY AMAZING.
Ease of Use
For a device, this rugged and sturdy, The radio is relatively easy to use. Setting it up and using it right away is not rocket science. However, I must point out that you need a license to operate it in the United States of America because it can be programmed to listen to or work on a wide range of frequencies. There is a high possibility you could be tuned in to law enforcement channels. Using this radio without the license means you are breaking the FCC rules. Better safe than sorry.
After getting your license, the Baofeng 888s manual is well detailed, concise and contains everything you need to know to operate this radio without any stress.
Going through the manual pages provides enough information, so much so that you need not search for added details.
In the kit, a battery is provided. Insert it in the rear battery compartment and plug in the charging equipment. You must charge the device until it is full, and that takes about 4 hours.
To switch on this device, you turn the power switch or volume control clockwise. When done correctly, you will hear a beep and speech to indicate that the radio is on.
To transmit, simply press and hold the PTT (push-to-talk) and speak into the microphone. A red LED light is conspicuous all through, indicating that it is transmitting.
In the manual, you will also find how to select the preferred channel you want. All you have to do is turn the channel switch to the desired channel. It can take some time to get used to the various buttons and their functionalities. However, in the manual that comes with the device, the controls are labeled appropriately, and their uses are highlighted.
The device also features a voice assistant of some sort that can explain to you how to go about setting your new device.
After the initial set up and programming, you will find out that it is straightforward to use, and it is merely a case of pushing and releasing the transmit button. Like I said earlier, it most definitely is not rocket science.
If you encounter any difficulty or if the device is not functioning well, a troubleshooting guide is provided to help ascertain the problem, and of course, solutions to the said issues are clearly stated.
Additional accessories can be bought alongside the radio to improve the overall user experience, such as belt clips, car charger, earpiece, antenna and microphone.
Durability is a feature that is hard to come by in recent times, especially when you factor in the price. You have to choose between durability and affordability.
Buy a cheap radio that wouldn’t last long, or buy an expensive one that would last for a long time. As you know, I am no prophet of doom, so I bring glad tidings.
The Baofeng BF 888s review usual entails its durability while noting that it does not burn a hole in your pocket. Just what the Doctor prescribed.
The springs and clips that come with the radio are strong, and the charcoal black plastic body ensures that even after a fall, there will be little or no scratch on it. It is impossible to stop the device from falling, either due to negligence or mishandling. You need not worry about the radio getting bad. Just pick it up, dust it, and continue using it.
A standard tip is to ensure that you install the clip first without the batteries inserted in the radio. This is to avoid struggling with the spring. It is much easier this way too.
Another plus on its build is its simple user interface. After the initial hassle of going through the setup, and programming, to ensure the device works properly, it’s a smooth sail from there. This makes it a fantastic choice for newbies, only getting their first taste of using a two-way radio. All you do is simply switch on and off the radio and change channels.
As with life, everything is bound to break over time, but be rest assured that the radio will put in a right shift. After years of use, and of course, falling, most of the damages got from the Baofeng BF 888s review are mainly scratches and scrapes, although the edges may begin to chip off, and the antenna may bend a little. The battery will most likely stay in place after all the torture the device will pass through, so you can continue enjoying it.
For a device that combines affordability and durability, the BF 888s is undoubtedly a must-have.
1 LR44 battery is required to power this two-way radio, and as highlighted earlier, it takes about 4 hours to get it ultimately charged. A fully charged battery will last approximately 10-11 hours. That is a day of heavy usage. However, if you are not like me and you do not use it as intensely as I do, you can get about 15 hours of usage after every full charge.
That is simply the best battery life I have encountered in several years of using radios. Overcharging must be avoided; always unplug the device when it is full.
The primary culprit that drains the battery is the LED light, which, however you look at it, is a fantastic feature and a core part of the BF 888s radio.
To charge, plug the adapter into an electrical socket, then insert the radio or battery in the tray. While charging, the LED will glow red, always ensure that the battery has proper contact with the charging tray.
Overnight charging is discouraged as well. After a full charge, the LED indicator will turn green. Extra batteries will go a long way in ensuring each of them’ battery life is OK, as you can use one while the other charges. You insert the battery in the charging tray.
I strongly recommend that you do not allow the battery drain entirely as it will take it longer than 4 hours to get it fully charged, and in the long run, letting it drain totally harms the battery. It is a good thing then that the radio has an alarm that warns you when the battery starts getting low.
It packs many features for a small device that makes it a must-have, and one of my favorites. These features include:
16 Memory Channels
This radio comes with 16 in-built channels, which gives you an extensive array of communication passages. The radio has a range between 400 and 470MHz.
Remember that you need a license to use this radio in the United States of America.
50 CTCSS /DCS
The Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System allows block out unwanted transmissions on the same channel/frequency. The tones cannot be heard and can be selected via software.
Battery Saving Features
Battery saver turns on automatically after 10 seconds if no signal is received, and no operation is being carried out. The battery save feature makes sure of longer battery life by cutting out the power when no signal is received.
Low Battery Alert
This feature reminds you that your battery is low and needs recharging. It does this by an alert tone, and the red LED will blink.
VOX( Voice Operated Transmit)
The transmitter is activated when the VOX circuit picks up your voice while speaking into the microphone, eliminating the need to press the push to talk button on the device.
Scanning & Monitor Functions
Scanning is a hands-off feature for monitoring your favorite channels. When set to scan, the radio then scans the selected channels 1-15. The radio stops scanning when a signal is detected and continues when the signal is gone.
When no signal is being received, pressing and holding the MONI adjusts volume levels and is helpful when receiving weak signals.
English Voice Prompt
The voice prompt is an assistant and helps guide you while you use the radio. You simply turn it on via software. The review is brilliant partly due to this feature.
If turned on, the radio will give a short tone to indicate that there is nothing programmed for that channel.
When on, this feature triggers an alarm. The emergency alarm is a function for your receiver only. You will not transmit the alarm. While on channel 11, press and hold the push-to-talk and MONI buttons while switching on the radio. Doing this will turn the alarm ON or OFF.
High Illumination Flashlight
The high illumination flashlight is particularly essential when you are using the radio in a poorly lit area. It allows you to keep being productive even if it’s at night or the lighting is generally low.
Transmitter Time-Out Timer (TOT)
The purpose of this feature is to prevent transmitting for an extended period. The transmitter time-out timer is done to avoid thermal damage to the radio. One fantastic thing is the alarm that gets triggered when the limit is reached.
- Easy to program
- Fast charging
- Decent battery life
- Voice prompt
- Easy to set up and use
- VOX function
- Emergency alarm
- Battery saver
- Low audio over long-distance communication
- PC programmed. If you do not have one, you need to make use of someone else’s.
- Not flexible enough
- Requires a license before you can use it in the United States of America.
How to program the Baofeng BF 888s
Programming the radio can be tasking, and you would need a computer and a programming cable that is compatible with the device.
These cables are affordable and easy to buy. They are available on the company website.
- Download the radio settings
- Modify the CHIRP-created template with the relevant frequencies and settings.
Baofeng BF 888s programming software for windows is available. Alternatively, you can follow the steps I stated above. This programming software will grant you access to enable or disable different features, most of which I have highlighted above.
If you consistently see “radio refused to enter programming mode” errors on your screen, it merely means that your cable has a counterfeit chip. Discard the said cable and buy a new one from the company website or any reputable shop near you.
How to reset Baofeng BF 888s two way radio
To reset the device, you follow the same procedures used in setting it up initially. That means you will make use of a computer, a compatible programming cable, and the windows programming software, if available, else make use of the CHRIP.
CHIRP is a free cross-platform, cross-radio programming tool.
The Baofeng BF 888s is an amazing two-way radio, as you have discovered throughout this review. It is a perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality. These functions are not lost on this device.
It is a fantastic radio that is sturdy, small and offers a lot at a surprisingly low price.
Several radios have many features, but the users only get to know about very few of them, and barely know how to access them. However, that is not the case with this radio.
One of this device’s selling points is the voice prompt the manufacturers added to this radio, and I believe it makes it stand out from the ground and tower over its peers.
Programming this radio is admittedly complicated and tedious. It would be best if you had a cable, which is readily available on the company website, a computer, and the software. A professional can help you out if you find this difficult to carry out.
Resetting the radio entails the same step as setting it up for the first time, so everything stated above applies here.
Finally, I must reiterate that you need a license to operate this device in the United States of America, without which you would break the law.
This radio is worth all the initial hassle involved in setting it up initially, and it will be money well spent for sure. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your new radio.
Over and out!