Baofeng vs. Motorola Radio: What Are The Main Differences?

by Chris Lewis.

Cell phones and smartphones take the largest share of popularity in the communication’s epicenter. Despite the fact, they have their limitations when it comes to connectivity in remote and semi-remote locales.

If you go for a hiking expedition to the hills or forest with your family or friends, a constant communication channel is vital. A cell phone may not do the magic in such an environment. In that case, you have to source for a better alternative communication means. A ham radio comes as a better yet effective option for such a situation.

It cuts across communication barriers and keeps you connected to your loved ones. There are various brands known to produce quality ham radios, but let’s carry out a comparison between two renowned giant brands: The Baofeng radio and Motorola Radio.

Baofeng vs. Motorola Radio: What Are The Main Differences?

Baofeng Radio

Baofeng Radio
Baofeng Radio

The Baofeng radio models have their roots from the Orient and will blow your mind as far as communication goes.

Over the years, the brand has developed various model version of their ham radios. With the most popular version being the UV-5R, it has undergone several update models over the years to offer you a menu full of radio options. Without further ado, let’s check out its outstanding specs.

The Baofeng radios is a dual-band satellite phone with UHF and VHF. The frequency ranges for the VHF is 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz for the UHF. The frequency transmission ranges for this radio gives you maximum coverage in the fields with quality transmissions.

The other catch spec about this radio is the battery capacity. Nothing sucks like running out of battery charge on any device.

For that reason, the brand has come up with a better way of solving that in most of their recent device updates. A good sample radio is the Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+. It carries a 3600 to 3800 mAh battery capacity. With this capacity, you get a 24hr plus usage duration.

Another outstanding feature is the incorporation of the 50 CTCSS and 104 DCS codes. You sometimes want to keep your communication private with the person or people on the other end of the channel. The codes make your connections private without an unauthorized party tapping into your conversation.

The power output for this brand is top-notch. For the likes of UV-5R E+ and UV-82HP, the power output stretches up to 8 watts.

However, it has three discretionary powers, which are: 1 watt for low mode, 5 watts for medium mode, and 8 watts for high mode. You get to switch to any level style depending on the area you want to cover. On a clear field, the 8 watts high mode can cover up to 7 miles.

The Baofeng doesn’t fall short when it comes to external features too. For the likes of the V2+ model, a durable metal casing houses the device.

For hikers, this is music to the ears because the chances of dropping it are very high. But the casing material ensures it stays intact despite the impact. Adding to the external features is the LED display with background light. It makes it easy to read details on display.

The satellite phone is lightweight and convenient to carry around. Furthermore, the radio has a flashlight and an antenna mounted at the top.

Programming for this device is provided from the manual that comes with it. But manual programming can prove to be hectic and time-consuming. The more straightforward way to do it is connecting the radio to your computer using a cable and program it from there.

The only downside with the Baofeng is licensing. For you to use a Baofeng radio, you need a license from the FCC. Most buyers shy away from the extra cost and the process of obtaining the permit.

Moreover, the legality of the frequencies to use on the Baofeng radio comes as an issue. Some users don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law by using frequency ranges beyond those put in place by the FCC.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight
  • 50 CTCSS and 104 DCS codes for privacy purposes
  • Functional battery capacity in advanced models

Motorola Radio

Motorola Radio
Motorola Radio

Motorola brand has a big reputation in the telecom industry. Mainly because of the durable and quality telecommunication devices, it dishes out over the years. Their two-way walkie-talkie radios measure up to their set standards.

Their features and specifications are hard to come by from other competitive brands. If you are considering a walkie-talkie for commercial and amateur use, Motorola’s two-way radio got you covered.

The Motorola radios have the upper hand when it comes to licensing. They come as license-free gadgets, meaning you won’t incur an extra charge of obtaining a license. Motorola radios are IP rated. The rating comes as a handy guide for buyers in search of a waterproof and weather-resistant radio.

The durability feature stands out in the brand radio. The rugged body structure in the likes of Motorola T82 keeps the walkie-talkie intact. The IP-67 rated T82 can withstand adverse weather conditions. That makes it suitable for every environment you walk into.

If your expedition includes boat riding, kayaking, or hiking in rainy regions, this device will prove why it is a must-have. A good example is the TLKR T92, which is waterproof. In case you accidentally drop it in a water mass, the T92 floats on the surface. With this device, you get buoyancy and waterproof all together.

The Motorola MS355R is also waterproof and has floating abilities. However, it brings a better feature to the table. The radio can withstand a thirty-minute submersion in the water! When it comes to communication, you can communicate with Family Service Radio (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).

This comes with a vast range of communication distance of up to 10 km. The audio clarity between communicating parties is crisp and crystal clear, with minimal interference from barriers.

The device also features NOAA channels and alerts. The feature keeps you up to date on the recent weather forecast from the NOAA alerts. Furthermore, the scanning feature on the radio helps you find the channels that are within your range. Adding to the make-up design is an LED flashlight and an LCD.

Highlighted features:

  • Durable
  • Water and weatherproof
  • Free licensing
  • LED flashlight
  • LCD



Much as both devices are suitable for the intended purpose, Motorola is hands down a better alternative than the Baofeng radio. The Motorola radios are better off on the durability aspect. The waterproof and floating abilities give it a more substantial holding ground to the Baofeng.

If you are planning a venture with your buddies, remember to tag along with a satellite phone. Preferably the Motorola radio will do the trick and keep you brightened up and connected throughout your adventure.

About Chris Lewis.

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