Last Updated on November 11, 2020

Whether you’re on a road trip with your pals or in a crowded event, having a good walkie talkie can come in handy on many occasions. A walkie talkie or two-way radio is an excellent addition to your explorer kit, whether you’re going on a hiking trip or go on exploring the concrete jungle. It is an effective way of keeping in contact with your friends, even when there is no cell reception. One of the finest walkie talkies for light usage is the Baofeng BF-888S. 

The following article reviews the BaoFeng BF-888S radio in-depth, along with some additional information. This review contains:

  • Pros and Cons of BaoFeng BF-888S with rapid-fire specs
  • In-depth review of the BaoFeng BF-888S
  • A buying guide that makes choosing the right product easy, when looking for a walkie talkie.

Product Dimensions: 212 x 50 x 30 mm
Product Weight: 198 g
Frequency: 400-470mHz UHF 
Tx Power Output: 3 Watts
Rx Power Output: 1000 mW
Selectivity: 55 dB / 50 dB 
Battery:1500 mAh Li-ion
Operating Voltage: 3.7 V
Battery Life: About 8 hours 
Antenna Impedance: 50 Ohms 
Range 2 to 4 km

The BaoFeng BF-888S is an excellent two-way radio with multiple functions and features. It can be used for various tasks, like security, communication in a construction site, keeping contact with a friend in a crowded mall, and many more.

Our Opinion of BaoFeng BF-888S

The BaoFeng BF-888S is a beast of a walkie talkie when considering its price. It is a UHF radio that also has a LED flashlight fitted into it, increasing its utility. The ion battery inside gives it an excellent battery life and gives you a range of up to 2 miles. There is also a belt clip present to ensure it stays in place even when you’re doing any physical activity. The BaoFeng radio comes with some good features like voice prompt, PC Programming Software, Encryption, Emergency alarm, alert for low voltage, and much more. With its excellent battery life, it is easy to use it for the entire day.  

There are various features present in the BaoFeng BF-888S walkie talkie that you might need to use depending on your scenario:

An excellent walkie talkie using UHF frequency 

The BaoFeng BF-888S is a great radio with long-range and power that sees its use in many situations. As it operates in a frequency range of 400-470mHz, it can be easily used in a crowded place. The antenna is sensitive enough to pick up GMRS signals from about 2 miles away. And the maximum range can be attained by connecting the BaoFeng BF-888S to a pc using the programming cable and program it using the software. The used frequencies, coupled with a sensitive antenna, give an excellent sound quality. It can easily be used for a started ham set. (1)

Setting up and programming 

Any review of walkie talkies is incomplete without instructions on setting it up and using software to program it. Setting up these two-way radios are easy. Insert the battery and fully charge it. The BaoFeng BF-888S just takes about 4 hours to fully charge. Turn the power knob on and go by the instructions the voice prompt gives you. Once you’re done with that, operating it is very easy; just press the PTT button to transmit and release it to receive.

The BaoFeng BF-888S can be programmed and customized to your liking using a pc and a programming cable. Once connected to the pc, you download the necessary software from BaoFeng or use the CHIRP software to program it. BaoFeng BF-888S is totally compatible with CHIRP. You can customize the Tx/Rx frequencies and many more using the CHIRP software. Using CHIRP, you can also tweak VOX mode, Squelch function, and more. (2)

Range and Power   

Due to various interference and antenna sensitivity, the real Rx power of BaoFeng BF-888S is 2 Watts. You’ll get the full range at maximum power, but in crowded places, it is halved. Although it has good power and a sensitive antenna for a budget walkie talkie, it is crippled by its poor selectivity. 

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Considering all the attractive features, the price of the radio makes it one of the most affordable radios. 
  • The radio is very easy to use and has a compact and sleek design.
  • Comes with a built-in LED flashlight.
  • It is easy to program from your PC with the programming software.
  • The battery life is excellent, especially considering its range.
  • The battery supports fast/ intelligent charging.

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • The radio lacks a screen, so you cannot easily access the menus and program it.
  • It only uses UHF, so it does not work with many bands. 
  • The sound quality can deteriorate if there are too many people using the Rf bands. 

How to Select Walkie Talkies – A Few Tips!

You need to consider a few things before buying walkie talkies. Some features can truly impact your decision when buying 2-way radios.

Here are a few tips to remember when buying a new 2-way radio:

Types of radio service and bandwidth

Walkie talkies use various radio services to transmit their data. The two common services are GMRS and FRS. The FRS can have up to 99 channels and can work up to up to 1 mile. A GMRS radio can work up to two miles. Another thing to consider whether the radio operates on which frequency range, VHF, or UHF. Very High Frequencies are good for long distances, and Ultra-high frequencies are good for high-quality transmission in crowded places.

Range

Whether buying a ham radio or walkie talkie, the range is always a crucial factor to consider. Best radios even work when all other communication routes are blocked.

Channels

The channels on the radios should be quickly switchable. A good radio always has multiple channels that can be switched to in an instant. Also, instant access to emergency channels is a must-have when considering radios, especially for ham radio. For example, BaoFeng offers 16 channels for its 888S radio. 

Battery

A good radio should also come with a good battery. The battery should be well enough to offer a long period of power for an extended period. A radio should last 8-12 hours under normal use. 

F.A.Q

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What is the best BaoFeng Radio?

The best BaoFeng radio has a long line of GMRS radios with great functionalities and features. Be it a ham radio or a walkie talkie. Anyone of the model can be best for you according to your use. 

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What frequency is BaoFeng 888S?

It operates in the frequencies 400-470mHz. 

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Is the model waterproof?

As BaoFeng did not design the model to be waterproof, it is advised that you use it in a dry environment.

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Can it be programmed to be a ham radio through CHIRP?

Yes, as mentioned in the review, the radio can be easily programmed by connecting it to a pc through the programming cable and downloading CHIRP. 

Final Thoughts

As we saw in the review, BaoFeng BF-888S is an excellent walkie talkie for its price with advanced features and great Tx/Rx power. BaoFeng is known to make some quality GMRS radios, and they have shown their competence with this model. (3)

One thing to note, the lack of a display and keypad and poor selectivity can direct some people to a different model offered by BaoFeng or any other company. 

That being said, as we saw in the review, it is one of the best radios for its price that will get the job done. You may also want to check other product reviews by clicking here.

References

(1) GMRS signals – https://www.fcc.gov/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs
(2) CHIRP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tFs856HgRw
(3) Tx/Rx – https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/dial-access/asynchronous-connections/15380-trans-rec-15380.html