We now have a Wouxun KG-UV899 demo unit in house and are getting a first glimpse of this new dual band amateur radio. As we mentioned in our original announcement, the KG-UV899 will not be a "top of the line" model. Instead, we expected it to be a very attractive value - offering a nice package of features at a budget price.
After tearing into our sample, the first thing that stood out was the size and weight. It is noticibly more narrow than the KG-UVD1P, KG-UV6D, and KG-UV8D. It also feels lighter, but sturdy.
Turning the radio on doesn't reveal any surprises. If you've used a Wouxun handheld model before, you'll feel right at home. There's an evenly backlit dual frequency display. Scrolling through the menu reveals options very similar to the KG-UVD1P, but with the addition of ANI and selective/group calling options. This radio also supports 199 channels, which is the same as the KG-UV6D but more than the KG-UVD1P (128).
So, what's missing? What do you give up by going with this value model? The biggest drawback seems to be the lack of Part 90 type acceptance - this means this radio is not approved to transmit on business frequencies. Wouxun has said that the radio is already built to Part 90 specifications, and if this becomes a popular model they would take it through the type acceptance process. Also, the lowest step supported is 5 KHz and other models support as low as a 2.5 KHz step.
Who should buy this radio? If you are considering a Wouxun KG-UVD1P, the KG-UV899 provides some additional functionality at a lower price. If you are considering a Baofeng UV-5R, you may find the KG-UV899 to be a worthy upgrade if it still fits your budget.
The Wouxun KG-UV899 is now available for pre-order. We expect to have the radios in stock and ready to ship on Friday, May 2nd. If you have any questions, please contact us or leave your question in the comments below!