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|Maximum Output Power||5 Watts|
|Digital Standard||Analog Only|
|Frequency Bands||2 Meter (VHF), 70 cm (UHF)|
Hard to knock these radios at the price point they're at and they seem to be of decent quality but you do get what you pay for. I ordered two of these primarily for hiking which means I'd keep them clipped on my backpack for easy access. I literally just set one down on the counter laying it on it's back not dropped and the plastic belt clip just broke. Haven't had much chance to use/program them yet but wanted to get this review so people can be aware of how thin the plastic is retaining the belt clip spring.
** UPDATE 7/27/2020 ** Took 3 times but was able to update the firmware to latest, and then COM port on USB worked. Bought the RT programming software for it, and programming works much easier. Added the Nagoya NA-771 15” whip antenna and the radio works great. I am upgrading my review to 4 stars (the main reason I am not giving it 5 is for the poor documentation that comes with the radio).
Original Review - 7/14/2020
Received the starter kit, and the CD that comes with it has software from 2017, and none being for this radio. The manual is hard to read (small fonts) and not very organized (almost worthless). I downloaded the UV-88 software from this site (Ver 1.12 dated 2019.11.30), and on setup it shows Com ports, but not USB (all COM port selections are grayed out), so not able to talk to the radio with the programming cable. Does Chirp work with this radio?
I went to the TYT website, and other than them showing the product (https://www.tyt888.com/?mod=product_show&id=141) it doesn't show up under service support for downloads.
Firmware shows as Ver MCU BQ1.20 (4815Q), so in a couple of days will try to see if the firmware update mentioned on this page (https://www.buytwowayradios.com/blog/2020/05/tyt-th-uv88-firmware-update.html) will work. If not, I will be returning it all.
This is great little radio for the money. Much more solid build quality and far more attractive than the UV-5R. Only reason it didn't get 5 stars is that its not yet supported by Chirp. Hopefully that will be corrected soon.
Initially had some issues with the radio (dead line of pixels of the screen) and Robert sent me out a new radio right away. Also answered some questions too. Fantastic service.
As for the radio, it is a great size and feels like a well made radio. The software could be a bit better and I'm still working on the programming a little at a time as I test it.
Can't say enough about Robert and how great he was at taking care of a new customer - and as a result I will be a returning customer.....
I reviewed this radio back on 04 May 2020. I said great things about it. Now 23 JUN 2020 I wanted to update my experiences with it. Short read. I love it even more. It's become my primary handheld. In fact right now it's my primary, always with me, radio period. I've managed to drop it on concrete a few times. Rubbed off the dust and still looks like new and operates just fine. I picked up another battery and usually change batteries every 24-36 hours. At 24 hours it still has a solid charge. Normally just before going to bed. I keep the radio on continuous and tuned to our local VHF repeater except when changing batteries. I've even used it for Net Control when it's been my turn with solid reports using the stock antenna. With the stock antenna I can slip it into a shirt pocket and carry it around easily.
So far so good. The more I've used this inexpensive radio the more I've been impressed with it. I like the idea that anyone wanting to get into ham radio on a shoestring can spend $15 for the test and $30-35 delivered to your door and be on the air working local repeaters with a solid, well built radio with good signal in and out.
BEST CHINESE HAM RADIO
Based on my first purchase exceeding expectation, this now a second TYT TH-UV88 purchase. Great quality, easily programed while being overall user friendly. Also big Kudos to Robert and Anthony who are always available and very knowledgeable.
I really liked this radio. For a budget radio, it communicates pretty good in a 5 mile radius. I bought two. Radios are nicely built, which was impressive out of the box. I think these are a keeper!
Originally saw a YouTube review of this radio and was impressed enough that I went ahead and bought although I already own numerous HTs from various different manufacturers. I had purchased a TYT UV-8000E HT previously so I expected quality when I ordered the TH-UV88 and I was not disappointed. I really like this radio! It's got a nice heft to it and a nice solid feel, fits well in the hand and the PTT button is at the right position. It has a helpful display, I like the fact that it shows whether the offset on a selected channel is set to positive or negative. I have yet to really extensively test it but the audio so far sounds very clear and lifelike, not tinny. I can't yet give feedback on how my audio was received. I use BNC connector antennas for all my HTs, it gives me more flexibility and quick antenna changes. The antenna connector well on the UV88 is plenty wide enough to accommodate a rather wide based SMA-M to BNC-F adapter. 200 programmable channels definitely beats Baofeng's 128. So far a very positive experience overall. Once I found the instructions for manually programming a channel from VFO mode it was easier than the Baofengs. But the manual is physically difficult to read for an older pair of eyes. I downloaded the manual and zoomed into the programming steps in my PDF reader. That being said there are a couple of items that I need to mention. The battery I received with my radio is NOT the 3200 MaH capacity as detailed in the review video but 1400 MaH. A 3200 MaH battery is available as an accessory. I'm not complaining though due to the value of this radio. Unbelievably, programming software is NOT included in the box. And MORE unbelievably I was unable to find it on TYT's own website. The software itself is not difficult to use but every channel has to be manually entered. You can't import from a CSV file as you can from CHIRP. Unfortunately CHIRP does not yet support this radio. I'll be glad when they do. And when manually programming I have found that when selecting a channel to save to I cannot just key in an open channel number with the keypad but have to use the Up/Down arrows to find an open slot. I hope they have a firmware fix for this eventually. A standard Kenwood, Wouxun, Baofeng program cable is what is needed to program the radio but agree that an FTDI based cable is probably worth the extra cash. The other thing I need to mention is installation of the battery. It is not quite as straightforward as lining up the battery and sliding it upwards until it clicks in place. When you slide this battery up into place it will stop about 1/8" from being seated. I noticed that the bottom of the battery at this point sits away from the bottom of the radio. It then takes a gentle push of the bottom of the battery towards the radio and then it will slide into place and lock. Not a real problem, just something you have to get used to. Nice little radio. A real gem at a really great price point for those just breaking into the hobby. And a nice spare radio to throw in the glovebox for contingencies.
I picked up 2 of these for camping, fishing, hunting, farm work as we have a little farm.
I love it. What else can I say, but good clear reception, water resistant housing which I have put to the test, on a rainy day. No, I haven't tried repeaters, and other HAM fun stuff. I just use them more as a working tool, instead of my cell phone.
Can't say enough good about them. On another note, these folks at buytwowayradio helped me with a little challenge, and they didn't have to. A+++ on product and support. Thank you!
Great radio for the price, replaces my UV-5R. Has all of the features I loved on the older radio, plus the confidence that it meets new FCC standards and will not transmit outside of ham bands.
After owning several brands of other similar radios, the TH-UV88 exceeded my explications regarding easy programing, great performance and sound and with overall quality. I highly recommend this radio.
Purchased to replace Baofengs and glad I did. Perfect size and feel with good grip for secure holding. Software could be a little better but very easy to use and understand. Com port has never failed as it has with Chirp. This is now my EDC radio.Next I will look at DMR line of radios.
Solid little radio. Nicer build quality. Feels better in hand. Like my TYT TH-UV8000E (awesome radio, btw). I had to reference the Q&A on this site to figure out how to unlock VFO mode. Also thought I had set dual watch to on. Somehow managed to have turned it off again. Once I got that sorted I can stay on A and still hear B.
I downloaded the software and had no trouble programming the radio. I usually use CHIRP, but it's not available for this. However, the free factory software works fine. There is one thing I learned from programming several other radios is that after all the necessary hassles to download and instal the backdated drivers for the cheap programming cables with their out of date Prolific (often counterfeit) chipsets. Spend a few dollars more and get a FTDI cable. I had picked up one a little bit ago after having to reset my drivers a few times. No more hassle. If you have a lot of stuff on your USB ports you might have to pick from the com ports a few times to get the right one.
Back to the radio. I've been able to hit our repeater no problem from in the house and around our little town. Sitting in my "shack" in front of the computer I can hit the repeater with the Baofeng, but the reported audio is at best barely readable even with a Nagoya 771 antenna on it. The receive barely better.
When my QYT 8900D mobile quit transmitting after a month I had the TYT TH-UV88 in the car with me. I had the coax adapter from where I used to run my TYT 8000E in the car with me. So I pulled the coax off the QYT, plugged in the adapter, and connected it to the TYT 88. Even with just 5 watts I was able to hit our repeater from about 25 miles out and have a solid QSO with a fellow club member.
Great little radio and well worth it. For around the price of a Baofeng UV-5R or variant you can have a better built radio with a cleaner signal that looks and feels like a real radio. If I didn't already have a handful of handhelds I'd get a few more of these.
Best value and performance compared to similar products of same capabilities.
I'm returning mine. I had hoped this TH-UV88 was similar to TYT TH-350, but NOT! Firmware is way different, nomenclature different on all the menu picks, and programming from the front panel is NOT happening. Seems more oriented for FRS or GMRS service, for unlicensed operation. Great TYT quality for plastics etc. but the firmware is killing it for me. I'm a ham radio operator, have many different HT's (dozens of them, from ~10 brands) and I love TYT, but the fw in this one is NO GO.
Love the quality feel and audio. Does not want to scan memory channels. Have not programmed from computer since I have Apple. Missing something?
ORDERED 2 OF THESE RADIOS TO TRY OUT AND SEE HOW THEY PERFORM. THEY ARE DOING A GREAT JOB SO FAR. WE HAVE 25 UV5R'S IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH. I WOULD SAY THAT WE WILL REPLACE THE UV5R WITH THE UV88 AS THEY WARE OUT. A GOOD RADIO FOR THE MONEY.
I have been a fan of TYT for a while since I bought my first MD380. This radio is welcome as a higher quality Chinese radio. I have three Baofeng UV-5R's that will be replaced with three of these radios for the family. They have done a great job with firmware stability. I would not sell my Yaesu FT-60R to use this exclusively, but I almost would.
This will be my new go to when recommending an inexpensive HT to get started with. Any computer programming quirks I have found will be squashed as soon as Chirp [hopefully] supports. You can not use a Chirp export file to import into the TYT CPS. There is a fully functional VFO that you can access using the front panel.
This is a new radio, and give it a little time as more support comes, it could easily be the replacement of the UV-5R. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase.
Superb radio for the price! Simple to program, easy to navigate menus, and tough durability.
TYT has once again made a great radio with the
TH-UV88. Performance is well above what I expeted for this price range and the build quality is excellent, free software and programming cable worked first time with win 10. Radio programmed and on the air with no issues. I am so pleased with this radio that I just ordered a second one!
The radio IS a Baofeng beater, unfortunately the programming software is not - Hopefully we'll get Chirp onboard in the future. The radio is definitely worth the price.
I recently purchase a tyt th-uv88 form BuyTwo way Radios. Everything about this purchase was just like they advertised. Great prices and great service. Can't beat that.
I have programmed many newer HT's from almost every mfg in past 3 years. Many things the manual has nothing on. Like how to get dual watch to actual work right. How to set the Alarm to local. What is B_Lock? Factory s/ware is very crude, no help file and no print function. I spent 5 hrs over 3 days and still haven't solved the issues. The manual is almost worthless, despite apparently good construction.