Feb 7, 2015

Wouxun KG-UV8D : Hands-on review

I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the new dual-band Wouxun KG-UV8D HT courtesy my recent overseas visit and I’m impressed!

VHF/VHF dual receive — for the win! This is a great feature and, at least for me, one of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to this radio. It mixes the audio from the two frequencies so you won’t miss anything. 

The text on the color screen is so much easier to read than on previous Wouxuns. There’s about twice the screen real estate and it makes the radio much more usable. Although I didn’t get a chance to play with every feature of the KG-UV8D so far , I can honestly say that this radio seems to be much easier to program from the keypad. I think that larger screen helps a lot. For the first time, I feel that I could field program one of these without the manual. Trust me, that’s saying something!
The radio seems slightly narrower and thinner than previous versions. This is a definite step up and it improves the ergonomics of the radio. The PTT button is large and segmented in a way that makes it hard to mistake it for a function button as with the KG-UV3D. The programmable buttons under the PTT are also cool. You can program it to activate the FM radio or to start scanning, for example. Very easy to customize.

The battery is different which is a little disappointing for those of us who have a collection of older Wouxun batteries, but I like the changes they’ve made to the way it slides on and off the chassis.

The rubber ducky antenna they include is OK, but for me a Smiley 270A would replace it in short order. And speaking of antennas, why can’t Wouxun figure out if they want to use SMA-male or SMA-female on these radios? I think we can all agree that they should just standardize on one or the other. This radio has a SMA-female connector while my KG-UV3D is SMA-male.

I’ve fallen in love with this little radio and I’ve only have it for few hours. Whether you’re a brand new ham looking for your first rig or you’ve been at this game for decades, you can’t go wrong with this HKD 900 / approx INR 8000 radio.

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