Yaesu FT-70DR Handheld HAM Radio Review

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The FT-70DR is one of the most functional handheld HAM radios you will find in this price range. It isn’t without any flaws though, but there are some fairly simple workarounds for the flaws so that they don’t turn out to be a deal-breaker for you.

The FT-70DR is much more functional than comparable Baofeng radios, but does not compromise on the quality at all. Some of the features that please users include an impressively wide band receive coverage, super rugged construction, working great for both fusion and DMR, being easy to program, and boasting a great build quality.

Yaesu FT-70DR Features

Let us find out more about its important features so that you can figure out if this is the kind of handheld transceiver you’re looking for.

Super Functional HT

As we mentioned above, you would be hard-pressed to find a HT more functional than the FT-70DR if around $200 is all you got to spend. The C4FM performance is very impressive, and it’s just plug and play for the users for the most part.

The receiver is surprisingly good quality for the price too. The same goes for the frequency range, which is 108 to 579.995MHz.

It’s system fusion compatible, but works just as well for DMR as well. You can also control wiresX with the FT-70DR.

It comes with a mini USB port that allows you to manage the memory and software upgrades with ease. Talking about the software and programming, users are pleased with how easy it is.

It doesn’t work with CHIRP but the programming is still fairly simple and straightforward, and you don’t even need a computer to program the FT-70DR.

The modulation is impressive too, but it does require you to make sure you tune correctly. The frequency steps don’t disappoint either, and you would get 8.33 KHz on the AM band.

Finally, the sound quality is darn impressive too. The speaker is super loud and powerful, and the audio is pretty clear without much noise.

Users also mention in their reviews that the audio is just as good in both analog and digital.

Yaesu Ft 70drVery Durable

Most Yaesu HAM radios are built like a tank, and the FT-70DR is no exception. It boasts a super rugged construction that meets the IP54 standard as well. It means that the FT-70DR will be resistant against dust and water.

The solid build quality however, also ensures that it will last you much longer than many other radios out there that aren’t built as well as the FT-70DR.

Some Flaws

The biggest flaw with the FT-70DR that many users complain about is the awful battery life. It drains unusually fast, and it’s certainly the most (and for many users, the only) disappointing thing you will find with this radio.

Many users simply say that they keep a battery or two in spare so that they can quickly replace the old battery when the radio swallows it out.

The second issue is the antenna. It’s not that the radio doesn’t perform well with the supplied antenna, but it receives much, much better with a higher quality antenna.

If you want to get the most out of what the FT-70DR, do yourself a favor and buy the Diamond SRH77CA dual-band antenna. This antenna is also recommended by Amazon when you buy the FT-70DR.


  • Great functionality for the price
  • Loud, powerful speaker with a great overall audio
  • Amazing C4FM performance
  • Impressive receiving capabilities
  • Works great for both fusion and DMR
  • Surprisingly easy to program, and you don’t even need a computer to program it
  • Managing the memory and software upgrades is easy and convenient
  • Built like a tank like most other Yaesu radios out there


  • Terrible battery life
  • Poor supplied antenna, you will be much better off buying a new one separately

Yaesu FT-70DR Review Conclusion

The FT-70DR has managed to get a surprisingly good rating from its customers despite the couple major flaws. But there’s a reason for it.

There are few HAM radios in this price range that offer the kind of functionality the FT-70DR does. Similarly, a radio probably can’t get much more durable than the FT-70DR.

Taking that into consideration – and that there are easy, albeit slightly expensive workarounds for the flaws – the FT-70DR is an absolute no-brainer, especially at this price point.

So what you’re waiting for? Hit the button below to order the FT-70DR on Amazon and get hamming!

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