Yaesu FT-4XR

Yaesu is one of the best radio companies in the world for good reason, and the Yaesu FT-4XR is proof that you don’t have to overpay to get a high-quality, reliable 2-meter HT (Handheld Transceiver). This rugged little radio can take plenty of abuse and keep on truckin’, and has a powerful transmitter, great speaker, and long-lasting battery, to boot. Let’s get into the details.

Good

  • 5 watts RF output – The Yaesu FT-4XR has up to 5 watts of RF output, with selectable settings of 5W, 2.5W, and 0.5W.
  • Good battery life – The 1750 mAh Li-Ion battery back provides between 9-15 hours of operating time.
  • Compact and durable design – Measuring in at W 2.1 in. x H 3.5 in. x D 1.2 in, this radio is compact yet rugged.
  • Supports PC programming – You can program the Yaesu FT-4XR for free with a PC, making it easier to set up with an SCU-35 cable.
  • 1 watt speaker – A clear, 1000 mW (1 watt) speaker delivers crisp and clear audio.
  • Includes rapid charger – This unit comes with a 3.5-Hour Rapid Charger to keep your radio topped off.

Bad

  • Not IP rated – This may not be the best choice for extreme weather or dusty conditions, since it lacks an IP rating for water and dust protection.
  • User interface – As expected from a budget radio, the FT-4XR has only a 6 character screen, and the buttons and menu systems leave something to be desired.

Bottom line

While it may not be suitable for mission-critical situations due to its lack of IP rating, The Yaesu FT-4XR is an excellent knockaround radio with good battery life, solid build quality, and a surprising number of features for the price. It’s a great choice for anyone who needs an inexpensive 2-meter band HT.

Expert reviews

  • Ham Radio Crash Course liked the simple design of the FT-4XR, and called it a “good entry level ham.” He noted the powerful 1W speaker as one of its best features, and said that the radio “sounds great” for an entry-level radio.
  • TheNewHam reviewed the FT-4XR and called it a great entry-level radio, particularly praising its “volume” and “tonal quality,” as well as its ability to be programmed through a PC. He also liked that it came with a desk charger. However, he noted that it is a “single-watch” radio, meaning it can only monitor one channel at a time.
  • KI4CFS – Ham Radio – Martin Brossman reviewed the FT-4XR and called it a “great starter radio.” He liked that it comes with a charging station, and appreciated the robust yet compact design, and the fact that it costs less than $100 from most vendors.

User reviews

  • The FT-4XR has a rating of 4.7 over 13 reviews on eHam.net. Some of the positive attributes noted by reviewers included its powerful transmission and clear reception, the included desk charger, and its 3 transmission power levels.
  • On DXEngineering, the FT-4XR has 12 reviews and a 4.6-star rating. Users noted the overall quality of the unit and its small size, though a few reviewers had difficulties programming the radio without a PC cable.
  • On Gigaparts, the Yaesu FT-4XR has only one review, but it’s a 5-star review. The reviewer noted the compact size, good battery life, and easy alpha-numeric programming of the unit.

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