Yaesu FT-4XR Review

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.

Product Specs

Frequency Range RX136 – 174 MHz, 400 – 480 MHz
TX: 136 – 174 MHz (Asian version)
144 – 146 MHz (European version)
44 – 148 MHz (USA version)
400 – 480 MHz (Asian version)
430 – 440 MHz (European version)
430 – 450 MHz (USA version)
FM Broadcast: 65 – 108 MHz
Channel Steps5 / 6.25* / 10 / 12.5 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 50 / 100 kHz
(*: European version only)
Frequency Stability±2.5 ppm (-20 °C to +60 °C [-4 °F to +140 °F])
Antenna Impedance50 ohms
Supply VoltageNominal: 7.4 V DC, Negative Ground SBR-28LI
Current Consumption (Approx.)190 mA (Receive, 200 mW Audio Output)
95 mA (Standby, Saver Off)
23 mA (Standby, Saver On)
5 mA (Auto Power Off)
1.5 A (5 W TX , 144 MHz) 7.4 V DC
1.7 A (5 W TX , 430 MHz) 7.4 V DC
Operating Temperature– 4 °F to +140 °F (– 20 °C to + 60 °C)
Case Size2.0” (W) x 3.5” (H) x 1.2” (D) (52×90×30mm)
(W/O knob and antenna)
Weight (Approx.)8.82 oz (250 g) with SBR-28LI and antenna
RF Power Output5.0 W (High) / 2.5 W (Middle) / 0.5 W (Low)
(@ 7.4 V with SBR-28LI)
Modulation TypeVariable Reactance
Maximum Deviation±5.0 kHz
Spurious EmissionUSA/Asian version
At least 60 dB below (@TX Power High, Middle)
At least 50 dB below (@TX Power Low) European version
At least 60 dB below (@TX Power High, Middle)
At least 55 dB below (@TX Power Low)
Microphone Impedance (Approx.)2 kΩ
Circuit TypeDirect-conversion
Sensitivity0.2 µV for 12 dB SINAD (140 – 150 MHz, NFM)
0.2 µV for 12 dB SINAD (420 – 470 MHz, NFM)
Selectivity (-6 dB/-60 dB)FM, NFM ±25 kHz / 12.5 kHz
AF Output800 mW (16 O for THD 10 % 7.4 V DC) internal
speaker
800 mW (16 O for THD 10 % 7.4 V DC)
external speaker

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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