I purchased a UV-B5 for my first radio. In general the cheap Chinese hand held radios are incredible value for money. I assume they are selling thousands into the business market in Asia and that’s what’s allowing these prices.
Similar to the best selling UV-5R, the UV-B5 can transmit anywhere in 136 – 174 MHz and 400 – 480 MHz including being field programmable. A result of this, and their lack of certification, they are only legally able to be owned by licensed ham radio operators in most developed countries.
The reason for choosing this model over the ubiquitous UV-5R is a couple of things. One of the common faults of these wide band radios is that the front ends can be easily overloaded. According to Brick O’Lore the UV-B5 handles this better than the other radios in this price range.
The other thing I really like about it is the tuning knob. I’m quite interested (in part because of my remote location) in getting in to satellite. A requirement for this is the ability to easily change the frequency as doppler causes it to change during the pass. I’m guessing that’s be a lot easier to do with a knob rather than up down buttons when I’m juggling the yagis to keep them correctly lined up and polarised.
One short coming for some users is the five character limit for the memory display names. The radio is quite dated, having come out in 2012, so another possible problem is that spares such as batteries will be much harder to get than for it’s more popular sibling. I had a look to purchase a spare battery on ebay, but since for $20 more I can get an entire second radio that’s probably the plan.