You must understand that the price you are paying for a headset and a UHF radio, that it's actually a good deal. Now, it's not top notch, but it functions, and it functions properly and effectively.
The radio comes through exceptionally clear and the headset transmits and receives very effectively. You are able to communicate with any FRS or GMRS radio, and the range that it has is really exceptional. It has the necessary squelch features as well as Dual Watch and other such features only available on more expensive radios.
Yes, the build quality is low, and it doesn't look terribly pretty, but, it's going to sit in a pouch, and not really be looked at. As for your comment about hitting the power button, I would say that is the worst part about the radio, though since nobody has field tested it yet... I can't say whether it will be problematic or not.
The whip anttenna is just for looks... it's not going to give you much more of an effective range at all since the actual antenna part is only 4'' long, even without the antenna plugged in, I am picking up transmissions from local towing companies and such. The solid antenna is a much better choice, and definitely the one I will be utilizing.
As for the headset not plugging in properly... yes, that's a design flaw, but it's nothing that a little cutting of the plastic doesn't easily solve. The headset itself is built well with no issues, and the PTT works every time.
All in all I'd say this was a great purchase for the price. In no way would you be able to find a keypad programmable UHF radio and a Bowman Headset that would be even close to this price, better yet one that has the appearance of an MBITR.
It's not top notch stuff, but for the $180 shipped I spent on the Bowman package, I am very very happy with how it performs.
You have to keep in mind, you're not buying just another FRS radio here, but rather a high powered UHF radio, you simply cannot try and compare the 2. You bought a chinese radio, you should have expected to do a little work to get it to run properly.
Last edited by cgyarring; July 29th, 2009 at 16:22..