I'm looking at a getting a Yaesu FT-60 but have found that the FT-70 is priced similarly (add \$30-\$50).

I'm having a hard time determining the key differences between the two. Reading up online, it sounds like the FT-70 is an upgraded FT-60 but I can't figure out what's better about the FT-70.

The only notable differences I can see are:


  • Lighter, shorter
  • Louder internal speaker


  • Thinner

What other differences justify the price of the FT-70 over the FT-60?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Purchasing recommendations are off-topic, so I've slightly edited the phrasing to emphasize asking about the differences rather than the choice. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO
    Feb 24 '18 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ Great, thanks for fixing @KevinReidAG6YO! $\endgroup$
    – Zach B
    Feb 25 '18 at 5:50

Frankly, the biggest difference I immediately see is the difference in batteries:

Whereas the FT-60 uses NiMH batteries, the FT-70 is lithium-based.

There's significantly higher energy density in LiIon, which explains the weight difference, and: a charged LiIon battery will hold load without noticeable charge loss for weeks to month (depending on design, even years, but that won't be the case here), even after intense use¹, while NiMH does suffer under high self-discharge right from the start.

Other than that: the generation change implies better DSP, leading to probably better speech understandability, lower power usage.

The firmware on the FT-70 is updatable; this might or might not turn out to be an advantage in the future.

¹ battery design is an involved topic; of course, there's limiting factors here: discharging at high rates under very cold conditions might lead to increased self-discharge etc, but it's pretty unlikely your LiIon battery will ever see the same self-discharge rates as brand new NiMH (wikipedia says 0.5% to 4% per day for NiMH at room temperature, and medium-sized lithium polymer batteries typically do something like 4% in a month)

  • $\begingroup$ Actually, Wikipedia says NiMH self-discharges "1.3 - 2.9% at 20 °C (per month)" and Li-ion self-discharges "2% per month" so they're comparable in that regard, and that also matches personal experience. $\endgroup$
    – Noji
    Aug 13 '18 at 17:14

I own an FT-60, and I've also been looking to add another Yaesu HT to my collection. An additional "feature" Yaesu is touting with their FT-70s is digital capability, as Digital radio (DMR specifically) is increasing in popularity and use.

But there's a catch...

What Yaesu is offering as "digital" is their own proprietary "System Fusion" digital, otherwise known as c4fm, if memory serves. C4fm is not interoperable with DMR, or D-STAR. You -may- be able to get it to hear DMR/DSTAR if you have something like a Shark OpenSpot or some other way to translate between formats. But my Elmers say that won't be easy.

73s, WE0IRD

  • $\begingroup$ Where I live, we have 2 C4FM repeaters, 0 DMR and 0 D-STAR, so the FT-70DR's C4FM compatibility is a nice feature. $\endgroup$ Mar 4 '18 at 4:44

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