The Baofengs arenít useless, IMO. Theyíre REALLY hard to program without a cable and CHIRP, but once programmed theyíre reasonably competent, pretty rugged, have good battery life, and almost disposable in price.

I handed out a few of them at a mass casualty car wreck hoping to get them back but not worried about it ó all of them came back to me.

Blastís radio is similarly hard to program and frankly not incredibly easy to use, but itís ridiculously inexpensive and works well once programmed and the quirks are learned. I was able to hit a repeater over 50 miles away backpack mobile with a roll-up J-pole about 30 feet in the air and have a decent QSO with it. If I were made of money would it be my top choice? No. But for an inexpensive 70cm/2M mobile setup itís small and cheap.