I’m currently evaluating these two handheld transceivers and before to buy one I’ve tried to understand pros and cons of both rtx.
I will summarize here the work of my last two days, since I’ve not found any usefull review that could compare these two portable transceivers. Following comparison is the result of third party opinions i’ve collected on the net, so use this article with caution.
Dimensione and weight
They are pratically the same, Icom first introduced in the marked this model that many other have followed. Kenwood looks lighter.
Audio sound quality
Concerning the onboard audio speaker, Kenwood quality is amazing for clearness, really excellent.
Here ICOM works better, since Kenwood keys are very small and people with large fingers may find problems. Back lighting is good in both transceivers.
Ease of use
The Kenwood is extremely user friendly and easy-to-use. The icom is difficult to setup expecially for newbies
Both will output 5 Watts. Icom offer also 0.500W but the Kenwood offers also the 1.5 W ! Batteries have same amperage, but kenwood outperform for battery duration and recharging time, only 6 hours vs 12 hours of the ICOM
Both comes with their antenna, tuned for the bands they need to operate.
ICOM is much better here, since cover 50/144/430, while TH-F7E is limited to 144/430
Kenwood, outperforms Icom since allow 0,500/ 1300 Mhz while Icom cover only 0,500/999.
Kenwood TH-F7T allow you to listen in both frequencies simultaneously ( dual watch ) Both works in FM/AM/FM-W but Kenwood allow also LSB/USB/CW !
Here in europe price is almost comparable for both transceivers, at the moment of writing this article, flows from 250-350 euros, depending on special prices and offers.