Newbie needs hand-held advice!

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Aug 26, 2014
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hello, this is my 1st post here, hopefully it's in the correct place!

I'm about to do my ham exams, and become "officially" a ham operator, but in the mean time, I'm considering purchasing one of those Chinese cheap hand-held radios for sale on ebay for now.

I'm overwhelmed by the amount of different brands and features available, so I'm not sure which are the best choice to make.

Currently I'm looking at Baofeng, Tonfa, Pofung, TYT, Zastone, Puxing, and a few other brands on ebay.

Most of them are 136-174 / 400-480MHz but some are 136-174MHz&400-520MHz. Is the additional band helpful in the 520MHz ones?

I'm actually not sure what is even on these frequencies to listen to, but as a newbie I'm learning all I can. I'm hoping this can at the very least be good for use in an emergency, I'm in Nova Scotia Canada BTW :)

I actually already purchased a radio on ebay, but it hasn't arrived yet, and I realize that my choice may have been too hasty after seeing many other radios with more/better features. The one I bought is a Zastone 136-174MHz&400-520MHz ZT-V8A.

I do plan on buying more handhelds, but first I need to know what are recommended, and which are not. I've read some reviews online, but the one I bought does not seem to have any.

So of these cheap Chinese hand-helds, are some better than others? I will buy better name brands when i can afford them, but for now, I just want to try this out and see how it goes.
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