Update: pricing and user manuals can be found here.

Yaesu FT-991 is the next upcoming model from Yaesu, as the replacement for the recently discontinued FT-897. Highlights include 3.5″ TFT touch display, a spectrum scope, 32-bit IF DSP, internal antenna tuner and C4FM.

 Released specs so far for the Yaesu FT-991:

– 160 Meters through 70 Centimeters – SSB/CW/FM/C4FM Digital/AM/RTTY/PSK
– 100 Watts (2 Meter / 70 Centimeter: 50 Watts) of Solid Performance
– 3.5 inch TFT Full-Color Touch Panel Operation for Superior Operability and Visibility
– High Speed Spectrum Scope with ASC (Automatic Spectrum-Scope Control) built-in
– Roofing Filter 3 kHz and 15 kHz
– High Accuracy TCXO ±0.5 ppm and high resolution DDS and PLL local oscillator
– 32-bit High Speed Floating Point IF DSP
– IF WIDTH and IF SHIFT provides great QRM Rejection
– CONTOUR, DNR, IF Notch and APF (Audio Peak Filter, CW only)
– 160 – 6 Meters High Speed Automatic Antenna Tuner included
– 224*80*253mm, 4.3 Kg

To be honest, the TFT display on the FT-991 looks super, expecially when comparing to the FT-897, so this is definetely a plus. The touchscreen is only useful on devices entertainment-oriented, so it will probably be between useless and annoying when it won’t work if you have wet or dirty hands, when wearing gloves or when you’re trying to press a button while looking somewhere else.

The spectrum scope is useless on every transceiver i’ve seen it implemented because of the abysmal refresh rate and it will probably remain just a useless toy here as well; unless of course it has at least 25fps and work while the other functions aren’t affected (not like on previous generation where when spectrum scope is on the AUDIO IS OFF).

32-bit IF DSP: sounds fine, but here it really depends on how well it performs, so until I see it at work I can’t say anything. I still wish big manufacturers would realise this is decades old technology and make these fully SDR already but oh well, there are small manufacturers way ahead of the curve.

Internal tuner: this is a must on mobile/field day equipment, but only now a manufacturer gets it. Actually, the Yaesu FT-450 also had a tuner or option for a tuner, as well as the Kenwood TS-480SAT, but those are a superior (bigger, heavier) class.

C4FM: plainly stupid attempt to implement commercial technology in ham radio equipment. Instead of working on the really outdated RF chain, they waste their time with this. Disappointed.

It appears that there’s no internal space in the FT-991 for batteries like on the FT-897, good; in portable you’ll use external batteries anyway, in home or mobile use it’s just a waste of space.

I really like the USB connection; just like the tuner, it’s not something special but something that’s normal to be there, like the steering wheel on a car, but still there are products without it.