Categories: News

Icom ID-52 VHF/UHF D-Star Handheld Announced

Icom ID-52 is the latest VHF/UHF D-Star handheld transceiver released by Icom and it’s meant to replace the recently discontinued ID-51PLUS2. As expected, the USA version will be dubbed IC-52A while the European market counterpart will be ID-52E.

The Icom ID52A/E follows in the footsteps of the ID-51, with similar layout and slightly larger size. The most obvious difference is the display, as a more recent 2.3″ color display with has replaced the (long dated) 1.7″ dot matrix used in the previous model. The new screen uses transflective technology, which improves visibility in bright sunlight. Usually a light sensor is used with transflective displays to allow automated on-the-fly adjustments of brightness depending on ambient light, but we don’t know yet if Icom has indeed implemented this.

Icom ID-52 (left) next to the previous generation ID-51 PLUS2

Another welcome addition is Bluetooth, enabling connection to audio headsets, image transfer and remote control; USB charging is also finally here. Excuse me if I won’t be jumping up for joy because amateur radio manufacturers are finally discovering technology from 15 years ago.

In the Icom ID-52 you will also see small improvements over the ID-51 like wider airband coverage, 750mW of audio power instead of 400mW and improved D-STAR functionality that allows sending pictures. “Simultaneous reception in V/V, U/U, V/U or DV/DV” seems to be interesting; it’s still not full-duplex though. We still get IPX7 ingress protection (1m depth for 30 minutes), internal GPS receiver, SD card slot, the DR function and Terminal/Access Point modes.

There is no information yet about the price, but we can expect something around (unofficial and purely personal estimation) US$450 at launch. No words on availablity either.

The big fat elephant in the room is the fact that there is no mention of the screen being a touch screen. If Icom is still relying on the same clunky, outdated user interface in the ID-51 (a joystick and a few buttons) for a product announced in 2020 … the disappointment is off the scale.

Razvan: Interested in computers, electronics, building radio equipment, portable/SOTA operations and SDR. I think amateur radio is all about building, experimenting and testing new stuff. Licensed M0HZH / YO9IRF.

View Comments (16)

  • I wont be buying any €€€ Icoms anymore.
    The latest id51 had a shitty tiny battery of 1800mAh. And no updates.

    Yaesu, Anytone,Retevis are better ht's with bigger batteries for less money. For me the big battery is important.

    I need HT that can run a whole day, not like icom 4hours. Besides that, D-Star is dead. Fusiun and DMR are more used.

    And let's not forget Hamvoip Allstar with clear perfect audio. With death star you cant hear anything. Too small bandwidth on dstar.

    Why would you spend 500 euro on a tiny id52 if you can have 2 Anytones or Yaesu's. And still have some money for beer.

  • I have an Anytone AT878UV that can transcode to D-Star, Fusion, P25 & NXDN using TG 9 using my openSpot3 hotspot. This is the perfect combination & most cost effective.

    • I've tried to work with the DPRS and there hasn't been enough coverage with the repeater system to be effective. APRS is the best system working today. If they want to keep up with Kenwood it needs to be work both ways.

  • I'm a huge fan of the ID-51 and have owned multiple samples of every version. I wholeheartedly disagree in the touchscreen, I don't want it! The buttons appear to be exactly the same, so I'd guess it isn't touchscreen :) de W2GT

  • I'll stay with the Boafeng UV-5R 8watt Dual Band. Even though it doesn't have bluetooth built in but I bought the dongle. The Boafeng does the job for me, I chat easily all over buffalo NY with no problems and excellent on repeaters.

  • I‘m surprised to read the comments about how bad the features of the 51 in comparison to the mentioned DMR/FM radios are.
    Beg your pardon? The receiver of the 51 is off the scale better than any of the mentioned units! These gentlemen must have never owned a 51 or only used it next to their hotspot or local repeater. While I totally agree regarding features, the important ones are so much better than most of the cheaper DMR radios, especially the Anytone which has a really lousy RX!
    I personally hope to see a clever implemented touchscreen. The FT-3 menu is overloaded, a ID-5100/51 like menu with the currently selected button bigger (knob/touch combination) would be grat.
    Let’s see what’s coming. Just the fancy color display, Bluetooth and a louder speaker don’t justify the upgrade from the latest 51 imho.

    73 de Tobias

    • There is nothing wrong with Yaesu's FT3DR - A good, easy to operate radio
      Kenwood's D74 other than the battery life per use which Kenwood could fix if they wanted to. (They're really in the battery business)
      I also own Anytone's 878UV with GPS and Bluetooth, not bad either.
      Waiting as long as we did for Icom to make a better HT... I am hopeful that they will get it right. Color screens without features and ease of operation are useless.
      Kenwood makes the best... which I have owned (2).... the lack of Battery Life is a deal breaker for me.
      I have the new Icom on reservation with HRO... I am hopeful I will be nice... The latest Icom HT that I have purchased is the IC V86... over priced. It does reach out a little farther with 7 watts and the improved antenna equals better reception, and it has loud audio

  • Can't believe that Icom is sticking with d-star .I thought they were in business to maximize their profit .

    • You won't believe it, but there are other countries besides the USA, D-Star is very common and popular here in DL, DMR is simply too complex for most and the modulation of DMR is terrible. And when I hear the name Baofeng or Anytone I get upset and the question arises whether you can even radio with these Japanese backs, although they do not keep the bandwidths and produce interference without end!
      Vy 73 DO9JBL

  • Well does that mean you can communicate thru the Bluetooth or still need a cable to andriod.It sounds good enough I would try.Depending on price

  • I am in a signal dip with hills on all sides of my home. The kenwood th D74 has been an excellent first radio. Currently getting my general license ticket and have reserved the Icom 52.
    I’m using the time during the solar minimum to learn which antennas are the best and to gain more experience with the ham radio hobby.

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