I been looking into the new yaesu ft3 and the kenwood D74E, there both pretty highly priced and the kenwood even more .
For operators that have used both what is main advantages of each radio ?
Not looking just for sota , but the GPS, aprs use and a general handheld when out walking or at home, along with the extra having a play with the digital side also which will require a hotspot of some means .
Bear in mind that APRS funtionality relies on good local infrastructure - and there is little or none in most of the UK. I take my own along for SOTA and I run an igate from my home too. There is also very little simplex DV activity. I am sure that both would be fun to use but you might end up just using using the basic FM features after a while.
Mobile digipeaters are not licenceable in the UK. Also it relies on your car having RF access to the APRS network - so you have the same problem with limited infrastructure. A mobile iGate is more useable as mobile data coverage is far better than APRS infrastructure coverage.
I am just finishing my purchase for the same thing. I went with the D74 over the FT3. I have read reports and got first hand comments about the easy of use for APRS, out of 3 people, I got all 3 saying D74.
I bought a gently used FT1XD to save $'s. I made the mistake of not down-loading and reading the user guide first. Classic Yaesu, the WORST user interface I have ever used. Utter rubbish IMO.
I cabled my smartphone with APRSdroid to my HT. Good interface, Ok once you set the audio levels, but the cables are quite clunky. Maybe try an old small basic cheap used smartfone w/o cell service just to get APRSdroid?
Alerts + CW + RBNhole works pretty well except on 60m that sometimes has few CW skimmers online nearby. Very cost effective but requires CW.