the vx7r is compact yet works great,using tuned 2ft twig rangeup to 25-30 miles ,plugged into w30 on roof,same range,reports as my 897 on 5 watts.reception good and clear.very good value for money.
It retired my FT-60E as an every day carry. It came in used and fairly bad modded condition. Doing the soldering bridges and factory resetting it, made the automatic repeater shift work again.
I have bought it to have a 6m capable radio till I find a good VX-8 and now I wouldn't trade it for a VX-8 tri bander equipped with GPS, because it could(!!!) do:
-6m german army band
-4m german EMS/FD/Police bands (obsolete)
-3m broadcasting bands
-2m german EMS/FD/Police bands (deprecated)
-2m aviation bands (AM TX!)
-2m maritime bands
-2m amateur radio bands
-2m freenet band (like pmr)
-70cm amateur radio bands
-70cm PMR bands
-70cm LPD bands (like pmr)
which makes it pretty apocalypse worthy. There's no chance being not heard when in distress. Just change or build antennas to send on 3 or 4m and you're all set. I would even bet on it that I was heard within minutes even when cast away on some island by the very next aircraft passing.
All mentioned bands except amateur radio bands were mentioned as "would work". Unless in distress it's unlawful operating the rig on these bands and that's why I don't do it.