I got my licence on 23rd December 2016 and made my first ever QSO (other than in the Foundation training) at 12:06 to 12:09 on 27 December via the GB3HD 70cm repeater.
My only current radio is a Baofeng UV5R with just the supplied rubber-duck aerial. From our house we have a good takeoff to the south-west and this little handheld proved itself nicely. It puts out 4.5W on 70cm according to a power meter into a dummy load. GB3HD is almost 18 miles line of sight and over a hill but it made it fine with good modulation. Not bad for such a wee thing and only £21!