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Table of Contents
- 5 Best Radar Detectors 2017 and 2018 (Chart)
- Radar Detector Reviews For BEST-OF-THE-BEST Performers
- Now, On A Budget? No Problem!
- Lastly, What if it’s Illegal Where I Am?
- Let’s Conclude This Guide
UPDATED for 2017 & 2018: Do you anywhere in the United States, Canada, Mexico, UK or Australia? If so, you’ve come across police officers. However, unless they are hiding in the bushes, sitting on the side of the road, or sitting in between a two-sided highway, you’ll never know whether they are using their radar.
Until now, this guide will show you the best radar detectors to buy for all-out performance, features, price, and durability. There aren’t 10 or 15 different ones, or any cheap radar detectors… as the BEST of the BEST are very few.
Here’s a CHART, which features the top 5 I’ve put together for you using the criteria mentioned above.
NOTE: Using the criteria, I’ll give it a score of 1 to 5 stars (1 being BAD and 5 being GREAT). After looking at the chart, I noted down the radar detector reviews in brief 150-200 word paragraphs to give you a better understanding on WHY I picked them and what the main PROs and CONs are.
5 Best Radar Detectors 2017 and 2018 (Chart)
|Radar Detector Name:||Main Strength:||Main Features:|
Extreme Long Range Detection
Accurate Detection Arrows
Superb Long Range Detection
Redenso PRO SE
Super Small & Powerful
NOTE: We have a few other buyer’s guide you’ll enjoy reading. Just like radar, laser or lidar is a big threat. We have a guide on the best laser jammers to buy. In addition, letting others know of upcoming police ahead, we put together a guide on the best CB radios to have in your vehicles, which work hand-in-hand with good quality police scanners (usually handheld).
Radar Detector Reviews For BEST-OF-THE-BEST Performers
#1. Uniden R3 – Best Radar Detector for LONG RANGE DETECTION and For The Money
Out of nowhere, Uniden introduced their LRD series and shook the whole radar detector community. Though the cheapest one was just under 100 dollars, their most expensive one (LRD9) was just under 220 dollars on average and managed to outperform $400+ models in a lot of cases. Due to that, they discontinued them and repriced their new entry-level detectors to DFR6 and DFR7 with equally good performance.
With all the tests for K and KA bands, Uniden R3 outperforms the previous long-range detector (Escort Redline) by a fair margin, while still managing to have MORE features and lower price. It may be new still in 2017 so somethings will be cleared out. However, from a company that is known for making good quality electronics, this R3 is looking VERY good.
Here are the MAIN features that will set this detector apart:
- Outperforms 99% of the current windshield radar detectors. This thing has the AMAZING range for K & KA band.
- GPS Enabled with red light camera alerts. This feature will let you lock out false K band, and give you a heads up on approaching red light speed camera traps.
- Free updated GPS database and quiet ride auto mute. Like in Waze, there’s a free database which lets you stay up to date on the newest red light cameras and stationary speed traps. Auto mute lets you mute out likely-false radar signals.
- An actual LED screen, with high resolution. The days of simple one color LED screens are over, this screen means business and is actually visually appealing.
- 100% Undetectable to the latest “Radar Detector Detectors”. That means, using in places where radar detectors are outlawed will be no problem. Undetectable to the old VG-2 and the newest Spectre RDD’s.
- Good Value. This is by far the best radar detector for the money, especially when you compare it to the prices of all the others in this list.
The only negative thing we can say about this detector is the alert noise (may take some getting used to), but that’s a subjective thing and may not be a problem for most. Overall though, this is our #1 best radar detector without a doubt.
#2. Valentine One (V1) – Accurate Police Radar Detector
The V1 radar detector makes it into our list unsurprisingly. It has one in most lists for years now and for good reason. Ever wonder why it has barely dropped in price since it first came out to the mass market?
The simple answer is because it works.
The Valentine One radar detector has great performance for being a windshield mount styled unit. The front antenna does a great job at picking up K and KA band (and especially li-dar or laser). The rear antenna does an almost equally good job. It’s priced not too extreme, allowing for most to afford it and use it for years.
It’s #2 because it’s a safe bet, it gives good enough performance to make you have an adequate level of protection. Below are the MAIN features & benefits of this radar detector.
- Fantastic radar and laser detection all-around. It’s not the long-range king, but with right customization, it can come very close. Out of the box, sensitivity is good and you can’t complain.
- It features 360% radar detection using arrows. There are two main antennas on the front and back, giving you information on WHERE the radar or laser signal is coming from.
- Extensive options and customization (using YaV1 Android App). Using this will let you almost 2X the performance by enabling custom sweeps. You can selectively remove which band frequency you’d like to ignore (usually improving radar sensitivity).
- Simple design and usability. There is no high-resolution LED screens. There’s just one screen with 10-20 little red led lights showing you different options. It does not stand out much at night, as it does not generate much light in the first place.
- Frequent updates and a supportive community. The V1 has undoubtedly, the biggest fan base. It’s not too common for an electronic device to last for years without fail, the V1 does it quite well in most cases.
- Resale value is GREAT. Not many electronics can resell close or to above what they sold for brand new, but the V1 does it time and time again.
#3. Escort Redline – Best Undetectable Radar Detector To Buy
This one comes as #3 only because it has not as many features as the above two, but aside from that, it is number two in all-out performance. The Escort Redline has been on the market for almost 10 years, and it has been hailed as the “Long-Range King” for good reason. With recent addition the band-segmentation, you can now segment out certain radar frequencies to improve performance our radar detection for KA band.
When it comes down to ease of use, it’s VERY easy to setup and gets running. Below, are the MAIN features and benefits.
- It has EXCELLENT range for K and KA band. Until the Uniden R1 and R3 came out, it was the king and is still a fairly close second. For the price and its reputation, it is guaranteed you’ll get solid performance out on the road.
- It’s a 100% undetectable radar detector to all RDD’s. Like the R1 and R3, the Redline is immune to all radar detector detectors, even the most updated Specter Elite models.
- It’s easy to setup and gets running. Without a doubt, it’s one of the easiest to setup, with less than 15 options to sort through.
- Alert sounds are great and ramp up according to REAL radar intensity. The alert sounds for K and KA band ramp up properly and not too aggressively. This is a BIG plus when you’re actually approaching the radar source.
The only downside with this detector, since it’s designed for sheer long-range performance, is that it alerts to many false K band alerts. Pairing it up with Escort Live will do wonders, we recommend it highly regardless, especially for highway travelers and people living in Virginia.
#4. Escort Max360 w/Direction Arrows Radar Detector
Overall, it packs MANY features and has a similar look like the R3 mentioned as the #1. However, let us be clear, it’s performance is not anywhere near the level of the R3. Still, the Max360 does a fantastic job at giving you a great understanding of where the radar source is coming from, as well as sensitive to real radar sources.
Below, we will cover the most important features and benefits that come along with the Escort Max360.
- GPS Enabled with red light camera warning system. Just like most GPS enabled detectors, this one lets you lock out false alerts and warns you when approaching fixed and red light speed cameras.
- 360 Degree Detection. You can see who is shooting radar at you from the front, back, or sides.
- You can pair it up with Escort Live via Bluetooth. You can see everything your detector does, through your tablet or mobile phone screen.
- Great and sleek design. You can’t go wrong with this one, although being a little bulky, it won’t look bad on your windshield.
The only downside I’ve noticed is that for the price, cheaper detectors like above outperform it.
#5. Redenso XP Radar Detector
Redenso is a new kid on the block, at least in the United States, it is. It has AMAZING performance out of the box and is 50% smaller than any of the radar detectors mentioned above. How can that be?
Not sure, but they do use their space wisely, and I give them props for that. What you really want to know is why to get this one. In the list right below, I will mention the most important features that come along with it, as well as benefits.
- It’s 50% smaller than its competition. Being on the windshield makes it GOOD for being small, and its performance does not lack because of it.
- Performance against K & KA band is outstanding. For being a small unit it does extremely well against commonly used radar frequencies.
- Many settings & GPS Enabled. There are many ways to make it perform better (like disabling frequencies that are not used in your area). Many ways to customize it on the inside, and also use GPS to see your true live speed and fixed speed traps.
- 2-year manufacturer warranty is included (no paying extra required). With some of today’s BIG radar detector companies being known for lacking in the customer service area, Redenso does not lack, it’s quite good actually.
Now, On A Budget? No Problem!
With radar detectors, the budget does not mean a good thing. Usually the cheaper the detector, the worse it will perform because the research and parts that go into the detector, are of low quality or are just not designed to perform well. Luckily, there are some radar detectors that will do quite well for the price they are at. So here’s a list of the best radar detectors for under the given price ranges.
The Best Radar Detectors Under 300 US Dollars
Assuming you have somewhere between 200 and 300 dollars to spend on a radar detector, you should buy the Uniden DFR7. This one has great internals giving an impressive performance (almost on par with the V1). There’s GPS enabled, which lets you lock out false alerts and locate fixed speed traps (using the free database).
And in terms of looks, the LCD screen gives you great white/gray letters that are very easy to read during both day and night time.
The Best Radar Detectors Under 200 US Dollars
Barely making it to this price category of under 200, the Uniden DFR6 is pretty much the same detector but without GPS feature. Fantastic performance, but no GPS. Depending on who you are, the GPS feature will make or break your buying decision.
The Best Radar Detectors Under 100 US Dollars
For this price range don’t expect anything extraordinary, it may look shiny and cool, but it probably won’t perform how you want. Under 100, the Cobra SPX 7800BT. It has some useful features and detects K & KA band “okay” at best.
Look for performance on very flat surfaces (like deserts and grasslands, think Oklahoma and Utah salt flats).
Lastly, What if it’s Illegal Where I Am?
This one isn’t tough to answer, especially if you’re living in the United States or Canada. In most cases, these laws exist for revenue generation and there isn’t any real legit argument you can put forward for why the state or province has radar detectors placed under the “illegal” category.
Radar detectors in Virginia back in the day were taken away from you, followed by a ticket. Most provinces in Canada (central to eastern parts), had laws with those kinds of consequences. Luckily, companies started to combat this by developing undetectable radar detectors for consumer use.
Top 3 Stealth & Undetectable RD’s to Buy To Stay Clear from Radar Detector Detectors
To stay hidden from radar detector detectors. Here’s the top 3 to buy if you want something simple to mount on your windshield:
- Escort Redline
- Beltronics STI Magnum
- Uniden R1 & R3
These range from $350-$500 but have exceptionally good performance, you won’t be disappointed.
NOTE #2: Though not directly related to this guide, you may want to consider having a good quality car navigation gps, along with a hd dashboard camera (that you can hardwire ideally). Those two things will make your navigation and driving experience a bit better.
Let’s Conclude This Guide
Hopefully, we helped you find the best radar detectors on the market. Though there are only 5 radar detector reviews, we did this on purpose to ensure you only see the top rated ones for the 5 most important price categories. Pick up police using these devices, install them discreetly in your car, and have a level of protection that most don’t have.