2010 Radar Detector Buyer's Guide
Here are the first four bulleted points of one site's description of the Whistler XTR-690SE:
Anyone who has shopped for a radar detector has probably noticed something about the descriptions of features and attributes: They're mostly incomprehensible.
- blue Lcd Text Display With Auto Dim/dark Modes And Led Periscope
- real Voice Alerts With Quiet/auto Quiet Mode
- 360 degree Total Band Protection Including Pop Mode Radar
- compass And Battery Life Meter
Got all that? Okay, here's another site's partial descriptive prose of the competing Cobra XRS-9955 model:
- Super-Extreme range technology provide [sic] maximum detection range
- Detects Stalker, Speedlaser, and Spectre IV lidar
- IntelliMute Pro RDD feature makes this detector "undetectable"
- Voice alerts of specific band detected
Try to look past the misspellings and grammatical errors and then ask yourself if you've learned enough to make an informed buying decision. Not yet? Don't feel bad; you're not alone.
It's clear that whomever wrote this stuff is clueless about the subject. For example, "360-degree protection" is meaningless. Neither radar nor lasers work at off-angles; signals coming from other than nearly dead-on are of no consequence and can be ignored.
"Led Periscope"? Veteran U-boat commanders might find this feature attractive. But it's actually a pair of blue light-emitting diodes (LED) that flash alternately during an alert.
"Spectre IV lidar"? It doesn't exist. The Spectre (Stalcar) is an Australian-made radar detector detector. Cobra's purported solution to evading detection by this RDD is called IntelliMute Pro. It works, but there's a huge downside risk. I'd suggest reading the small print before contemplating the use of this feature. There's only one radar detector with total immunity to the current Spectre Mk IV and Mk IV-Plus RDD: the BEL (Beltronics) STi Driver. Every other detector can be detected.
And the list goes on. If you're trying to sort through this morass of bewildering acronyms and puzzling claims, you may first want to read my 2010 Radar Detector Buyer's Guide. Look at it as the equivalent of Google Translate, a quick-reference guide that will help you make sense of the incomprehensible.