Thursday, January 20, 2011

Escort Passport 9500ix: GPS vs. Conventional Radar Detector Technology

Escort RedLine

"What's the best radar detector, the Escort Passport 9500ix or the Escort RedLIne?" is a question I field on a daily basis. And I always answer, "It depends."

These two radar detectors have very different missions in life. So the choice depends on a host of variables, not least of which are the driver's desire for industry-best radar detection range, his tolerance for false alarms and if there's an interest in combatting red light and speed cameras.

But try explaining the differences  to a neophyte. The recently introduced GPS-enabled radar detector is one of the least-understood pieces of mobile electronics I've seen in years. Mention GPS in the same breath as radar detector and confusion often reigns. Mobile GPS-based navigation systems have become so ubiquitous that many assume that GPS in a radar detector must likewise be used to assist the wayward. Not so.

GPS lends it the ability to ferret out photo enforcement cameras but more important, GPS is used to limit false alarms. So why is this a big deal? Having driven with and field-tested GPS-enabled detectors since they arrived in 2007, the behavioral differences between conventional detectors, Escort RedLine included, and their GPS-enabled cousins is striking.

But most haven't had the luxury of conducting years-long, side-by-side comparisons of the two technologies. And I've been geting a bit weary of describing the differences. So I did what any proper resident of the 21st-century does to demonstrate a point: I made a video. Check it out and hopefully the differences between the conventional-tech and the GPS radar detector will become clear.