Radar Detector Recommendation for nyj7907

nyj7907

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What kind of vehicle you have?
2019 Buick Enclave

Do you want a remote mount or windshield mount detector?
Windshield

What's your budget?
$500

Where do you live and where do you primarily drive?
Chicagoland area but want mainly for longer drives (Illinois to Florida soon)

How do you drive?
Typically 10-15 MPH over the limit but typically top out around 75-80 MPH

What is your daily drive like?
Not getting radar for daily driving (suburban driving and don't need it)

How long you have been using countermeasures, if at all?
Never

What is the terrain like where you normally drive?
Never

Are there red light and/or speed cams in your area?
Yes

Do you need / prefer a GPS enabled unit?
Yes

Are you willing/do you want to use your phone to pair with the RD?
Yes

What kind of device do you own or would use for your detector?
Android, iOS

Do you face MRCD and/or MRCT in your area?
Unsure

If you have any preconceived notions or thoughts about RDs, please tell us how long you've been using RDs or other units? etc. -- or any other relevant info you think might be important, let us know that as well.
I'm looking to get this device for our upcoming drive from Illinois to Florida. Assuming it works well I would then want it for occasional drives from Chicago to Northern Wisconsin. From reading this forum been mainly considering Uniden R3 vs. R7 vs. Escort Max 360. I'm trying to understand the importance of "arrows" to decide if the R3 will cut it. I understand that it tells where the radar is coming from but why does that matter? Don't most people just jam the brakes as soon as the device starts beeping? Also regarding pairing a phone, again why is that important? What additional features do you get from pairing a phone and are you then not able to use the phone when it is paired? Thanks.
 

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From reading this forum been mainly considering Uniden R3 vs. R7 vs. Escort Max 360. I'm trying to understand the importance of "arrows" to decide if the R3 will cut it. I understand that it tells where the radar is coming from but why does that matter? Don't most people just jam the brakes as soon as the device starts beeping? Also regarding pairing a phone, again why is that important? What additional features do you get from pairing a phone and are you then not able to use the phone when it is paired? Thanks.
To your questions:

Arrows: they are super nice to have when assessing the threat level of an alert and general situation awareness. I have run both with them and without, and I very much prefer to have them.

Classic example would be, you get a faint blip of Ka, not very strong. If it's ahead, you're worried about a possible speed trap. Maybe the cop turned his radar on to clock someone and then right back off. (Instant-On or I/O for short). In that case you might not get another blip until you're right in his crosshairs. So you have to either go the speed limit until you see a cop, or until you decide that if there actually was a cop ahead you would have to have gone by him already. Meanwhile the beep could have come from something completely off the highway, like a local cop in some tiny town you just rolled past on the interstate.

If it's behind, you're maybe a little more alert and checking your mirrors a little more often but basically can keep the hammer down.

Arrows are extra nice for the type of use that you're talking about: road trips where you're not in your "home" territory. If you know the terrain and the habits of your local cops, arrows may be less important. "Oh, here's a beep by this bridge. Probably that county cop who likes to hide around that curve up there. Yep, sure enough, there he is." WITHOUT that type of local knowledge/context, a beep is just a nebulous threat (or non-threat) in some direction somewhere in a fairly large radius around you.

Jam the brakes at the first beep: No. You will drive yourself insane. False alerts are a fact of life right now with all the signal pollution out there. If you're REALLLY flying, then yes, you might have to brake for everything. But at +15, no. Generally you'd ease down a little bit and assess the threat. And with arrows, you'll know which way to be looking.

Pairing a phone: The Valentine One Gen 2 is one of the best detectors on the market. But it needs to pair with a phone to use the phone's GPS if you want GPS features. When paired with a phone the V1G2 does "GPS stuff" just as well or in some cases even better vs. anything on the market. But if a user can't or won't pair with a smartphone, that detector may not be an option for their needs.

I would not try to tell you that the R3 "wouldn't cut it." It's a very good detector and a great value at the price. But particularly for road trip use where you're not in familiar terrain, the extra money for the R7 would be well spent. Arrows are knowledge, and knowledge is power.

I would also consider the V1G2 for you, paired with the android app JBV1. That's also within your budget, has arrows, and is stronger than the R7 in some ways, not as strong in others.

The Max360 could work for you. The Valentine and Unidens have generally stronger performance, so for me it wouldn't be a top choice. Still a solid detector in its own right though.
 

nyj7907

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Thanks for the response. That makes sense regarding the arrows. Will the V1G2 automatically pair with a phone or does it need to be connected manually each time? Also, where can it be bought? I want something with a good return policy (thinking Amazon or Best Buy) in case we don't find it useful we can return it. Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the response. That makes sense regarding the arrows. Will the V1G2 automatically pair with a phone or does it need to be connected manually each time? Also, where can it be bought? I want something with a good return policy (thinking Amazon or Best Buy) in case we don't find it useful we can return it. Thanks!
Glad if that helps!

Haven't done it myself, but from reading people's experiences it's automatic once set up the first time. The detector has bluetooth built in so it's all fairly seamless.

If you're buying a V1, always buy directly from Valentine Research.

If you do, their warranty and 30 day trial period are very good, and customer support is strong. They're a little "old-school" in some ways, like always wanting to sell directly to the customer and being more responsive to phone calls vs emails if you have a question. But as long as you don't mind those minor idiosyncrasies of a small(er) business that's still run by the original founder/mastermind, they tend to take really good care of their customers. (I bought an original V1 and had nothing but good experience in all communications with the company.)

Recent example: https://www.rdforum.org/threads/108578/

There are some others on here like @Bloovy One who can tell you everything you'd ever want to know about Valentine and then some. :)
 

nyj7907

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Thanks. Saw on another thread that Valentine is out of the V1G2 until later in March so unfortunately it won't work as we leave for our road trip before then. I guess that brings it down to likely the R7.
 

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Thanks. Saw on another thread that Valentine is out of the V1G2 until later in March so unfortunately it won't work as we leave for our road trip before then. I guess that brings it down to likely the R7.
That would be a good choice. I recently bought an R7 from a third party seller on Amazon for $424.69 plus tax which is a pretty good deal for a new one. You don't need to pair it with a phone either so there is that. And welcome to the Forum!
 

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Thanks. Saw on another thread that Valentine is out of the V1G2 until later in March so unfortunately it won't work as we leave for our road trip before then. I guess that brings it down to likely the R7.
R7 is a great pick. It will serve you well.
 

nyj7907

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Thanks for the recommendations. The R7 just became available on Amazon with Prime (it was only available by third party sellers before). Just pulled the trigger. I get 30 days to evaluate it which gives me some time both before and after my road trip so I can also experience it in my home area. Very excited to see how it works!
 

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