It is hard for even me to believe that over the last 5 months, I have owned 4 different radar detectors. Here are my results. Please note that I am a non technical user, and my findings are based on my own experiences and opinions. I'm not interested in ripping apart a detector to find out how it works; I just want it to work when I need it most. Also, I am a serious speeder (yes, I admit it). I regularly go 10 to 20 mph over the PSL (never in residential areas or parking lots of course).
While my hat is off to those with an electronic engineering background on here who have taken the time to post technical details of different detectors, my purpose here is to post the results I have noticed while using the detectors in my regular driving. I hope this is helpful to some of you.
So here we go:
9500i--Nice idea, but no need to repeat all the issues with ramp-up (maybe fixed on newer releases?), the true-lock questions and the bad mounting clip. But the real problem I had is I am certain it missed some LEO hits with not much distance and not a great road curve. Sure, the filtering of false alerts makes this a quiet detector, and this may be the right way to go for some of you. I do not trust this detector, and tried and returned 2 of them before giving up. This item needs to be taken off the market and completely overhauled before I would try it again.
STi Driver--The detector is the most chatty and annoying detector I have ever used, even in City mode. It does perform well in giving warnings in most situations, and the laser alert does work (you better use a jammer, license plate cover and the Veil paint too though or you will get a ticket). The 33.8 bug and the fix may be ok, but do not leave me feeling very secure. The Bel RX65 performs just as well for less money, unless you really need the stealth feature.
Bel RX65--Good all around detector. Lots of falsies, annoying to the point of ignoring the real warnings. But, still, a solid unit that we use on our second car.
Valentine One (V1)--I do not want to come off sounding like some of the V1 fanatics on this forum, who rave about the device as if it were some kind of divine intervention. But, this is the best detector in my experience, and from that standpoint, the V1 fan club is right. It has the least amount of false alerts except for the 9500i, much greater range than anything else currently on the market, and is very easy to use. I am not sure what some critics are referring to when they talk about the complicated programming of the V1. Either they don't know what they are talking about and have never used the product, or they have an older model. I am using the 1.8 in Advanced Logic mode and if using this is too difficult for some, then my best advice is to just observe the PSL. I am sure there will be issues with this product, as a detector is always imperfect. Only going the PSL will guarantee no speeding tickets. But, from my on the street results, the V1 is the best currently available.
Some chattiness observed in the V1 even in Advanced Logic mode, but I don't want to miss the alert that keeps me from getting a ticket, so there is always going to be a trade-off.