This review is intended for those, like me who may be in the market for a new detector and want to see some ďreal worldĒ comparisons. This thread isnít for the extremists to whine how theirs is the only one to have and all others suck, so go away. Scientific tests are great to compare potentials under like conditions, but in the real world cops donít park at the same angle in the same spot everyday. They donít set the radar gun on a tripod; itís in their lap or the front seat. We all donít live in the same place. This review should be taken for what it is and added to other such reviews, depending on what youíre looking for, where you live and how you drive. This one compares my several year old escort 8500(non x50) to my new v1 1.8 with pop2.
I noticed some others have been giving good true life reviews, such as happya$$, and others. Thatís what we want to see, to make an informed decision. My review will be a bit different, since x band isnít in use around here (if it still is RadarRoy, please correct me), and I live in a different state, etc.
Hereís my info and uses:
I live in So. Arizona now and I drive a full sized 4x4 (So range may be different then in a small car). I live in a somewhat rural are, but do go into the middle of the city regularly. I take a lot of road trips, so my main concern is highway usage, but I donít want it driving me nuts in town either. I travel through Arizona and Nevada, to name a few, so I have been looking to upgrade to something with pop protection and hopefully even more long range protection. Also several departments have and are getting laser units, so any added protection with that the better. Iíve owned detectors for twenty years, back to my original bulky escort with the bar graph and yellow light. Iíve always owned escorts, (solo, 7500, and 8500) and they have saved me on many an occasion. The overall consensus is that bel, escort and V1 are the top three (the order changes depending on who you ask, but all three will serve you well). I canít compare the bels since Iíve never had one, so Iíll stick to these two.
Iíve only had two days of use, so Iíll give my initial impressions and then report back with updates and more info. If anybody wants to add their experiences even with different ones, or links to other personal reviews, by all means do so. Itíll make it easier on others to find personal reviews and lend in there decision.
Aside from pop protection I have wanted some kind of directional indicator for many years, so I just got a V1. I have a few weeks to compare and decide for my 30-day money back guarantee. Budget was more of a concern back then, so I went with the 8500. Either would have been a good choice. I donít have an x50 for comparison, so some things may be different (newer). Also someone on a tight budget who doesnít need pop may decide a used 8500 is the one for them.
For the tests I have them high in the windshield, one on each side of the rear view mirror. Where applicable I will test one at a time on the same side. (Drivers)
1. Packaging. The 8500 comes with a hard cover, the V1 costs extra. Iíve never had a need for one so itís personal choice.
2. Mounting. The 8500 has a smaller bracket than the V1. Iím used to leaving the bracket at the top of the windshield, so the 8500 is easier to slide on and off one handed. The V1 is a bigger bracket but seems overall a little more sturdy. The V1 does have a bar on the suction cups though, so if you like taking that and the detector off, the V1 bracket is quicker/easier. Where I mount, it is fairly tight, so the V1 is a little more of a pain to make sure the cups are tight with it attached. Iíll update on this once I use it more.
3. I hardwire, so I use the concealed display. I do like the V1ís better. It gives much more info. The 8500 only has a red flashing light. (Along with mute button and green power indicator) on its concealed display. Both have good, distinct audio indicators.