*WARNING lengthy post ahead*
With my 30 day trial period closing in a decision had to be made. Here are MY reasons. No bashing or trashing. This is an honest review of MY particular situation pertaining to MY driving environment. I had to decide whether to keep the 9500i or my V1 (3.858). Others here will have differing views and opinions and I can respect that.
In my comparison (pertaining again to my environment), I have found the following...
1. The 9500i's "marked location" feature is of no use to me. As "Dep" put it, if the brain can tell you where to mark it, then your brain can remind you when you approach it again (for free).
2. The 9500i's "lock-out" feature is nice when you travel throughout a high "non-LEO" signal area (large city) on a regular basis and can be certain what you lock-out is definitely "non-LEO". My driving consists of living in a city under 50,000 and Interstate.
3. The 9500i's "variable speed control" is still in question as to exactly where/when the sensitivity changes. I however like full sensitivity. I don't like the idea of sitting at a stoplight with reduced K band sensitivity, when perhaps a K band trap lies just ahead and full sensitivity could alert me to this "now".
4. The "SiRFStar III" is great. I had no problems with this. The speed alert is a mute point with me, as my car already displays the speed both digitally and analog dial. The 9500i's accuracy is right on though.
5. The "voice alerts" for me are very nice. I like running this thing in "dark mode" with the remote concealed display. You get the tone, then it tells you what band and then you can monitor the remote display for strength.
6. Laser detection IS improved. I would rate it as almost (if not even) with the V1.
7. Ka band detection is good (but can not say it is better than my V1).
8. K band detection is disappointing (in my opinion not equal to my V1).
9. X band detection is good (but I feel again not equal to my V1).
10. Ramp up of alerts is disappointing (too many times had 1, 2 bars then right to full alert).
11. Too many emails from Escort support stating that the USB port would be used "in the future" for software updates and "further into the future" downloads would be available for data such as the NavAlert provides. I'll believe it when I hear others are able to do this.
12. Kudos though to Escort support for replying to my many inquiries in a timely fashion.
In referencing GOL prior tests and in my experience with my 9500i and V1 3.858, it is clear to me that the 9500i will not provide an earlier warning than my V1 in my environment (primarily Ka and K). Laser I'd call even, but we all know what a sudden laser shot means. Since I experience few nuisance non-LEO signals around my town and virtually none on the Interstates, I am not willing to sacrifice extra range for more filtering or lock-out capability.
Yes, as you may have guessed by now, I returned my 9500i today. Not because it was a bad RD. Just not as good as my V1 for "my" type of driving. I will not bash the 9500i, nor will I heap unrelenting praise on the V1. They both have their good and bad points. It's just up to each person as to what "they" need in their RD. Both companies are needed, if for no other reason as to keep each other honest and continually pushing the envelope technologically.
In short, I like the V1's magnesium case, Ka and K detection ability, smooth ramp up of alerts, rear antenna, windshield mount and yes (dare I say) the arrows. With the 9500i, I liked the voice alerts, comparable laser detection and the pulsing geiger counter like red LED light (9500i) vs. a row of LEDs (V1) on the concealed remote.
BTW, no "zombie" here. If someone comes along with a RD I feel is superior to the V1 (including an improved 9500i) for "my" driving, I'll be all over it. In the mean time...please MV no more "E"'s!