I've received my iQ from Radarbusters this afternoon (super speedy overnight shipping! 24 hours after order it's on my doorstep), and have had a chance to drive about 4 hours with it and play around with the UI a bit. I've still got a long road trip ahead to test this thing for real, but already I have some observations:
* The size. Umm, it's definitely big and bulky compared to either a radar detector or a GPS unit, but it's not all that bad on the windshield of my 2011 A4. The Smart Cup mount seems to do fine on my glass, knock on wood. No complaints here.
* The screen visibility is definitely not as good as a regular radar detector, and possibly not even as good as a GPS unit. It definitely does not have an antiglare screen coating like on my Audi's built-in GPS unit so sunlight at the right angle can cause absurd amounts of glare. No, it's not a part of a $45,000 car, but at the same time I would've expected better from a $650 MSRP product. It also lacks the brightness of a LED dot matrix display and washes out under bright light.
* The touchscreen UI is quite laggy -- at least a half second delay between tapping something and it taking effect. Toggling the maps mode on and off is even more laggy. My $150 Garmin Nuvi doesn't behave this way, nor does my car's Nvidia Tegra based navigation system. This makes trying to toggle settings on the unit while driving even more distracting than it already is, and I don't think I'll be attempting that anymore.
* The audio volume and clarity seem perfectly acceptable to me -- above average.
Unreviewed. Will do and report back. I will say though that the maps view is very primitive compared to your typical $200 or less standalone GPS unit. But that's just an eye candy thing, I won't dwell on it much other than for the fact that if you have a lot of POI categories activated, the red light camera icons are no longer all that prominent.
Detection Capabilities / Interface:
I'll hold off on sensitivity opinions because I don't feel like I've driven anywhere close to enough to comment on it. But general comments:
(1) Classic Escort style ramp-up. No real surprise here -- don't expect the iQ to be any different from the 9500ix; the ramp-up is not linear, but is more "threat" oriented where rapid tone means slam on the brakes and non-rapid tone means it's trying to annoy you ;-) (half-kidding!)
(2) The multi-threat + spec meter display is excellent! I really like this idea.
(3) New alert tone choices are excellent. The classic tones are just like the 9500ix, and there's now a more conservative option that just gives you a double-chime upon detection of a signal, then another double-chime when the ramp-up pegs. This one is GREAT if you regularly drivers others around. The big screen and the strobing alert LED makes the ramp-up easy to see without annoying your passengers. Only complaint is that the X, K, and Ka alerts are the same tone in this mode -- they should IMO be different.
(4) Speaking of the blinking LED, please make that a configurable option. One of the niceties of this form factor is that it doesn't look to the outside world like a radar detector, but the blinking LED ruins that. I had CHP following me on the 280 for 4 miles or so running CO 34.7, and it was getting on my nerves watching the LED strobing at different paces, which the cop could definitely see. Unlike a traditional RD, there's no chance of mounting this in any "concealed" position, so having an option to disable the flashing LED (or to just make it stay constantly on when an alert is in progress) would be great!
(5) GPS-based location alerts are TERRIBLE, a major regression from the 9500ix. For red light camera, speed trap, etc alerts, the "detector" mode presented no UI for it, just a voice that said "approaching red light camera". The 9500ix had arrows on the display, and IIRC even flashed some text as to the nature of the alert. On the iQ, there's no arrows, and if you missed the voice, you'll be left scratching your head as to what the alert was about. Please, do something about this in a software update. The maps mode does show RLC's as a point of interest icon, but also, there's no interactive feedback when you're approaching a camera. While I was on the highway, I got some red light camera warnings for nearby streets, and having arrows would've been very useful in determining whether or not the threat was relevant.
That's it for now -- I'll report back again after my road trip with more info. I hope this feedback will be seen by EscortRadar if he's still monitoring the forums. If not, please feel free to copy this feedback to that other forum (tm).