So I've had the Escort Live for a few days now, and have had a chance to use it a good amount. Previously I had a Valentine 1, and more recently a 9500ix. I liked the 9500ix - the GPS filtering really made it much quieter than the V1, which is why I had the V1 replaced. The arrows are nice, though.
Anyway - so recently I sold my 9500ix and bought a Redline, in anticipation for the Escort Live. My main goal was to give it the true lock false alert memory that the 9500 had.
Now, I think the best radar detector is one that is quiet, and requires little to know user interference. After all, while driving, you want to keep your eyes on the road and have nothing else taking away your attention. The 9500 with the auto learn was great for this, just sit there and it did all of the work.
Now for the Escort live review: Here's where I think it all goes bad.
1.) I was very happy with my direct wired 9500 setup. Now I have that jangling cord in the middle, and to add to it, I need to keep my phone on all of the time or else the Escort live won't work. My car has built in bluetooth, and a built in charger for the phone/ipod connection, so previously I could keep it hidden away. No longer can I do that - now it has to awkwardly stay on in the open.
And for what does all this messy cabin business now reward me for? Not much. Aside from red-light camera alerts on my Redline now, there isn't too much to really look at in the Escort Live screen - surely not enough users now, nor in the foreseeable future, to be able to make it do what they intended. So basically my phone is just on for me to be able to lock out a signal.
2.) I know that a direct-wire is coming, but this cord only business makes the product seem very unfinished and rushed. To boot, my phone's battery goes down very quickly now. Sure, I have plugged it in while in use - but the end result is that while it won't go down, it barely charges up when Live is on.
3.) OK - my Redline can now lock out signals. I do like that aspect of it. But! It only works if the screen is open. Not very background happy. And I've been frustrated a few times when I have gotten a call, and a signal alert at the same time - I was not able to lock it because I was no longer on the screen. They really need to make the APP and Live cord independent.
4.) My ideal way for this to work would be for you to be able to completely put your phone in sleep mode, and it run in the background. i.e, signals are stored, locked, and remembered without needing your phone hanging somewhere.
5.) The Live App itself is too slow and clumsy. When you are driving, first it's best to avoid all interaction with your phone unless it's bluetooth - and second, if you do, the worst thing is a slow app that makes you have to mess with it multiple times while driving. This also makes the traffic feature sort of useless. Too slow, and you can't be messing with it while driving.
So to summarize, I think that this is a poor application of what is potentially a decent idea. It requires too many messy wires, and user interaction to be safe and efficient in a car setting. We aren't sitting at our desks playing with it, we are driving. It needs to make the radar detector as autonomous as possible; not give us numerous slow responding features to play with while driving. Plus, I doubt there will be enough users for it to really be effective in most areas.
I am starting to wish this acted more like the 9500ix: you can just leave it alone and it will do all of the work. The new ESP/Savvy from Valentine 1 that mutes false alerts under a certain speed almost makes the V1 the one to go to, but unfortunately that Savvy feature is also not completely satisfactory as you are still open to various false signals at other speeds.
I was hoping Live would turn my RedLine into a 9500ix with better range. Not exactly. It adds a few features, but the adaptation and implementation, like I said, is still very messy and does not belong in a car's cabin.