I just recieved my Refurb V1 today, the darned thing looks brand new, you could never tell it was a refurb....
anyway, I've had about a week driving with my X50, so I've gotten to know it's little idiosyncracies, and where it falses
Since I have yet to encounter police radar with the V1, I can't compare the performance of the two on a legitamite source of radar, *yet*
So, I decided to evaluate what I could, ergonomics, functionality, and such, looking at them as purely impartially as I can....
The X50 feels *slightly* heavier than the V1, the V1 actually feels a tiny bit...flimsy, compared to the X50,
The X50 is longer than the V1, the V1 is shorter, yet wider than the X50, the V1 fits my Saturn Ion's steeply raked windshield better
Mounting hardware construction;
The X50's windshield bracket is a simple bent sheet of metal with four position notches in it, and a pair of suction cups supplied with it, these stock suction cups *DO NOT* hold very well in cold weather, and should be replaced with a set of "Small" suction cups from the Michaels craft store, the metal bracket must be bent to hold the detector at the proper angle, bending and re-bending the bracket will weaken it over time, leading to failure, however, the quick-release pushbutton on the top of the X50 works brilliantly and allows the X50 to easily be slid on and off the mount
the V1's bracket is plastic, has a metal "release bar" to make the suction cups easier to release from the windshield, but the bracket itself is 95% plastic, rather cheap-feeling plastic at that, Valentine Research does supply two spare sets of suction cups with the bracket, one large set, and one standard set, installing the V1 in it's windshield bracket is a little more fiddly, as you have to align the brackets on the side of the mount precisely with the channels on the V1, the angle of the V1 is controlled by sliding the detector forward and backwards in the mount, there is a small rubber bumper at the back of the detector that braces the V1 against the windshield and bracket, to release the V1 from it's mount, you need to press down on a tab on the bracket and slide the detector forwards out of the mount
Bracket construction; Advantage X50 (Metal trumps plastic)
Bracket *USABILITY*; Advantage V1 (the V1 bracket is more adjustable and won't suffer from metal fatigue stress cracks if it's bent and re-bent, like the X50's mount)
Quick-Release functionality; Advantage X50
The V1 is a much *simpler* interface and has two moving parts, the power/volume knob and the mute volume lever, just turn it on and go, no need to set brightness levels or try to figure out which pushbutton does what (which one is the dimmer again and which one changes modes?....), switching filter modes is as simple as holding in the power switch for a second, muting the detector, a simple tap of the power button
the X50 has a more *sophisticated* user interface, two pushbuttons and a volume knob/power switch, as well as the quick-release button on the top of the unit, it can be as simple as the V1, or as complicated, you can select three meter displays, four dimness settings, have a cool "Cylon-esque" scanning dot, lock out individual bands, etc... very customizeable, definitely one for the gadget-lover
My personal preference is simplicity, so I really appreciate the turn-on-and-go simplicity of the V1's interface
(I know both detectors can be customized extensively, but for Grab-It-And-Go simplicity, the V1 wins, for me)
Information presented to the driver;
I imagine most of you here will expect the V1 to win by a mile on this one, what with the arrows and all, well read on.... you may be surprised
the V1's display presents a lot of information to the driver in a very clean, simple manner, the band of radar(s) detected, the direction, number, strength, and which one is the greater threat , the arrows are simplicity itself, however, the rest of the display *IS* a little visually cluttered, and it's somewhat difficult to determine the band(s) being detected at night, given the monochrome red display
the X50's display can be as simple or as complicated as the driver wants, a simple strength bar graph, the multi-source tracking ExpertMeter, or the SpecMode, showing you what frequency radar you're encountering, personally, I like the ExpertMeter, as it shows you the strength of each band detected (within limits), and thanks to the text display, it's easy to tell, day or night, what band(s) are hitting you, and how strong *each* of them is, V1 only shows the strongest source of multi-bogey hits
They're *BOTH* great detectors and present a wealth of info to the driver, If there was a way to add a Bogey Counter and Arrows onto the X50, we'd have an unbeatable detector, combine ExpertMeter, SpecMode, Bogey Counter and Arrows and we'd have the ultimate tool
personally, I give the nod to the V1 because of the utility of the arrows, I like to know where the threat is, not just that there is a threat in the area, YMMV
both detectors falsed at my common false alarm locations at the same time and distance, sometimes the X50 was ahead, sometimes the V1 was, either detector gives more than adequate response time to an attentive driver
there was no difference in the chattiness of both detectors, running the X50 in Highway while driving through Portsmouth's retail district garnered just as many falses as the V1 in All-Bogeys mode
both detectors have smooth ramp-up and give the driver a great sense of how close they are to the radar source without having to look at the display, however, I've noticed that *MY* Rev. 5 X50 seems to have a slightly better ramp-up, it keeps going up and up until you get to a flatline-tone when you're right next to the radar source, my V1 has not gone to flatline tone, the beeping just gets more and more rapid, however, the V1's "Bogey Lock" tone makes up for the lack of flatline tone, the X50 (in Spec display) does not alert the driver when it encounters additional sources, it just changes tones to the greatest threat tone
Both the X50 and V1 are stellar performers, either one (or both) is worth owning, each detector has advantages the other lacks, and vice-versa, if you can afford it, the best solution is to "buy both", if you can only buy one, well, you've got a tough choice ahead of you, they both have merits and flaws, it's up to *you* to decide....
Me, I choose......
Interesting pieces of trivia;
the V1 can be falsed deliberately on laser by the following devices;
infrared remote control
Inova 24/7 LED flashlight on red/amber emergency strobe, as the red LED dims, it triggers a laser alert
any powerful incandescent flashlight, like a SureFire A2 Aviator, or a Mag Instrument MagCharger, the V1 is responding to the infrared (heat) produced by the incandescent bulb