Hey everyone, I just completed 2 days of city and 500mi of highway driving thru MI and OH with my new V1 (3.863) and want to quickly review it. As a reference, I will use my previous detector, a Whistler XTR-690, as a benchmark of familiarity. Note I'm not implying they are competitors -- the comparison is merely to establish a reference point for something I'm familiar with. Of course I don't expect the XTR-690 to perform like a V1, at 2x-3x the price!
Quick Overview: Fantastic detector, very few complaints, buyers will not regret.
Radar On-Axis Sensitivity: V1: 10/10 XTR-690: 8/10
Amazing range on-axis, most of the times giving overkill range. In most encounters, I found that I could take a "don't react till 5 lights" approach and still have plenty of time to react before identifying the cop. The XTR-690 is good too in on-axis detection but it isn't always as consistent across all the bands. In particular, Ka-band always feels like there's less detection distance than other bands.
On a straight-road, over-the-hill Ka encounter, the V1 doubled the range of the XTR-690, though both provided plenty of warning distance before an observer I had at the speed sign reported the sign showing my speed.
Radar Off-Axis Sensitivity: V1: 10/10 XTR-690: 4/10
This is a field in which the V1 TRULY shines. It quite literally feels like 360 degrees of protection. I had a great perpendicular Ka encounter, where the V1 started alerting 0.5 miles before I even turned onto the road with the cop, then after that there was another .5 miles before reaching the cop.
Laser Sensitivity: Not tested.
Unfortunately despite a 200-mile excursion into Ohio in both day and night, I did not find a single laser trap.
Ramp-up: V1: 10/10 XTR-690: 8/10
The V1's ramp-up is really fantastic. The signal bar proceeds smoothly and linearly for straight-road C/O bogeys on ALL bands, and an around-the-curve or IO encounter can be distinctly recognized with an aggressive ramp or sudden onset, respectively.
The XTR-690, by contrast, does great on X/K but on Ka sometimes the ramp can be a bit jerky.
Filtering, POP ON: V1: 9/10, XTR-690: 0/10
Ok, this is my first harsh separate-the-competition judgement. I ran my V1 with POP ON for 100 miles, POP OFF for 100 miles, then POP ON for the remainder (majority) of the trip. Quite simply I am AMAZED by how quiet this unit is, with POP ON. I received only on average 1 K/Ka alert per mile for which I couldn't identify a source. I got 2 J-ed out Ka alerts which were not real LEO's, so it seems like the J-feature works. This is the first POP detector I've used where turning on POP didn't mean the detector alerts more than it shuts up with random Ka falses.
Currently, I cannot pull out onto my main road with my XTR-690's POP ON without getting lots of K/Ka POP alerts when driving around my Cobra infested neighborhood.
Another thing: The V1 seems not to false to Cobras. I was unable to produce falses with my XRS-9300 at any distance. I tried for 30 minutes in my driveway without luck. Kudos to the V1's filtering!
Alert Tones: V1: 5/10 XTR-690: 10/10
With the V1 it was difficult to tell the X/K alerts apart on low or muted volumes. When the tones were at normal volume, the tones were easy to discern by pitch, but I wish they would've used different rhythmic patterns for all 3 bands.
Learning Curve: No Scores.
This is another important difference. The V1 is really, IMO, for enthusiast/pro detector users. It really talks a lot, if there's a door opener anywhere nearby it'll alert to the presence, while other detectors tend to focus more on on-axis encounters. I found that my dad, a casual detector user, was very confused by the V1's behavior around cities while I could clearly interpret what it was saying, and even picked out a moving C/O K-band encounter in the middle of a nest of door openers.
Basically, dont' buy mom or grandma a V1. It's a detector for radar fanatics like us, or those interested in becoming radar fanatics.
"The V1's too chatty": True and False.
The V1 indeed alerts more often than my XTR-690, so yeah, I guess by that it's "chattier". But, it doesn't alert erroneously to junk detectors and non-radar sources. It alerts to legitimate sources of radar and is simply more sensitive to the presence of such sources. It does require an informed detector owner to interpret its alerts (for example, low-strength X/K that moves front->side->rear is a passed door opener) and requires time to be familiar with. After then, it's the expert detector user's best buddy.
The V1 is a religion, and I now believe in it. The arrows are very helpful for identifying the source of an encounter and dismissing nonthreatening alerts. The sensitivity is amazing and translates to real-world improvements. Also, if POP were to ever take off, the V1's a great detector to have. As I said, I drive with POP ON and I honestly don't feel like it falses much.