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April 23, 2013
March 4, 2013
In a previous article we took a look at a brand new model in the Cobra iRadar system to be released in May of this year, the iRadar Atom. There is, however, another iteration of iRadar coming right on its heels, one that places the iRadar system in a different category of radar detectors altogether. It's the iRadar S-Series, and it adds another dimension to the product line. Let's take a quick look at it now.
The iRadar S200R
The iRadar S-Series takes the entire iRadar detection concept to the next level - concealed radar detectors. The S-Series (S meaning "Stealth"?) is the first concealed series of detectors utilizing the Cobra iRadar detection system. The first model in the series, the iRadar S200R, is designed to install directly into your vehicle, under the hood, sight unseen.
Of course, that by itself is nothing new; companies such as Beltronics, Escort and Whistler have been manufacturing internally wired, concealed radar detectors for years. Detection systems such as the Beltronics RX45, the Escort 9500ci and the Whistler Pro 3600 are all well known examples. There's nothing innovative there. Or is there?
There is. Indeed, there is one thing that sets the new S-Series apart from the rest of them. The iRadar S200R is the first under-the-hood, concealed radar detector to use Bluetooth® technology to connect directly with your smartphone and access an Internet database to exchange information with a million other radar detectors on the road.
Okay, let's rewind a bit. iRadar? What is it? In a nutshell, it's a web-based network that shares updates and real-time information on known speed traps, red light cameras, speed cameras and other traffic alerts in your area with every driver and radar detector actively connected to it. It sounds a lot like the Escort Live! system, and it is. For details, read our article on the new iRadar Atom.
Now back to the program. According to Cobra, the new iRadar S200R becomes completely invisible when it's installed under the hood of a vehicle. Now, to me, invisible means that it can't be seen with the naked eye, and if it is installed under the hood of a vehicle, more than likely it won't be visible, literally. However, it doesn't necessarily mean the S200R is undetectable, especially if someone is specifically trying to sense it with a radar detector detector. In fact, Cobra doesn't say that it uses any actual stealth technology at all to avoid detection, it only claims that you can't see it when installed. In other words, don't expect it to be an STi Magnum, because it isn't one. It's just hiding itself from an ocular view.
With that in mind, it still sounds like a cool device. A concealed radar detector that connects wirelessly to your iPhone or Android smartphone, interfaces with an app and networks in real-time with a million other radar detectors on the road does take radar detection technology up a notch. Whether it lives up to the classic Cobra hype, time will tell. But it does sound cool and it's worth checking out when it arrives, which is supposed to be sometime in August, 2013. Manufacturer suggested retail price: $299.95.
March 1, 2013
As we reported earlier, Cobra made several new product announcements for 2013 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. One of these was the unveiling of a new addition to the Cobra iRadar series of radar detectors, the iRadar Atom. The company previewed the new device along with other entries in its new product line-up, including the soon-to-be-launched Cobra SPX Radar Detectors, due out this April.
The Atom is based on Cobra's iRadar system, which combines a radar detector with a smartphone app to allow users to share detection alerts with one another in real time. It is essentially the same basic concept as the Escort Live! system. Both systems work by connecting a radar detector to either an iPhone or Android smartphone running a specialized app to communicate with an Internet database to report and receive data on traffic enforcement activities and threats in the area. This data is shared with other drivers also connected with the system, creating a virtual network of real-time radar and laser detection across the continent.
Both systems do essentially the same thing, with one difference. The Escort Live! system relies on an external, modular type of connection to create an interface between the detector and the smartphone, while the iRadar integrates the wireless interface internally into the detector itself. There are advantages to each design, however when it comes to installation and portability, the iRadar has a slight edge.
There have been a couple of iterations of the Cobra iRadar, each improving on the last. The original iRadar was launched in 2010, beating Escort to the punch by roughly a year, and was fairly well received. After Escort Live! was launched, Cobra updated their own system with the iRadar 200, which according to Cobra, became wildly popular.
The iRadar Atom
Now Cobra is about to introduce its latest version, the iRadar Atom. Cobra is touting it as the smallest and most powerful radar/laser/camera detection system they have ever developed, and the most compact radar detector on the market. Cobra claims the new Atom is 35% smaller in size than their other models in the iRadar series. The first model in the series came in two versions: the iRadar 100 (iPhone) and the iRadar 105 (Android). Each was a sleek, slim device measuring 1.15 in. x 2.92 in. x 4.22 in. According to dimensions provided by Cobra, the Atom measures 1.15 in. x 2.25in. x 3.30in. If these measurements are correct, it would indeed be one of the smallest, if not the smallest working radar detectors available today.
Of course, size may be relevant, but it is what is inside the package that really counts. So let's check the feature set.
Detects all radar and laser guns. Check. This is the most basic function of a radar detector, is it not? How well it detects them remains to be seen, but at least, to some degree, Cobra has this one covered.
Provides 360 degree detection. Check. Okay, wait. 360 degree detection of what? Radar, laser or both? We are assuming it's laser here, but it isn't specifically defined on Cobra's web site, so who knows. Just to be safe, we're going with laser only.
4 City/Highway Modes. Check. These modes allow you to customize the sensitivity levels to help reduce false alerts. Another important, but standard feature that is all but expected from nearly all radar detectors worth their cost these days.
Well, those are all really basic features. That's not much to write home about at all, as radar detectors go. But that's only a third of the entire system.
The Cobra iRadar App
This brings us to the iRadar app. This is a free app that is downloaded to the second device in the system, your iPhone or Android™ smartphone. Once the app is downloaded, it connects and communicates with the iRadar detector via Bluetooth from the smartphone. Your phone becomes part of the iRadar Atom, serving as both display and control center. Cobra recently announced plans to release version 3.1, with tweaks and new features to further improve the overall iRadar experience. The feature set provided by this app enhances the basic features of the hardware and makes the iRadar Atom - and your phone - a lot more powerful.
The iRadar app provides visual alerts from the Cobra iRadar detector itself, effectively serving as a graphic interface for your radar detector, complete with a tools menu, map view, live traffic view and a car finder function. The app adds GPS capability provided by the smartphone to monitor vehicle speed, direction and location. It even monitors vehicle battery voltage. It also displays live radar and laser alerts, information and locations of red light cameras, speed cameras and speed traps. It does this utilizing the third piece of the iRadar system, Cobra's AURA™ database.
The AURA™ Database
To complete the iRadar system, Cobra created the AURA™ database, a repository of speed and red light camera notifications, live police locations and other alerts reported by users connected to the network. Access to the database allows users to exchange locations of live police speed traps, speed cameras, red light cameras, and "caution" areas such as dangerous intersections with other members of the iRadar community. According to Cobra, this online iRadar Community boasts nearly one million users, generating 40,000 reports per day.
These components don't offer much protection on their own. However, when connected together, the iRadar Atom, the app and the AURA™ database combine to become one very powerful radar detection system. All things considered, the iRadar Atom may be small, but when used as intended, it can be a potentially powerful radar/laser/red light camera detector for any driver.
February 27, 2013
Cobra is an old name in the world of radar detectors. The company is well known as a manufacturer of traffic enforcement detection devices and its products are quite popular with drivers in the mainstream. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Cobra unveiled their latest product line-up. As an authorized Cobra dealer, we want to give you a preview of the latest and greatest coming soon from Cobra.
The Cobra SPX Line
Perhaps the biggest news is the revelation of a completely new series of radar detectors, the SPX Line. According to Cobra, this new line features an ultra-compact design that is smaller in size and offers greater performance. Whether the size and performance improvements are in comparison to their current XRS and Vedetta models or to those of their competitors isn't entirely clear, although the company does claim on its web site that their SPX models are "almost half the size" of those manufactured by their competitors. Not having actually seen one yet, I personally can neither confirm or deny this, but as soon as we get our hands on one, we'll do some measuring of our own.
In addition to an ultra-compact design, Cobra promises the new SPX line will have full feature sets and double the detection range at "highly affordable pricing". Cobra also claims to be using military grade components in these devices. Really? What does that mean? A high end radar detector built to mil spec and priced on the low end? Hmmm. This may be something to watch.
The new Cobra SPX line will launch with three models: the SPX 5300, SPX 5400 and SPX 5500, respectively. Let's take a quick look at each one.
SPX 5300 (MSRP $99.95) -
This is the base model in the series. It features 14-Band™ Detection, which according to Cobra means that it detects 7 radar, 6 laser and 1 safety signal, including X, K, Ka Superwide, and Ku Band, VG-2, Spectre I and Spectre IV radar and LTI 20-20, Ultra Lyte, ProLaser, ProLaser III, Stalker LIDAR and Speedlaser laser signals. In other words, it detects all the standard signals that other radar detectors detect. Other standard features include Xtreme Range Superheterodyne® Technology, LaserEye™ 360-degree laser detection, POP detection, Ku band detection, auto mute, Intellimute®, Intellimute Pro®, an Ultrabright Data Display™, five-level signal strength meter, VG-2 immunity, VG-2 Alert®, Safety Alert®, city/highway modes, dim mode, Stay Set Electronic Memory (retains your settings indefinitely, even with the power disconnected), and Radar Detector Feature Trademark Detection™ (okay, I made that last one up). In short, for a base model, it has a lot of basic and a couple of not-so-basic features. Not bad for starters. Expected arrival: April, 2013.
SPX 5400 (MSRP $119.95) -
This is the middle-of-the-road version. It has all the standard features of the SPX 5300 plus a couple of extras (with trademarks), such as Voice Alert™ and Spectre Alert™, the latter serving a particularly useful purpose to alert you to the use of Spectre I/IV+ radar detector-detectors by law enforcement officials. The SPX 5400 is also Spectre Undetectable, which, while not trademarked (yet) does offer total immunity to Spectre I radar detector-detectors, according to Cobra. So, it detects Spectre while it tries not to make a spectre of itself. For a couple of extra sawbucks, that's not a bad upgrade. We can also expect the SPX 5400 to arrive in April, but Don't Quote Me on That™.
SPX 5500 (MSRP $149.95) -
This is the top of the SPX line. As such, it has all the features of the previously described models and adds a DigiView® data display upgrade and System Self Test for good measure. It seems that extra cost mostly goes toward the display upgrade as DigiView® is a registered trademark. Since the self test isn't trademarked at all, we will perform a little self test ourselves when it Arrives in April™ (tentatively scheduled) and find out exactly what we're getting compared to the other models.
The unveiling of new SPX radar detectors is just one of three product announcements Cobra made at CES 2013 in January, but it's certainly a big one. Stay tuned to the Buy Radar Detectors blog for upcoming details on the other two, including the unveiling of the iRadar Atom and more generic features with fancy labels turned into Ridiculously Overbranded Trademarks™.
August 1, 2012
XRS 9600 Series
The following applies to models from the Cobra XRS 9600 Series, which includes the following detectors: XRS 9600, XRS 9630, XRS 9640, XRS 9645 and XRS 9670:
- Press and hold the "PROGRAM/MUTE" button for two (2) seconds. The detector will emit Three (3) beeps and PROGRAM will appear. Then brief programming instructions will scroll through the display three (3) times. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS". The detector will emit One (1) beep and reset user modes and settings to factory default.
XRS 9700 Series
For the XRS 9700, XRS 9730, XRS 9740, XRS 9745 and XRS 9770 radar detector:
- Press and hold the "PROGRAM/UTE" button for two (2) seconds. The detector will emit Three (3) beeps and PROGRAM will appear. Then brief programming instructions will scroll through the display three (3) times. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS". The detector will emit One (1) beep and reset user modes and settings to factory default.
XRS 9830, XRS 9930
For the XRS 9830 and XRS 9930 radar detector:
- Press the "MENU/SAVE" button to reach the opening program screen. Choose "USER SETTINGS". Press the "MUTE" button (above the User Settings icon on the display) to enter the User Setting loop. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS" to restore your detector to its original settings. Confirmation messages are provided during the process.
XRS 9800 and 9900 Series
The following applies to other windshield mounted models from the XRS 9800 and XRS 9900 Series, which includes the following detectors: XRS 9840, XRS 9845, XRS 9940, XRS 9945, XRS 9950, XRS 9955 and XRS 9960G.
- Press the "MENU/SAVE" button to reach the opening program screen. Choose "USER SETTINGS". Press the "DIM" button to enter the User Setting loop. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS" to restore your detector to its original settings. Confirmation messages are provided during the process.
XRS 9965, XRS 9970
The following applies to the XRS 9965 and XRS 9970G radar detector:
- Click the "MENU" icon on the touchscreen to reach the opening menu screen. Click the "USER" icon to enter User Settings. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS" to restore your detector to its original settings. Confirmation messages are provided during the process.
XRS R Series Radar Detectors with GPS
XRS R7G and XRS R9G:
- Press the "MENU/SAVE" button. Select "USER" settings. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS" to restore detector to original settings. Confirmation messages display during process. NOTE: You can restore factory settings at any time.
XRS R8G and XRS R10G:
- Press the "MENU/SAVE" button. Select "USER" settings. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS" to restore detector to original settings. Confirmation messages display during process. You can restore all settings at once to factory state.
- Press and hold the "PROG/MUTE" button for 2 seconds to enter Program mode. You will hear "start program" in Voice Alert mode or 3 beeps in Tone mode and "PROGRAM" will appear in the display. Brief programming instructions will scroll through the display two times. Choose "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS". Choose "ARE YOU SURE? PRESS SET TO CONFIRM...". Press "SET" to reset user modes and settings to factory default.
July 6, 2012
As an Authorized Cobra dealer, We have been informed that the Cobra Vedetta series is due to launch very soon! Cobra will initially offer three three models in this series: the SLR 500, SLR 600 and SLR 650G. Below is a brief overview of these models. Note that actual prices may vary on release.
NOW AVAILABLE! Vedetta SLR 500 Radar/Laser Detector (MSRP $209.95) - Radar and laser detection with 2.4-inch TFT color LCD display on a multi-axis hinge. Display can be rotated 270 degrees vertically and 60 degrees horizontally. A ball-socket suction cup mounting bracket allows for mounting almost anywhere on the windshield or dash. Features include back-lit Touch-point Controls and Quad-Level IntelliShield® False Signal Filtering to reduce false alerts in urban areas. Also features Voice Alert® to help you keep your eyes on the road.
NOW AVAILABLE! Vedetta SLR 600 Radar/Laser Detector (MSRP $239.95) - In addition to the standard radar/laser detection features offered in the Vedetta line, this model includes 6 user-selectable color themes.
NOW AVAILABLE! Vedetta SLR 650G Radar/Laser/Camera Detector (MSRP $309.95) - In addition to the other features of the SLR 600, the SLR 650G includes an integrated GPS receiver and free, lifetime access to its AURA™ national database of speed/red-light cameras and known speed trap locations.
The Cobra Vedetta Ultimate Detection Systems will be available to order directly from Buy Radar Detectors and will ship immediately from our warehouse as soon as each model is released. Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on Twitter for instant notification as each new Vedetta arrives!
June 29, 2012
We just received word here at Buy Radar Detectors that the Cobra Vedetta SLR 650G Radar/Laser/Camera Detector will be launched very soon! The SLR650G is one of three new radar detectors in the new Vedetta series from Cobra.
This detector is notable for its unique, stylized enclosure and 2.4-inch TFT color LCD display that can be rotated up 270 degrees vertically and 60 degrees horizontally. The Display will offer 6 user-selectable color themes and back-lit Touch-point Controls. The SLR 650G will also feature Quad-Level IntelliShield™ False Signal Filtering, Voice Alert™, an integrated GPS receiver and free, lifetime access to its AURA™ national speed/red-light camera and speed trap location database.
March 27, 2012
We've had several customers who purchased a Cobra XRS-9970G radar detector call or write us, a little confused once they received their order. The problem? They thought that they were shipped a Cobra XRS-9965 by mistake. The confusion is due to the way Cobra is labeling the products. The Cobra XRS-9970G radar detector is packaged in a nice box that is clearly labeled "XRS-9970G", but the radar detector itself is actually an XRS-9965. The only difference between a Cobra 9965 and a Cobra 9970G is that the 9970G also includes a GPS attachment. This GPS plugs into the side of the detector and enables quite a bit of additional functionality, such as alerts for red light and speed cameras.
To recap, don't be alarmed when you open your XRS-9970G box and find an XRS-9965. This is certainly confusing, but is normal. You're paying the additional $90 or so for the included GPS accessory and the functionality that it provides. If you don't need the GPS functions and just want a detector with a nice touch screen display, save some money and just purchase the Cobra XRS-9965 instead.
January 17, 2012
Cobra unveiled a new series of radar detectors during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, held January 10-13, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Called The Cobra Vedetta™ Series, the new system promises up to a 30 percent increase in radar and laser detection over Cobra's current models, claiming a new benchmark for both range and reaction time.
In addition to a touted increase in performance, Cobra claimed improvements to both form factor and ergonomics to increase driver comfort, safety and convenience. The new Vedetta features a 2.4-inch TFT color LCD display mounted on a multi-axis hinge with a ball-socket type suction cup mounting bracket for 270 degrees vertical and 60 degrees horizontal rotation. Traditionally, radar detectors need to be mounted in a central zone on the windshield for optimal performance and detection of radar and laser signals. However, the Vedetta allows you to mount the detector almost anywhere on the windshield or dash of your vehicle and still be effective, according to Cobra.
The Cobra Vedetta also offers an integrated GPS receiver and free, lifetime access to its AURA™ national database of known speed/red-light cameras and speed traps. Other features of the Vendetta radar detectors include backlit touch-sensor controls, IntelliMute™ speed-sensitive muting system, Voice Alert, SmartPower (auto shut off when vehicle ignition is turned off), Signal Strength Meter, 8-Point GPS Compass (available on SLR 600 and SLR 650G), User-selectable Speed Alert, storage for up to 1,000 User-marked locations and IntelliShield™ quad-level False Signal Rejection System.
Cobra calls the Vedetta™ Series "The New Standard in Radar/Laser Detection" and said the new series will be available in the US sometime in the second quarter of 2012. Whether it actually sets such a new standard or not remains to be seen, but when it does arrive we will perform our own benchmarks and post the results right here, on our blog. The suggested retail price is expected to range from $199.95 to $299.95.
July 21, 2011
Cobra is well known for its radar detectors, and they have a lot of models to choose from. In fact, there are so many models available with so many features that reviewing them all individually can be a bit daunting, especially when there isn't much time for shopping around.
But, not anymore. The 2011-2012 Cobra Radar Detector Comparison Chart has arrived!
This comparison chart includes all the models we offer as an authorized Cobra dealer, from the economical, easy to mount ESD 7000 to the modular XRS R10G with wireless display. The radar detectors and their features are compiled into a simple grid listing to make comparison shopping fast and easy. Now you can compare all the Cobra models at once and see the primary differences from one model to another at a glance.
Need a radar detector with Ku Band Detection and a compass but want a graphic display? The Comparison Chart will tell you which models to choose from right away. Need one with Display Dimming, Low Voltage Alert and an audio jack? Find out which models offer them and which ones don't, without having to Google around.
The 2011-2012 Cobra Radar Detector Comparison Chart is FREE and available now.
Below is a quick overview of some of the key features of these Cobra models.
|Cobra Radar Detectors||GPS||Voice Alerts||Display||Compass||Smartphone Integration|
|XRS R8 (GPS Optional)||||||Graphical|
|XRS 9965 (GPS Optional)||||||Graphical|
|iRADAR iRAD 100 (iPhone)||||||Graphical|||||
|iRADAR iRAD 105 (Android)||||||Graphical|||||