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Monthly Archives: January 2007

  • CES 2007: Escort Passport 9500i

    At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Escort provided a preview of their new model: the Escort Passport 9500i. Here is an overview of this radar detector.
  • CES 2007: Whistler's New Lineup

    We've already broke the news about the XTR-690, but today we were able to get a look at the entire lineup of new Whistler detectors. Whistler did not have any working models, only prototypes, so I was not able to take any pictures.

    Whistler has 8 models that they consider "New for 2007", two of which are already available: the XTR-185 and XTR-190. All current models starting with "DE" other than the 1788 will be slowly phased out. The XTR-425 will be discontinued as well.

    There are 6 new, unreleased "XTR" series models: the 690, 500, 330, 260, and 140. These models have a new design that really looks great. They are smaller and look more streamlined than last years models (325, 425, 560), and all generally look similar to the image that we have up for the XTR-690. All of the new models have the "periscope" alert LED's, which are two alert lights on the top of the detector.

    A new Pro series model, the Whistler Pro 78, will replace the Pro 73 and have the same re-engineered performance of the XTR-690. These two models are slightly larger than the others, and will be the only models to offer the improved performance.

    The following is a basic feature summary of each new model.

    XTR-690 - See this page.

    Pro 78 - Same features of the XTR-690, but no compass. The Pro 78 will have an intense blue text display like the Pro 73, and will feature "auto-dim"

    XTR-500 - Red text display, voice alerts, POP mode detection.

    XTR-330 - Icon display with red numeric signal strength meter, POP mode detection, voice alerts.

    XTR-260 - Icon display with blue numeric signal strength meter, dual alert display.

    XTR-140 - Low end model. Similar in features to the current DE-1733 except that it will offer 3 city modes.

    UPDATE 3/14/07 - The following models are now in stock: XTR-500, XTR-330, XTR-260, XTR-140

    UPDATE 4/16/07 - Whistler Pro 78 now in stock.

  • CES 2007: Cobra XRS R9G and XRS R7

    Greetings from Las Vegas and the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show! Today, I had the opportunity to speak to each of the major radar detector manufacturers about the new models that they will be releasing this year.

    Cobra has two new radar detectors that will be available around May of this year: the XRS R9G and the XRS R7. The design of these models is different than previous detectors. At a glance, you might think they are remote installed models, but they actually just give a new twist to windshield mount models.

    A radar/laser detector (and GPS sensor for the R9G model) is attached to the top of the windshield, beside the rear view mirror. This detector produces alert sounds, there is no obvious display. This helps provide a discreet installation. The detector can be hard wired into the vehicle or plugged into the cigarette lighter for power (both adapters are included). The following is a picture of the R9G (the GPS sensor is on the right):
    Cobra XRS R9G radar detector / GPS sensor
    The display and controls for the detector are part of a separate, wireless unit that Cobra is calling a "remote". This remote has the same full color graphical display of the XRS-9930. It is wireless and can be mounted anywhere in the vehicle. It uses a rechargeable lithium battery that provides 40 hours of operation on a charge. A quick charger is included that will recharge the remote in around 2 hours, by plugging into the cigarette lighter.
    Cobra XRS R9G remote
    The following is an image of R9G display, which can provide some perspective as to the size of these parts.
    Cobra XRS R9G CES Display
    GPS
    With the built-in GPS sensor, the XRS R9G will be programmed to alert drivers to fixed-location speed cameras and red light cameras. Cobra plans to build and maintain their own database of camera coordinates, and users will be able to update the R9G's database online as updates become available. Only the R9G model will offer the GPS functionality, the R7 will not.

    Cobra seems to be dedicating themselves to GPS based countermeasures. A few months ago Cobra bought Performance Products LTD., a UK based company that makes a GPS based camera detection product called the Snooper. This aquisition gave them the GPS technology as well as a database of European camera coordinates. Clearly, Cobra believes that GPS will play a big role in the future of radar detectors, and they are investing heavily in it.

    Performance
    Cobra claims to have made significant improvements to their sensitivity with the XRS R9G and R7. They claim that we will see significant improvement in detection range, specifically for the Ka band. It was very encouraging to hear that but, as always, we will be looking for some independent test results to confirm these claims.

    Pricing
    The XRS R9G has a MSRP of $449.95. The XRS R7 is the same detector, but doesn't have the GPS capabilities. It has a MSRP of $349.95. No word yet on an actual retail price for these models.

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