Cobra's new 2007 models, the XRS R9G and the XRS R7 are now available! We gave you a first look at these detectors when they were announced at CES, back in January. Both models are now in stock and ready to ship. Here is a brief look at some of the new features.
The most significant enhancement, found on the XRS R9G, is a built-in database of fixed speed camera and red light camera locations. The Cobra XRS R9G is equipped with a GPS locator, which keeps track of your current location. As you approach a camera the R9G will alert you, allowing you time to adjust your speed or stop for a red light. Cobra has worked hard to build an accurate database of fixed camera locations, and will continue to update the database as cities add new cameras. As the database is updated, you can connect the R9G to your computer (through a USB connection) and update to the latest database.
Having a GPS locator gives the XRS R9G the ability to offer several other features. A user database allows you to "mark" up to 1000 custom locations. You will receive an alert as you approach these locations in the future. This is perfect for saving areas that are commonly used by police as speed traps. A "speed display" shows the current speed of the vehicle. A GPS based digital compass is included as well, eliminating the need for calibration. It would have been nice to see a user programmable false alert database, such as is available with the Escort 9500i, but this is missing (most likely due to patents).
The GPS functions are only available on the R9G, but both XRS R9G and the XRS R7 have a truly innovative design. The radar detecting unit (RDU) is very discrete and should be mounted high on the windshield, by the rearview mirror. The display and all user controls have been split out into a separate "display unit". This display unit is wireless and can be mounted anywhere inside the vehicle. With this design, it would be very difficult for anyone to know that you had a radar detector. Both models include a direct wire kit and extended length cigarette lighter plug, making it easy to find a discrete mounting location for the RDU.
Both models offer the same full color graphical display as the XRS-9930. I still feel like this is the best display of any detector, regardless of brand. Ku band detection is supported, which is great for European customers or those travelling overseas.
While the sensitivity of Cobra detectors typically isn't in the same class as some other manufacturers, these new models offer some innovative enhancements that may make them preferable to many drivers.