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Beltronics Pro 500 Review

pro_500.jpgBeltronics promised their most advanced line of Radar/LaserSafety detectors when they launched their next generation Pro Series. The Vector 940, Vector 955 and RX65 were all given a makeover to become the Pro100, Pro200, and Pro300 in the new Professional Series line. But there is one more model, billed as the top-of-the-line in this series, a full-featured radar detector with all the bells and whistles of the other models combined, plus one or two features of its own. It's the Beltronics Pro 500.

The Pro 500 is essentially an old Beltronics GX65 re-packaged in a new rubberized shell for an easier grip and an even easier look. It looks new, yet the layout is nearly identical to the older model. The buttons are all there and in the same places. The VOL/MUTE, PWR, REW/CITY and CHG/BRT and QuickMount buttons are all exactly where they were on the GX65, and exactly where they should be on a Beltronics radar detector.

pro_500_2.jpgAs for the display, it hasn't changed much either, although now it is "ultra-bright" instead of just "high intensity". Whether that really means anything or not is moot. The important thing is that it lights up when you need it. It's a 280 LED, alphanumeric multiple threat display with four brightness settings (one more setting than the Pro 300) plus Dark Mode, with four display options - SpeedAlert™, BarGraph, ThreatDisplay™ and TechDisplay™. The display is visible from almost any angle except the rear, so if it's on, not in dark mode and still isn't visible, turn it around because it's probably facing the wrong way.

Aside from minor cosmetics, outside the Pro 500 looks about the same as its predecessor. Inside it's not much different. Of course it has all the standard features: full radar detection on X, K, Superwide Ka bands, instant-on (Pulse) detection and POP mode. AutoScan™, Auto Memory Retention, VG-2 Undetectability, Selectable Bands, Over 60 Digital Voice Messages, Detailed SWS™ Alerts, Vehicle Voltage Monitor, Auto and Manual Muting, and Fully Adjustable Audio Levels, all standard issue on the GX65.

pro_500_3.jpgThere are some differences, however. The Pro 500 adds a TSR Filter to reject highway traffic sensors on X and Y bands. The GX65 had 3 City Modes and a Highway Mode to adjust filtering of false alerts. The Pro 500 improves on this concept with an Auto mode that automatically adjusts filtering based on the speed of your vehicle. How does it do this? It utilizes another major feature that was standard on the GX65 - GPS.

The GX65 was GPS enabled, incorporated into several features, such as a Mark Location Alert Database, anti-falsing database, Speed Check, and a built-in database of all of the known locations of speed and red light cameras within the United States. The Pro 500 not only includes these features, it enhances them with the aforementioned Auto Mode for speed based sensitivity and full compatibility with Escort Live!™, Escort's data cable/power cord combination that adds another dimension to radar/laser/camera detection on its own. Escort Live! is an optional add-on for the Pro 500 as either a plug-in SmartCord or installed Direct Wire at Buy Radar Detectors.

pro_500_4.jpgEven without the Escort Live! Real-Time Ticket Protection, the Pro 500 can still utilize its internal safety camera database, which can be updated manually between trips. Thanks to its built-in USB data port, you can connect the Pro 500 to a computer and update the built-in red light and speed camera database and other software online.

The Pro 500 may have the heart and soul of an old GX65, but the retouches and tweaks, plus Escort Live! compatibility give it a personality and place of its own as the top-of-the-line in the new and improved Beltronics Pro Series of radar detectors.

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