Valentine One Radar Detector w/ POP Review
Time For The Test
I initially used the windshield mount with the suction cups. I wasn't entirely sure if the molding inside my car would obstruct the rear radar, so I decided against using the visor mount for the time being. I took it down the same stretch of road that I was seeing cop cars on each morning and was able to pick up several cops on it the first week, along with picking up those large electronic "emergency" signs they often use around construction or areas with high traffic. I'm not sure if those signs are checking the speeds of motorists at all or if the radar they emit has to do with updating the information on the signs, but to this day every time I ride by them the radar detector goes off. The one thing you have to realize with radar detectors is that they are designed to detect radar -- any radar -- so if you're near garage doors that are opening, grocery store doors, or anything else that emits radar, you will have "false alarms". Luckily the Valentine One has a "mute button", whose volume can be adjusted independently of the regular beep volume. This allows me to get rid of the loud beeps when I'm approaching an area that has radar that I'm sure isn't cops.
What I Like
The directional arrows and front/rear radar were the selling point for me. I've seen other radar detectors in action, but this is the first I've owned and I don't think I could ever go to anything without directional arrows. If you're entering an area with more than one "bogey" (unidentified radar source), the Valentine One will light up the arrows corresponding to the radar sources and blink the direction of whichever the stronger threat is. It also has several different modes, depending upon how much involvement you want the internal computer to have in sorting out authentic radar threats. The build quality is definitely what one would expect in a $400 unit and there are countless sites and reviews that have positive things to say about this radar detector.
What I Don't Like
Initially it was hard to fork over the $400. To this day I still wonder if it has really saved me from any tickets. I haven't had any *really* close calls with it and the cops seem to be less frequently out on the roads than they were the end of last year. Sometimes the beeps can get annoying if you live in areas with a large number of radar-emitting sources -- but the mute button helps make this more bearable. The only gripe I have is having to remove the radar detector or put it out of site when I leave my vehicle -- at this point it's pretty much routine, but I've heard a lot of stories about individuals who have had their cars broken into because these Valentine radar detectors are big money. Just be careful where you park or hide the radar detector if you're in a bad area or aren't sure -- better safe than sorry.
I'm very happy with this radar detector, although I don't think I've seen it fully pay for itself yet.. which is why I can't give it a perfect score. I hope that over time it will prove itself worthy, as I travel more or go on road trips. It's hard to judge performance if you drive the same roads each day back and forth to work and aren't traveling on unknown roads or long distances. The Valentine One is well constructed, easy to setup, and has features the other radar detectors are seriously lacking. Whether or not you think directional arrows and front/rear radar is important is entirely your choice, but from what I have seen with this radar detector in action, I would want nothing less. Well done, Valentine Research.
Final Rating: 4.5/5.0
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