Saturday May 18, 2024

Valentine One Radar Detector w/ POP Review

Company Info: Valentine Research, Inc.
Category: Gadgets
Price: $399.00
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Reviewer: Wayne Eggert
Date: March 05, 2005

Let me set a few things straight right off the bat.. I don't consider myself a speeder, I don't own a Porsche, Audi or nice BMW sports car, and I've never even received a speeding ticket (knock on wood). So what on earth do I need with a $400 radar detector? Well, I can usually justify any cool gadget.. but in the case of this radar detector I figured for the cost of a speeding ticket or two I could prevent some unfortunate run-ins with the law. And besides, it's got all these cool blinking arrows and features -- how can a techy not find it cool?

But Still.. It's $400! Why?
The real reason I figured I couldn't afford to be without a radar detector was due to the increasing number of police cars frequenting my drive to and from work. The particular interstate I take has at least 5 good hiding spots for cops, specifically designed so you don't see them until you've passed them. After purchasing a new car last September, I noticed there were cops out hunting for their prey just about every day. I don't know if they were trying to hit their year-quota for tickets around that time or what, but they were out in full force every day for about a month. I wanted to at least be on the same playing field & know when they were out and about, so I decided to begin researching radar detectors and learning about radar in general.

Isn't It Illegal?
Nope. Well, unless you're driving through Virginia -- then you could be fined and have your radar detector taken from you. The only other time radar detectors are illegal are when truck drivers have them. All other motorists are allowed to have radar detectors. Now that's not to say a cop is going to like it if they catch you with one -- you're probably more apt to get a ticket if you're pulled over and have it sitting in full view.

I Chose The Valentine One
I had seen good reviews for the Escort line of radar detectors. The Escort Passport 8500 x50 ($299 at present) was the only radar detector that was really in the same class as the Valentine One. That's probably because Mike Valentine, the owner of Valentine Research, Inc. had at one time worked with the owner of Escort, Inc. They have been in direct competition for a good number of years, and both companies will swear that their radar detector is the best and the competition's is a joke. You really have to look past the hype and make an informed decision based on the product features and any opinions/reviews you can find on the internet. In the end I decided on the Valentine One, at a price point of $100 more than the Passport 8500 x50, because I liked the idea of having directional arrows to indicate where the radar was in position to my car and the dual (front and back) radar.

Purchasing Experience
I purchased directly from the Valentine One website. There didn't appear to be anywhere else selling these radar detectors cheaper and I figured by purchasing directly from the website I would receive the latest model. Shipping was much quicker than I expected, I had the radar detector in less than a week. The Valentine One was packaged very well and came with its own box and manual -- very professional just as if I'd have bought it in a store.

Initial Impressions
The radar detector was heavier than I thought it was going to be -- which is a good thing. It looked very well built and well designed. I wasn't a huge fan of the boxy-design, but I've heard they've kept pretty much the same design for the last few models and it still looks better than a lot of the radar detectors out there today. Besides, do you want it to work or look cool and get you pulled over?

Included in the box was a very well thought out instruction manual. Not only does it explain how the radar detector functions, but also explains the types of radar that cops use, how to tell when you're entering into certain types of radar, what all of the beeps mean and how the directional arrows can help you tell the type of radar or number of bogeys (unknown threats). It came with a windshield mount (with two large suction cups) and a visor mount, cigarette lighter adapter, and power cord. In addition to this, there was a small paper insert explaining that the model I had received had just been upgraded with POP detection. The POP detection was great news for me since only a week or two after I had ordered they changed their site to announce the new model. I would have been a bit unhappy if my radar detector was outdated a week after I bought it.

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