Escort 8500 used to be the top model in the company’s radar detector line-up, but it has been replaced by Escort Redline EX. In this article, we will compare Escort 8500 vs Redline EX whether the old model is already good enough or you should go for the latest yet more expensive model nonetheless. Continue reading!
The discussion below will tell you further about:
– The size and weight of each model
– The display quality and ease of use on each model
– The connectivity and special features on each radar detector
– The performance of Escort 8500 vs Redline EX
– Which Escort radar detector that you should go for
Escort 8500 is slightly more compact and relatively more lightweight. It measures 2.85 inches wide, 5.32 inches deep, and 1.25 inches thick. The weight is only about 1 lbs. It should be easy to install, as the windshield mounting kit and power cord are all included. See also: Escort Passport S55 vs S75
Design-wise, Escort 8500 is quite simple. It has this conventional look of a rectangular-shaped radar detector with the buttons placed on the top. The build quality is good, but there is nothing really special about the appearance.
Escort Redline EX, on the other hand, is quite bigger and heavier. In fact, it is one of the heaviest radar detectors in the market. It measures 3.13 inches wide, 5.50 inches deep, and 1.44 inches thick. The weight is approximately 1.85 lbs. The mounting kit and power cord are also included.
Nevertheless, you can’t deny that Escort Redline EX is one of the most good-looking radar detectors that you ever encounter. The design is stylish and sporty, with hard edges and red accents around the black finish. The buttons even have red backlit markings so that you can easily see them when driving at night.
A notable difference between Escort 8500 vs Redline EX is the display screen. It is quite obvious that Escort 8500 is of an older generation, whereas Escort Redline EX can easily fit inside the latest vehicle.
On Escort 8500, you get a red matrix display. It is composed of 280 LEDs, and the brightness is easily adjustable through three levels of dimming plus a Dark Mode. This display is actually quite advanced, as it has three different modes to emphasize different kinds of information: Standard Bar Graph, ExpertMeter, and SpecDisplay.
Although the display still doesn’t look as good as LCD, it still serves its purpose well. You can find the control buttons on the top panel. At first, the buttons may be a little bit confusing because some of them double for other functions, but it is still quite easy and practical to use once you figure things out.
On Escort Redline EX, there is a very nice color LCD screen, which has decent sharpness and brightness. As usual, you can adjust the brightness level. Combined with this beautiful display, the stylish design will make you feel proud to have the radar detector in your vehicle.
The color display provides plenty of information in a simple yet effective way. You can see your average speed, the type of the detected radar band, and the signal strength. The buttons are all placed on the front, just under the display, so they are easy to access.
Escort 8500 comes with the SmartCord, which enables you to connect the unit to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can use the Escort Live service to share and receive real-time information of traffic conditions and hot spots of radar/laser guns and speed traps.
The Escort Live feature is incredibly useful, as it can give you important information in advance. However, Escort 8500 doesn’t have a built-in GPS database to mark known hot spots and false alert locations. It also lacks a USB port, so you won’t be able to update the firmware, and it will eventually become completely obsolete.
Escort Redline EX is much better in terms of connectivity. It also comes with the SmartCord, so it can work with Escort Live with no problem. In addition, it has a built-in GPS database, so it can tell you of known dangerous locations even if it is not detected to Escort Live.
It has the AutoLearn technology, too, which enables the device to automatically mark locations of frequent false alerts. It will ignore signals of the same frequency in the known location. Of course, you can mark locations manually, too. Escort Redline EX has a USB port for firmware update.
Radar detectors like Escort 8500 vs Redline EX are not always legal across the United States. There are some states that deem radar detectors illegal. If you are caught using a radar detector in a place that bans such devices, you can get a big trouble – even if you aren’t speeding at all. That’s why it is important for you to pay attention to where you are driving, know the rules there, and avoid troubles altogether in the first place.
Nevertheless, if you need to travel a lot, having to remove and re-install your radar detector all the time is extremely inconvenient. Using an “invisible” radar detector can be a viable solution.
Escort 8500 does not have the latest stealth or shielding feature, so it can be found easily by most RDDs (radar-detector detectors) that the police use nowadays. You should not use it when driving in a place that bans radar detectors.
This is not a problem if you are only driving in cities where radar detectors are considered legal. But, if you need a unit that can’t be found by RDDs, Escort 8500 is a big no.
Escort Redline EX is a decent choice for driving through risky areas. It has been shielded to be immune to most RDDs. The company claims that this model has 100% undetectability, so we can assume that this model is also immune to Spectre Elite which is the latest RDD technology that the police use.
Since Escort Redline EX is undetectable, now you have one fewer thing to worry about. You just need to be careful if your windshield is quite transparent when driving near a police, as device’s body is rather bulky and obvious.
The next difference between Escort 8500 vs Redline EX is the IVT filter. If you are not familiar with radar detectors, you are probably wondering right now. What is an IVT filter and why should you care?
You see, many vehicles today are equipped with the BSM (blind spot monitoring) system. It is designed to notify drivers of incoming vehicles in their blind spot directions. It is very useful for preventing nasty accidents when turning or changing lane. The problem is, the BSM system uses a K-band radar, and it drives radar detectors nuts. It causes a lot of false alerts.
Escort 8500 doesn’t have an IVT filter, so it is prone to false alerts from BSM systems in vehicles. It will become very problematic as more and more vehicles are equipped with BSM systems. Unless you block the K-band completely, which is not desirable because some radar guns still use the K-band, you will get plenty of false alerts.
Escort Redline EX is equipped with an IVT filter, which smartly distinguishes K-band signals from BSM systems and ignores them. It also helps to reduce false alerts from automatic door openers. All while still monitoring K-band frequencies that are used by radar guns. So, this is a future-proof choice that won’t develop any problem as more vehicles on the road adopt BSM systems.
So, how is the comparison of their performance? Interestingly, if we compare the raw detection performance alone, Escort 8500 is the winner. But Escort Redline EX has several things that more than make up the lower raw performance.
Escort 8500 is equipped with a superheterodyne varaco-tuned VCO and advanced digital signal processing (DSP). The detection range is impressive, and the processing speed is fast. It can detect radar guns from great distances and quickly tell you about them, so you can have enough time to slow down safely.
Unfortunately, when driving in a city, false alerts are quite frequent and very annoying – mostly because of BSM systems mentioned above. Changing the sensitivity level can only do so much.
Escort Redline EX also has fast processing speed, but somehow the detection range isn’t as wide as Escort 8500. It is still able to detect radar guns of various types from pretty long distances, so you can still react safely, but there are several cheaper models that have greater detection ranges.
That doesn’t mean that Escort Redline EX is a bad unit. On the contrary, it is still a very good radar detector. The main reason you want to choose this model is the combination of good raw performance, built-in GPS database, and Escort Live. With both GPS and Escort Live enabled, you can always know of what’s happening ahead. You can avoid hot spots before actually going into them.
Escort 8500 vs Redline EX
Between these two models, you should go for Escort Redline EX. It is one of the latest models, and it is ready to face the latest challenges on the road. It has been equipped with an IVT filter to block false alerts from BSM systems, and it even has proper shielding to be undetectable by the latest RDDs. The overall performance is great, thanks to the built-in GPS database and Escort Live.