If you hate the idea of getting ticketed, you definitely should equip your car with a radar detector. This device is very useful to keep you aware of possible threats around you. Well, it won’t make you totally invincible or invisible, so you still have to drive carefully and responsibly. But it is handy to keep you in check of your own speed. Nowadays, there are various different brands and models available on the market, with different features and quality. But you may have heard about the top two: Escort 8500 X50 vs Valentine 1.
Many people consider that Escort 8500 X50 and Valentine 1 are the best radar detectors currently available on the market. Escort 8500 X50 is praised because it is not very expensive, yet it offers reliable detection range and performance. On the other hand, Valentine 1 is quite expensive, but the value comes with the price. This model is very feature-packed, with the directional arrows providing the immediate benefit. So, which model should you choose? Read the comparisons below to determine the answer!
Let’s begin by comparing Escort 8500 X50 vs Valentine 1 by their designs. The two models definitely have very different designs. Escort 8500 X50 is much more compact and lightweight, making it easy to place without requiring too much space. It comes with the windshield mounting kit, and it has a quick-release mechanism to allow easy mounting and detaching. It is about the same size as Beltronics Pro 300 vs Valentine 1.
Although the overall size of Escort 8500 X50 is similar to your typical radar detector, the look is quite different. This model looks cool and modern. On the top, there are just two function buttons. The Mute button is right next to the display screen. It is not difficult to reach, but you can use the SmartPlug cord instead if you want the button to be closer to your reach. The display screen is slightly sloped to allow better viewing angle from the driver’s seat.
On the other hand, Valentine 1 is quite significantly bigger and heavier. It has a pair of suction cups for mounting on the windshield, and it actually mounts very well. It is solid. However, the display panel is very different from other radar detectors. Next to the control knob, there is a mini LED display screen and directional arrows to tell you from which direction the detected threat is coming from.
Now, let’s delve a little bit deeper about the difference in display information. You are probably more familiar with Escort 8500 X50’s design. Like many other radar detectors, it features a red alphanumeric display screen to show the information about detected threats and signal power levels. However, it doesn’t tell you from which direction the signal is coming from, so you need to use your intuition and caution to tell whether the radar gun is ahead or behind, on the left or right. It also doesn’t tell you if you have passed all the threats in case of multiple threats.
On the other hand, despite the unconventional design, Valentine 1 is greatly loved by many users due to the very informative display. When there are multiple threats detected, it will show you the types and numbers of the detected signals, and the directional arrows will also respond accordingly. For example, when there is an automatic door that is known to cause false alerts, and there is a police officer with a radar gun hiding nearby, a regular radar detector will fail to tell you about the threat. Meanwhile, Valentine 1 will give better protection by showing the number of signals and whether you have passed each of the two signals.
SmartPlug or Bluetooth Dongle
The next thing that you need to consider when choosing between Escort 8500 X50vs Valentine 1 is whether you prefer having the SmartPlug cord or the Bluetooth dongle. Escort 8500 X50 comes with the SmartPlug cord, which is very nice. It can make your interior less cluttered. It plugs directly to the fuse box, and the control buttons including the Mute button will be placed on the cigarette lighter for easy reach.
Valentine 1 does not have such smart cord; instead, it can work with a Bluetooth dongle (which is, unfortunately, sold separately) to allow the device to connect wirelessly to your smartphone. After the two connect, you will be able to adjust various settings and even mute the device through the mobile app on your smartphone.
Of the two, Escort 8500 X50 is perhaps more practical. The SmartPlug is included in the box, allowing you to use the feature right away. In addition, Escort is not without a mobile app; there is the Escort Live mobile app for real-time information sharing. But Valentine 1 is still a viable choice if you don’t mind spending more money and using your smartphone for remote control.
Perhaps the most important aspect when one is choosing for a reliable radar detector, including Escort 8500 X50vs Valentine 1, is the performance. A good radar detector should be able to detect a threat from a good distance, and do it consistently.
Even though both of these two models are indeed the top performers of the competition, Valentine 1 trumps Escort 8500 X50 by a great margin. Valentine 1 is armed with a very powerful and sensitive antenna that is able to detect threats from very far distances – the detection range is nearly four times of Escort 8500 X50’s detection range, according to some users who have used the two. That’s incredibly impressive. With such vast range, you will always be ready to nearly any threat.
However, the most common complaint about Valentine 1 is the ridiculous sensitivity. It gives false alerts very often. But there is actually an easy remedy for the problem: you just need to adjust the sensitivity level of the device. You can also just turn off the X radar band detection.
Well, Escort 8500 X50’s performance is actually good and consistent. The detection range is usually enough if you don’t drive too much above the speed limit.
Escort 8500 X50 is protected by a one-year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects. However, the warranty is only available if you have registered your device, either via mail or through the website, and if you purchase the device from an authorized dealer.
On the other hand, Valentine 1 also comes with a one-year warranty. But the warranty is void if you buy the device from any other source than the official website! Many people have complained about this. One nice way to get the warranty at a lower price is by purchasing a returned product from the company’s website. It will be covered by the warranty.
If you don’t mind spending more bucks for the best performance, Valentine 1 is the way to go. Seriously, the performance is truly impressive. It has outstanding detection range, and the multi-threat display is very effective. The directional arrows are especially very useful to tell you where the signals are coming from. However, it may need some tweaking to reduce the sensitivity and false alerts. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to spend as much money for a radar detector, Escort 8500 X50 is an excellent alternative. Although the detection range is not as great, this model is still reliable. Besides, the SmartPlug cord is very convenient to use.