The Radenso XP ($349) competes with the Escort Passport iX ($399) and both promise long range and high resistance to false alarms.
The Radenso XP competes with the Escort Passport iX and both promise long range and high resistance to false alarms.
We looked closely at the attributes that separate the best radar detectors from the also-rans: features, controls, mounts, alert systems and value. Last, we tested them against the most widely used types of police radar. Here's how they stacked up.
2nd Place: Escort Passport iX
- Balanced radar sensitivity
- Advanced features
- Great windshield mount
- Low-contrast display
- Fussy controls
- Annoying features
Our testers found favor with the magnetic windshield mount that attaches to the detector effortlessly and clings tenaciously to the windshield.
Borrowed from its upscale siblings is an annoying Overspeed Alert. Factory-set at 70 mph, every trip above that speed elicits a verbal admonishment—Overspeed!—and the speed display ominously turns red. Fortunately, the speed nanny can be disabled via the Preferences menu.
The iX is operated by six top-mounted buttons so closely spaced they're nearly touching each other. One finger can easily depress four of the six simultaneously. Controlling the iX requires deliberation and except when using the oversized Mute button, the best time to adjust the settings is probably before backing out of the garage.
The iX receives a feature exclusive to high-end Escorts, AutoLearn, which automatically locks out radar-controlled door openers. After a static signal like this is encountered two or three times it's identified as bogus and locked out. The next time you drive past, there's no alert. If a new radar signal is detected at the location, it's considered a threat and an alert is given.
The Radenso XP also locks out nuisance radar signals—the only difference being that the user pushes a button to mark the location.
Although it showed balanced radar performance, the Escort Passport iX trailed the Radenso XP in two of the three tests. On K band it lagged behind by 7 percent and on 34.7 GHz Ka band by 8 percent. Against 35.5 GHz radar the two were equal.
The Escort Passport iX will win fans with its automated door-opener radar suppression, although drivers who don't mind pressing a button may not feel the Escort's higher price is worth the tradeoff.
On the debit side, the low-contrast display and annoying overspeed alert cost the iX some goodwill. So did the user-unfriendly button layout and fussy controls.
If the two were priced the same, the choice could be a tossup for many. But given its price premium over the Radenso XP and with no advantage in performance or utility, the Escort Passport iX ranked second in this contest.
1st Place: Radenso XP
- Superior performance
- Effective filtering
- Good alert system
- No AutoLearn feature
The Radenso XP ($349 MSRP) is the lowest-priced GPS-enabled Radenso model. It has an upmarket brother, the Radenso Pro M ($449), which competes with the Escort Redline EX ($599) for supremacy among high-end detectors.
Like its Pro M sibling, the Radenso XP display has extra-large alphanumeric characters against a black background. Compared to the displays found on competing Escort and Uniden models, the Radenso's remains readable on sunny days.
The Radenso XP has filters to identify Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) radar. These use radar in the rear bumper to detect nearby vehicles and warn if a lane change is risky. They share K band with police radar and detectors that can tell the difference stay quiet.
It has GPS, enabling it to ignore a radar-controlled door opener. Up to 200 locations can be stored in memory, double the number offered by competing Uniden models. The same technology warns of red light and speed cameras.
Unlike Escort models, radar sensitivity for each band can be adjusted independently and the user can also set a threshold speed for the onset of audible radar alerts. Visual alerts remain but audible alerts only begin above the threshold speed.
Unlike the Escort Passport iX's four Ka segments, the Radenso XP offers 10, making the feature genuinely useful. Ka-band segmentation allows knowledgeable users to choose which of the 10 segments are to be monitored. Only three are used by police radar, deactivating the others results in quicker response and fewer false alarms.
On K band the Radenso XP outpaced the Escort iX, giving 7 percent longer range. On 34.7 GHz Ka band it led the Escort by a similar margin. On 35.5 GHz Ka band the two were nearly identical.
A more legible display and superior control layout give the Radenso an edge in user-friendliness.
We also found the Radenso XP to have a greater degree of user-adjustability, making it the better choice for enthusiast drivers.
Aside from a lower price and equal or better performance, in this shootout the Radenso XP was judged a bit better than its competitor in protecting the driver from tickets. That was enough to give it a first-place finish.