- Decent performance
- Red light camera alerts
- Ka-band segmentation
- No AutoLearn feature
The Radenso XP offers some relief from the false alarms that plague radar detectors today. It has GPS, the only way to deal with commercial radar-controlled automatic door openers. Using this satellite technology, users can press a button to add a door opener's frequency and coordinates to its database. Next time you approach, the detector knows to stay quiet. If a new radar signal near a locked-out location is spotted, it's treated as a threat and the detector goes off.
Escorts with GPS lock out a door-opener automatically after passing it a few times, a feature dubbed AutoLearn. Escort holds the patent on the feature and other manufacturers including Radenso require a button-press for this.
The XP also has an array of features to help it cope with a much bigger nuisance, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) radar. This technology uses radar to spot vehicles in adjacent lanes, warning when a lane-change maneuver is dangerous.
BSM has become so common that it renders many detectors useless. To a detector, BSM radar looks like police radar. It takes sophisticated firmware to tell the two apart. Without it, the false alerts are nearly continuous.
Not surprisingly, in road-testing the XP we looked closely at how well it reduces nuisance alerts. We were also curious to see if the Radenso XP can compete with the pricier Escort Passport iXc ($449) in spotting police radar. Here's what we found.
Like its sibling, the Radenso Pro M ($449), its OLED display has extra-large alphanumeric characters with a black background, giving it good contrast. Unlike the displays found on some competitors, this one remains legible on sunny days.
Using GPS, the Radenso XP warns of the red light and speed cameras used in 22 states. Like Escort GPS models, its camera alerts are directional. This matters because red light cameras frequently monitor only traffic on one street; crossing the intersection on the other street is risk free. With directional alerts a detector knows the camera isn't a threat and stays quiet. In contrast, Unidens will alert anyway.
GPS tells the Radenso know how fast it's moving, affording additional strategies to reduce false alerts. For example, city-mode radar sensitivity for each band can be adjusted independently, from 0 to 90 percent, and a threshold speed can be set. Then it toggles between reduced and maximum settings based on speed.
The onset of audible radar alerts can be adjusted anywhere from 5 mph to 55 mph. K bandwidth can also be tailored, set to Wide or Narrow, or it can be turned off. Ka band can be left in the default Wide mode or the user can choose which of 10 segments are to be monitored. Since only four are used by police radar, turning off the others reduces false alerts.
Up to 200 nuisance signals like door openers can be locked out, double the number offered by Uniden GPS models although fewer than with Escorts.
We found that by using Auto City mode and tweaking some of the settings, it can be made more tolerant of urban nuisance radar. For example, we set the K-band City Filter to 40 percent sensitivity, Low Speed Mute to 35 mph and City Mode Speed to 50 mph. This shut off audible radar alerts below 35 mph and reduced K-band sensitivity by 40 percent, restoring full sensitivity at speeds over 50 mph.
At our Hill/Curve test site the Radenso XP slightly outpaced the Escort Redline EX and Passport iXc on K band. It had range equal to the iXc on one common Ka-band frequency and scored midway between the Escorts on the other.
The Radenso XP is designed for set-and-forget operation, but as enthusiast drivers we liked its array of user-adjustable settings.
We'd also call the Radenso's display superior to the Escorts', mainly because it remains readable in bright sunlight.
In exchange for a higher price the Escorts automate some tasks—AutoLearn automatic nuisance-radar lockouts, for instance. Same with speed-variable radar sensitivity. No user input is required for either task.
On the flip side, drivers might be swayed by the XP's lower cost of entry.