Page 10 - Bel vs. Escort vs. Valentine
Radar Roy receives countless e-mails and telephone calls every day asking "Which is the best radar detector made today, Escort, Beltronics or Valentine". In fact this same topic is hotly debated among radar detector users on RadarDetector.net, a radar detector users forum.
One point to consider, Escort and Beltronics are now owned and operated by the same company. The Escort 8500 X50 and the Beltronics RX65 are virtually the same radar detector with the following exceptions:
If you are trying to decide which detector is right for you Roy says "Think of the Escort 8500 X50 as a luxury car such as a Jaguar with all the bells, whistles and performance and the Beltronics RX65 as a muscle car like the Shelby"
In 2006, a new radar detector from Beltronics has been added to the mix, and that is the Bel STi Driver.
The Bel STi Driver is the first radar detector that has been designed from the ground up specifically for the professional driver.
The STi is the only radar detector made today that can defeat the Spectre II/III radar detector detectors, which are used by police where the use of a radar detector is illegal.
Radar detectors are only illegal in the USA in Virginia, Washington DC, on military bases, or in any commercial vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds.
If you do not drive in areas where radar detectors are illegal the added feature of being Spectre immune should not be a deciding factor in your purchase.
The Valentine does have the advantage of having dual antennas, allowing its directional arrows identify the direction that the radar is coming from. However, Radar Roy and other reviewers have all agreed, that the filtering on the Valentine 1 is inferior. So much so that in the November 2004 issue of Autoweek magazine's review, they called the Valentine 1 the "Chicken Little of radar detectors".
Escort and Beltronics have a single antenna that is bi-directional. This allows you to receive radar from front and rear, at distances equal to or exceeding that of Valentine. Escort and Bel also have the best filtering on the market today.
One of the best independent reviews we have ever seen concerning the comparisons between the Escort, Bel and Valentine radar detectors was performed by Bob (The Veil Guy) and his wife Lisa. It is titled The Ultimate Real-World Radar Detector Review '05 and is posted on his website LaserVeil.com. Bob and Lisa examined the real-world performance of these top three radar detectors during a 2300 mile trip that covered five states, in which they encountered virtually every form of radar/laser speed enforcement currently in use today. This extensive report covers price, quality, display, alert, performance along with other important features.
In Bob's report, he ranked the Beltronics RX65 as the the top performer " Think of the Bel as a high-performance sports car that can act as daily driver . Vehicles such as a late model Corvette or Porsche 911 with SMG come to mind."