How to choose a radar detector

Auto and Moto

For those who thoroughly know their own travel route, the use of all sorts of third-party gadgets seems meaningless. However, it is worth deviating from the usual route – and you no longer feel safe, and behind every sign of '40' or '60' you see a traffic police inspector with a radar. Indeed, you never know where you can meet with a valiant police officer, “catching” speed, but minimizing the consequences of such a meeting is as easy as shelling pears. All that is needed for this purpose is a high-quality radar detector, which will inform in advance about an attempt to fix the speed of your car by an inspector. Those who, on duty, spend a lot of time on the road, note that a high-quality radar detector pays off after 3-4 meetings with the traffic police, and it is this circumstance that contributes to such a huge popularity of such devices among domestic drivers.

choose a radar detector

Top manufacturers

Currently on sale you can find a great variety of devices of this class. Each of them copes with the functions assigned to them to one degree or another, and all that the buyer needs is to determine the characteristics and functional features of the model that suits him, as well as give preference to proven devices from manufacturers who have proven themselves from the best side:

  1. Beltronics;

  2. Sho-me;

  3. Cobra;

  4. Whistler;

  5. Neoline;

These manufacturers are characterized by a consistently high quality of their own products, a developed development bureau and regularly delight users with the release of new firmware and updates for maps that take into account changes in the traffic situation, the emergence of new stationary speed cameras and traffic routes for traffic police. Before giving preference to this or that model, it is necessary to study not only the characteristics of the device, but also the reviews of users who managed to test the device in real, 'combat' conditions.

Types of radars. What are radar detectors?

Despite the huge variety of devices on sale, all radar detectors, without exception, have the same operating algorithm. They pick up a signal of a certain frequency, characteristic of police radars, and signal the driver that he is being 'caught'. Due to the fact that the signal from the radars is characterized by a sufficiently high power, the radar detectors are able to record it at a distance of up to 1 kilometer, and therefore the drivers have enough time to brake to an acceptable speed.

At present, all devices of this class on sale can be divided into several conditional groups.

Radar detectors made in monoblock form factor

They are a compact device, the radar part of which, the speaker and the display panel, together with the adjustment buttons, are enclosed in a compact, miniature case. As a rule, such devices are almost always powered by a cigarette lighter and are mounted on special suction cups on the windshield or on the panel using a special mat.

radar detector in monoblock


  • Compact dimensions;

  • High functionality;

  • Democratic price tag;

  • Easy to install, configure and operate;


  • Do not 'catch' the latest radars and photo cameras;

  • It is necessary to dismantle it when entering most of the European Union countries, in which the use of radar detectors is prohibited at the legislative level;

  • Do not work in cars equipped with an athermal windshield;

Spaced Radar Detector

spaced radar

A device consisting of two separate elements – a radar part and a control unit. The first is mounted in the engine compartment of the car, the second is installed in a convenient place in the cabin. Such devices are distinguished by excellent functionality and diminutiveness, they do not hang in plain sight and do not attract the attention of law enforcement agencies and thieves.


  • High functionality;

  • Can be installed in vehicles equipped with athermal glass;

  • Do not attract attention;

  • Compact dimensions;


  • High price;

  • Laboriousness of installation, installation and adjustment;

Signature radar detectors

Signature radars

New items that have appeared on the market relatively recently and have won many accolades from drivers who have tried them. The principle of their operation is based on the principle of signatures – certain parameters of the input signal characteristic of certain radiation. Traditional radar detectors respond to all signals in a row, forcing the driver to be constantly on the alert. Their signature counterparts, on the other hand, discard false signals (shop windows, automatic doors, video surveillance) and sound only those signatures that are characteristic of police devices. Each actuation of such a device means one thing – you are 'caught' at speed.


  • Compact and highly functional;

  • Thanks to the advanced radar part, they are able to filter out the radar signal even against the background of powerful and intense interference;

  • Constantly updated signature databases;

  • Significantly reduce the likelihood of false positives;


  • High price;

  • The need for constant updating of signature databases;

  • Slower response due to the need to verify signatures with the incoming signal;

GPS radar detectors

GPS radars

Unique devices, the functionality of which consists not only of a radar part and a radio module, but also of a highly sensitive GPS receiver that tracks the location of the car. The latter significantly expands the functionality of the device due to the possibility of using databases of stationary cameras, which the radio module cannot 'catch' in principle, since they most often 'shoot' in the back. When approaching them, the radar detector will warn in advance and offer to reduce the speed of your car.


  • Functionality;

  • Constant updating of databases and inclusion of new, recently installed, radars and cameras;

  • Simplicity in use;

  • Ease of installation and operation;

  • Detects all known types of radars, including modern stationary ones ('Strelka', 'Avtouragan');


  • High price;

  • The need to track the release of updates and update databases;

The main criteria for choosing a radar detector

radar selection criteria

Having decided on a specific type of device, you should pay close attention to its technical characteristics.

  1. Sensing range. Modern models are characterized by a range of 1-1.5 to 4-5 kilometers, which is more than enough to warn the driver about an 'ambush' in advance. The more powerful the device, the more expensive and technologically advanced it is. In addition, it should be remembered that the quality of signal reception is affected by many different factors, including relief, weather and precipitation;

  2. The range of radiation captured by the radar detector. The most commonly used bands are K, X, Ultra K and Ultra X. In addition to them, the lion's share of devices 'understand' the Ka and Ku bands, but in Russia and neighboring countries there is no need for them: radiation of such a range is typical for video surveillance systems , as well as all kinds of automatic doors and showcases;

  3. The type of indication of the displayed information. Nowadays, even budget models are equipped with sound and symbolic indications indicating the type of signal and its intensity. The most advanced models are equipped with a liquid crystal display, which also allows you to display the device emitting it, as well as the approximate distance to it;

  4. The ability to work in the Instant On ranges, which is typical for most stationary devices, emitting a signal only during speed measurement, and POP, the principle of which is based on ultra-frequency pulses, which are used to monitor multiple targets simultaneously. In our country, the POP range is typical for devices of the Iskra and Berkut series;

  5. The principle of detecting Strelka radar systems is extremely important, since these devices are the “generators of letters of happiness” in our country. When choosing a radar detector, preference should be given to those models based on the mixed principle of detecting devices of this class. It consists in the joint work of the radar part and the GSM module;

  6. The ability to change modes between 'city' and 'highway' is important for those who are constantly traveling and do not want all sorts of side signals to distract him from driving. In highway mode, most modern devices turn off unused frequency bands, leaving only those with which it is possible to meet on the highway. Conversely, in city mode, the device starts working with as wide a frequency range as possible, providing the ability to track a wide variety of radar signals.

Choosing a radar detector with a gps navigator

radar detector with gps navigator

In addition to classic radar detectors, a large number of various combined devices can be found on sale, the most popular of which are radar detectors with a built-in GPS navigator. As a rule, such devices are equipped with a bright and high-contrast LCD display, with the help of which not only information regarding the availability of stationary and mobile radars is displayed, but also navigation is carried out – the device has the ability to plot a route using preloaded maps.

When choosing such devices, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the radar part, guided by the above criteria, but also to the navigation component. In particular, attention should be paid to the following features:

  1. Diagonal and display resolution. The higher these parameters are, the better and more detailed the picture will be at the output;

  2. Navigation system type – Navitel, Yandex.Maps, Garmin, as well as many other systems that are less popular in our country can be preinstalled in a specific device;

  3. Frequency of database updates and updates for navigation maps. The higher, the more accurate and detailed the maps will be and the more stationary radars and cameras the device will know;

  4. Type of navigation system – in addition to classical GPS navigation, the best models have the ability to work in the domestic GLONASS satellite tracking system, which significantly improves navigation and makes route planning faster and more accurate;

  5. Power supply type. The best devices have the ability to work both from the built-in battery and from the car's cigarette lighter;

Criteria for choosing a radar detector with a video recorder

radar detector with video recorder

There is another type of combined device – a radar detector equipped with a built-in video recorder. Such devices are also popular, first of all, among those buyers who do not want to drive around with wires hanging in the car interior and prefer compact devices of the 'all-in-one' series. Choosing a device of this type, you should pay attention not only to the capabilities of the radar detector, but also to the functionality of the DVR:

  1. Recorder lens angle width. The higher it is, the more objects will fall into the frame of the device;

  2. Recording resolution. Preference should be given to devices that record video, at least in FullHD;

  3. The frame rate of the footage. The minimum allowable recording speed is 30 frames per second, a slower picture will turn out to be jerky and low-quality;

  4. The type of media to be recorded on. Devices with their own memory – the last century, much more convenient and functional models that record video to a microSD memory card;

  5. The presence of a built-in battery is a definite plus of this class of devices. It can be used to record even when the car ignition is off;

  6. Adhering to the above criteria, you will surely choose a high-quality and functional device for all occasions!

Video for choosing a radar detector

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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