Cobra Road Scout Review

18th Sep,2022

The Cobra Road Scout is a two-in-one dashcam radar detector. Belonging to the “elite series” of Cobra products, the Road Scout is a decent alternative for those looking for a dashcam and radar detector in one unit. 

With an easy-to-switch EZ Mag Mount and several built-in (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS ) capabilities, this mid-tier radar detector doesn’t compromise on quality, reliability, and performance despite its reasonable price. Is the Road Scout better than standalone radar detectors and dashcams, or is this truly as efficient as it claims to be? Let’s take a closer look. 

front picture of road scout dashcam

PROS:
  • 1080P Full HD Dash Cam @30 FPS
  • Improved BMS Filtering
  • GPS Defender base and Database Updates
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Compact design
  • IRADAR App
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • False Alert and IVT Filtering
  • 4 Band Detection (X, K, Ka, Laser)

CONS:
  • No Parking Mode Protection
  • No hardwiring
  • Slow radar detection

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Design 

The idea of a dashcam and radar detector in one device is a rather attractive proposition for enthusiasts. The Road Scout is an award-winning radar detector that combines the functionality of both a radar detector and a dashcam in a single, compact product. Not convinced see our list of top detectors for and see how well this 2 in 1 stacks up.

Style 

The design of the radar detector itself is exceptional and unique. It is in stark contrast to other traditional radar detectors that come in sturdy block contraptions. The robust contraption of the Cobra Road Scout looks like a high-tech binocular with enhanced night vision and a section for the EZ Mag Mount. 

Windshield Mount 

Just like its build and design, the EZ Mag Mount stands out from competitor radar detectors. The Mount is designed like a suction cup that clips onto the windshield through a magnetic interface.  The upper exterior portion of the Road Scout has an opening that connects to Mount Mag instantly through a magnet. 

Most users are concerned about whether it is sturdy enough to keep the detector upright and it mostly works as a convenient mount that can snap on and off at any given point. This means that you can use it for another car if you want to as the dismantling process is quick and hassle-free. Rest assured that it will stay put on your windshield without any problem. But if you want a fully intergrated look you should see this post on rearview mirror dashcams.

Controls 

The buttons at the front are responsive and can be used for multiple functions. There are primarily three controls–Mute button, Sensitivity, and Brightness button with a dial-like display and a rotary dial beside it. If you press the sensitivity button and brightness button at once, you can open up the general menu and use the rotary dial to navigate its settings. This is similar to the maxcam 360c 2 in 1 dashcam / radar detector.

Display

Road scout dashcam picture

The display in the center presents information about your radar band and signal strength.  It also displays when your dash camera is recording, your current speed, and your local speed limit. The screen is pretty decent except for the flickering sensor that lights up every time you speed up or slow down. 

Storage 

When it comes to storage, the Road Scout does not miss its mark. It comes with a 16GB Micro SD card that can be upgraded up to 32 GB, so there won’t be any issues recording as many dashcam video recordings as you want. 

USB Cables 

The Cobra Road Scout comes with a SmartCord USB that can be used to power your radar detector. It also includes a micro USB cable that transfers video footage from your dashcam to your computer. 

Remember that this device does not come with hard wiring, so you need to power it with your 12W Cigarette adapter in the vehicle.

Overall, the design and appearance are relatively simple and not complex for a regular user. Let us look at its functions as a radar detector and dashcam. 

Radar Detector Features  

Cobra advertises its elite range product as a “2-in-1 Driver Alert System,” so it is only fair to individually outline its features and performance as a radar detector and dash camera separately. Listed below are some of the features of a radar detector. 

road scout info graphic

Detection Range

As a mid-tier radar detector, the Road Scout’s performance is underwhelming as compared to other radar detectors in the same range. Its drawback lies in its ability to detect alert bands promptly, and even false alerts fall short of the expected outcome. 

Radar detection is one of the main reasons for buying a radar detector, and the Road Scout is far behind in long-range detection and blind-spot monitoring. The detector on this one is slow and usually goes off when the patrol cars are already in the line of sight. 

The Road Scout takes 1-3 seconds to detect alerts on the Ka-band, unlike other detectors that alert within a fraction of a second. The performance is worse on K bands that have a very poor rear sensitivity even if you are 100 feet away from the radar gun. 

If radar detection is a priority, then we recommend going for the Escort range which is fairly great at detecting signal alerts. Or you can see the other options for cheaper detectors.

Sensitivity Modes and Indicators 

The Cobra Road Scout offers alerts for X, K, Ka bands, and Laser guns at the rear and front ends. Pressing the Sensitivity button will enable three sensitivity modes: Low, High, and Auto.  The Sensitivity feature automatically adjusts your default radar band settings depending on your driving speed. 

For instance, if you travel on the auto sensitivity feature, the X and K band detection range will depend on how fast or slow you travel. Similarly, if your speed exceeds 50 mph then your X and K bands default to the maximum range. It is advisable to switch your sensitivity to Auto mode so it can dynamically adjust to your driving patterns. 

To access several indicators, you need to hold down on the sensitivity and brightness buttons at the same time. The general menu includes indicators such as 

  • Camera and microphone
  • GPS
  •  Signal band and strength
  •  Speed alerts that connect to the IRADAR app 
  •  A scanning bar. 

The frequency of the indicators can be adjusted in the settings menu. 

False Alert and IVT Filtering 

In terms of False alert filtering the Road Scout performs well. Since it falls short in radar detection range, it makes up for it in IVT Filtering and False Alerts. The IVT (In-Vehicle technology) filter prevents potential false alerts, which are often triggered by collision avoidance systems and adaptive cruise control systems on vehicles around you. 

The IVT Filtering is not remarkable, but at least it performs well in marked locations. It is almost impervious to blind-spot monitoring even in heavy traffic, and Road Scout barely makes a sound. 

The mute button is accessible if your alarm sets off, and you can easily silence it by pressing the mute button near the display screen.  It is due to its extensive false alert filtering that severely impacts radar performance. 

IRADAR App

picture of dashcam app

The Cobra IRADAR app connects you to a forum of other cobra users that share real-time cloud alerts on red-light cameras and speed cameras on one interface. The app is immersive and can be easily downloaded on your phone. 

Some of its features include 

  • Sharing updates on IRADAR and even on the Escort Live App, so you know that the alerts are organic and useful. 
  • Displays all your cloud alerts 
  • Navigates your location on the app itself. 
  • Displays over-speed limits alongside your current feed. 
  • Update radar settings 
  • Customize real-time alerts for your location

Hence, the IRADAR app is an extremely helpful app for cobra users. 

If radar detectors are illegal in your state, you can download apps that also alert you to threats on the road. Although the apps are not as good as a real radar detector it will be better than having nothing at all.

GPS Lockouts

The Road Scout can deter stationary false alerts with this manual GPS lockout feature. The next time you pass a false alert like a speed limit sign, you can simply triple press the mute button to record this as a false alert. The radar detector will manually learn this and deflect false alerts the next time you pass the same sign. 

Even though most radar detectors feature an Auto Lockout element, the Road Scout enables you to store fixed locations for false alerts which seamlessly integrates with your cloud memory. There are few glitches with the manual lockout feature due to poor digital signal processing. However, these malfunctions aren’t prominent enough to flag them as problematic. 

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, And GPS 

Wi-Fi is important for accessing various dashcam and radar detector connectivity features. If you want to connect to real-time alerts on your radar detector and wish to enable automatic database updates, then getting a WiFi hotspot connection in your car is a good deal-breaker. 

It saves you the hassle of connecting your phone every time you get into your car and displays the speed limit on your radar detector. With its built-in Bluetooth feature, you can pair your phone to the radar detector and get real-time alerts on it simultaneously. 

This feature is, in this case, useful for various reasons, but it falls short on both. Sometimes, it displays alerts on the phone and rarely on the detector so you need to reconnect it every time. 

The GPS is decent and helps with GPS Lockouts and adjusting your speed sensitivity accordingly. 

Dashcam Features

The Dash Cam portion of the Road Scout performs comparatively better than its radar detector. It features a Full HD Dash Camera with a 1080P by 30fps resolution. We have outlined some of its main features. It rivals and arguably better than some of the cheaper dashcams out there.

For a Cobra specific dash cam check out the cobra SC 200D

Camera Quality and Recording

Scout dashcam view

Given that it has a decent camera that records shots of the surroundings, the video quality is average for a typical dash cam user. At its resolution, it can record for about four hours before it creates a continuous loop recording. With the added 16GB card, you have more space for storing recordings. 

The only drawback is that it records footage only on the road ahead and does not have a dynamic field of view. It lacks parking mode protection, so it won’t stop recording even if your vehicle is parked. 

Built-in G Sensor 

The G sensor is useful for locking footage at the time of an accident. The Road Scout has a G sensor in four settings: OFF, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. It comes in the default Level 2 setting, and its accuracy increases depending on the level. 

If you are a rideshare driver we recommend buying a dashcam that specifically records the inside and outside of your vehicle.

Emergency Recording Mode 

As discussed, the first way to activate emergency recording mode is by adjusting the G sensor. If you haven’t adjusted it yet and need to record an important incident, you can press down on the mark button and save the recording. To stop the recording, press down on the mark button to exit emergency mode. 

Drive HD 

This application is a live view version of the dash camera recording. You can download videos and the oldest footage on your Drive HD App, which makes it quite functional. You can adjust the few dashcam recording options in the settings and play previously recorded footage. 

The Drive HD App is responsive, which allows users to edit footage on their smartphone and even share videos with others. Hence, the dashcam on its own does a better job than the radar detector. 

Conclusion 

The Cobra Scout Road is an all-in-one convenient package that does come with useful features in one integrated unit. The dashcam radar detector performs as separate devices even though they are combined in one shell. 

As a radar detector, it loses its mark on some features though the dashcam makes up for its shortcomings. The Scout Road is perfect for cobra users who are keen on exploring dashcam radar detector integrations on a budget. 

FAQs

Should You Buy The Cobra Road Scout?

Whether you should get the Cobra Road Scout or not depends on what you are looking for in a dashcam radar detector. If you are looking for an entry-level dashcam radar detector, the Cobra Road Scout is a pretty solid baseline for new users. 

It is not a surprise that bundle packages compromise in some aspects to combine the functionalities into one unit. If you are strictly looking for a radar detector and dashcam that perform single handedly, then it is better to opt for standalone radar detectors and dash cams. 

How Often Will I Receive Software Updates? 

Software updates will occur automatically when connected to Wi-Fi. The Road Scout is Wi-Fi compatible, and it does update your system flexibly whenever there is a new update available. For Defender Database updates, it is usually updated weekly. Road Scout will notify you whenever a new update is available. 

William Johnson

William Johnson is the owner and founder of RatedRadarDetector.org. He writes about car accessories, with his passion stemming from a deep enthusiasm for all things automotive. His website, RRD, focuses on in-depth reviews of car accessories to help people find the best and latest products in the market.