The R1 and the R3, Uniden’s top radar detectors, were received with much acclaim when they were released. But just like any other electronic device, they are not perfect. In time, they are bound to be surpassed by the competition regardless of their topnotch performance (in both city and highway settings, by the way). So what’s Uniden got to do? Issue a follow-up on its bestsellers, that’s what.
You read that right—the highly popular R1 and even more of a bestseller R3 have relinquished the throne to a new Uniden radar detector, the R7. When the community first learned of the development, it quickly became posed as the year’s top radar detector, a title which speaks of the community’s confidence in the brand based on its product.
It is also thought to be the company’s answer to its rivals’ top of the line detectors, such as the Escort Max 360 and Valentine One. The R7 is in possession of the directional arrows that the Valentine had rights to for so long, and is a feature that the R3 was missing, but that’s just one addition. There are more to expect from the device, some of which we’ve summarized for you below.
The R7 is not a teeny-tiny detector by any means. The machine packs up in size, but that is for a good reason instead of being an arbitrary choice. Its display, which will be tilted towards the driver and will come in full-color OLED, is the largest among radar detectors, even edging out the size of its competitors.
The text on it will also be larger than before, which will help in its readability. It will have a light sensor and an auto dimming function that is dependent on the lighting conditions.
The sleek machine has plenty of buttons located on its exterior to help you configure the device as pleased. There are the basics such as a menu button, separate buttons for increasing and decreasing volume, and power button, all located on top.
The side, meanwhile, is home to the mute and mark buttons. The functions differ based on the type of press. For the latter, a single tap means to mute the alert, a double press remembers a false alert, and a long press adjusts the detector’s brightness.
For the mark button, a short press marks a location, another short press while in the vicinity of the marked area deletes it, and a long press will free your detector of all stored GPS marks. This could take awhile to remember although this is nothing unusual.
Part of the justification for the size is also the directional arrows we have mentioned earlier, to be located on a corner of the display and indicated as right, left, up and down arrows.These can show alerts simultaneously (they will be maxed out at four) while also indicating the signal strength from each direction.
Depending on the strength, the arrows will change from green for weak, yellow for medium, to red for strong. The initial firmware update will give the R7 the capacity to show strength by band, so take that update as soon as you can, and as often as you can.
There are more than a few departures to count from the appearance of the R3, such as the rear antenna, for instance, which will be located on the R7 display’s right side. The cable port is now transferred to the detector’s right side, making it more like its competitors in this aspect. Lastly, it now has a MicroUSB instead of the R3’s MiniUSB, and the package should come with a USB cable specifically for its use.
Long range performance
The R7 is expected to build on the range and the sensitivity of the R3, pegging an increase in detection range at 12%.
While the rate is not what we have initially seen, the R7 with its beta firmware has edged out the rest of the competition such as the Escort Max 360 C and the Valentine One, and even its own fellow Uniden radar detector, the R3 on the most common frequencies detected by these machines in a few tests.
Only the custom-installed Escort Max Ci 360 exceeded it more than once, but with the price difference, you can count on getting the best from the R7. Even rear detection is topnotch and easily surpasses other top of the line radar detectors.
If you are looking for more info about the R3: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/uniden/r3-review/
Different driving modes
Like many other radar detectors, the R7 has a distinct setup for driving in the city and on the highway. While the latter maxes out the sensitivity of the radar detector, city mode will see a 10% drop when it comes to K bands to keep false alerts at bay.
An advanced setting will have you manually adjust just how sensitive the machine should be in case highway and city modes do not suffice.
Immunity to radar detector detectors (RDDs)
Just like the R3, the Uniden R7 will be undetected by most RDDs, making it ideal for use in areas where the technology is against the law and at par with its competitors.
Taking cues from the competition, the R7 will be able to sweep lower ends of the K-band. It will go even lower than what the R1 and the R3 are currently capable of doing.
The R7 will retain the excellent filtering system we’ve seen previously on the R1 and the R3. It is likely to see an increased number of false alarms though if not configured further, given its improved sensitivity.
The R3 will reportedly not be having this feature anytime soon, but the R7 will have it right after its first firmware update. It will be similar to Escort detectors’ AutoLearn technology in which the detector automatically knows which alerts should be ignored.
It can save up to a total of 2,000 lockouts, both automatic and manual. The machine should also be equipped with a manual mute button while we’re waiting for the update.
- A large, full OLED display that increases readability
- Directional arrows to indicate orientation and strength of detected signals
- Improved detection range and increased sensitivity that surpasses most of the competition on different types of frequencies
- Most RDDs will not be able to detect it
- Improved MRCD detection
- GPS Autolockouts to decrease false alarms
- No built-in bluetooth
- OLED display can be washed out by sunlight
Q: When is the R7 scheduled to be launched and how much will it cost?
A: It is already available for purchase and shipping now! The R7 was released by Mid-April as initially anticipated. It is more expensive than its older siblings as it retails for $599.
Q: Will there be a non-GPS version of the Uniden R7?
A: Uniden has not expressed an interest in releasing a non-GPS version of the R7 although that may change in the future.
Since its launch some days ago, the R7 has already proven that it possesses increased detection and sensitivity than the competition. It also doesn’t suffer from lesser performance on its rear sensor. Bluetooth is a minor absence, but we have yet to see if the brand will remedy that.
Basing on the initial run tests, we can say that the hype built around the R7 is justified. With firmware updates to follow, we will see if it even becomes more of a force to be reckoned with as what has already been established, and if it indeed is a strong contender for being this year’s top radar detector.