Whistler CR85 VS CR90

05th Feb,2022

Since its inception, Whistler has become a market leader in radar detectors, having produced quite a number of sterling radar detectors with innovative features.

The great thing about this brand is that it caters to those that want the very best features on their radar detector but do not want to spend all the money that they have.

Given Whistler’s great record at producing good radar detectors, how do you pick the best model for you?

To help you make a better decision, we pit two Whistler models together in a CE85 vs CR90 tug of war all to find out which is best for you.

Features of Both Radar Detectors


The Whistler CR85 is inundated with alerts and is the wrong radar detector to bring with you if you want a quiet drive. This is because it has a penchant for acknowledging CAS, or collision avoidance systems [1] in some vehicles. 

The only way around this would be to turn off X band detection. However, this comes with its own drawbacks. 

It does make up for this with the addition of  TFSR or Traffic Flow Signal Rejection. With this technology, your CR85 is able to ignore radar signals that come from the traffic flow radars utilized on so many highways.

The CR90 comes with both speed camera and red light camera alerts and that gives it the edge as these threats do not make use of radar. Its inbuilt GPS can be connected to the database to highlight known locations of cameras, alerting you once you get close to one. 

While this might seem like a great feature, there is a major drawback to this. In order for you to have the latest software and information, you will have to routinely update your firmware and since the CR90 does not have Wi-Fi capability it has to be connected directly into a computer and updated online

Stay Alert

This is a wonderful feature that only Whistler radar detector models have.

Stay Alert is perfect for night drives and long drives. It ensures that you are alert on those long night drives by beeping once a minute. It waits for you to respond by clicking any of the buttons. 

Should you not press the buttons, both the CR85 and the CR90 will beep loudly to gain your attention and ensure that you are concentrating on the road ahead.

Radar and Laser Detection

If there is one thing the Whistler CR85 is not, it is that it is not pretentious. It does not claim to be the very best when it comes to how many bands it covers. 

However, you have to understand that this is a mid-range radar detector and most of the competition do not have as many features as this has. It is, however, able to clearly identify the majority of the 16 varying signals used in North America, even if it does rely on external factors to do so.

It is possible to adjust the sensitivity on both radar detectors, a feature that is bound to be very useful in particular situations. 

Unlike some radar detectors that struggle with this, both the CT85 and the CT90 can pick up POP Mode radar gun signals. They might not be the best when it comes to radar detection, but they more than make up for this with laser detection.

It is not typical to find a radar detector in this price point that can double as a laser detector. It seems to be a feature that Whistler has made their own when it comes to their mid-range devices.


The Whistler CR90 tends to falter when searching for radar signals on the highway. This is because it has an extremely short range. 

There are more affordable radar detectors that come with longer range. 

Also, for the CR90 to be consistently accurate, you will have to ensure that its placement is exact. When aimed perpendicularly to a road, it has a range of around 0.3 miles while it measures a whopping 2 mile range when the device is aimed as straight as possible. 

The CR90 does fair a little better in city mode, as it is able to strike a balance between accurately warning you and filtering false alerts. One thing that it does miss, is an automatic mute function which can mute alerts. Without it, you will have to manually mute the alert or listen to the beeping.

The Whistler CR85 comes with sufficient protection against POP and LIDAR mode guns thanks to its decent laser detection. This, however, is not enough to cover for its abysmal radar detection or the fact that the CR90 beats it hands down when it comes to quick signal detection. 

As with all Whistlers, it comes with Stay Alert ensuring that you are driving safely on those long nights.

Conclusion: Whistler CR85 or CR90

Both detectors good enough as mid-range radar detectors.

The Whistler CR85 cannot be said to be the very best radar detector in the market, given that it seems to struggle in the false alert filter and range category. 

That being said, when you buy the Whistler CR85, you get what you pay for. If you are fine with having the basics for a low price, go for the CR85.

 If you want slightly improved features and GPS, then you need to go for the CR90.

The Whistler CR90 can be described as one of the more affordable radar detectors out there. It does shine with a decent city mode, however, there are just too many drawbacks to pick out an overall winner on this CR85 vs CR90 comparison battle. 

As a Whistler, it is very useful for speed and red light cameras thought the radar range leaves a lot to be desired.

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.