The Valentine One from Mike Valentine, who used to work with Cincinnati Microwave, helping the company design its original radar detector, has been on the market since the early 90s, and the detector has since then won the favor of many consumers, who swear by its reliability, accuracy, and well-thought-out design.
|Valentine One||Valentine One Radar Detector||Buy on Amazon|$798.98(Price as of 10/22/2019 11:49 ET)|
|Escort||Escort Max 360 Radar Detector (Black)||Buy on Amazon|$549.95(Price as of 10/22/2019 11:49 ET)|
Although the Valentine One was never without competition, the fact that Mike Valentine held the patent for the directional threat arrows which are so characteristic for the V1, as the Valentine One is commonly called, prevented other companies from releasing radar detectors which would be seen by consumers as equally capable.
That changed in 2015 with the expiration of Valentine’s patent and the release of the Escort Max 360, which is the first radar detector from Escort to incorporate the same directional threat arrows as Valentine customers have been used to for all these years.
The question that begs to be answered is whether Escort has managed to beat Valentine at the company’s own game, or whether the Valentine One remains the king of radar detectors even in 2019.
The performance of the Valentine One is legendary. The detector offers excellent sensitivity across all police radar bands (X-band, K-band, 33.8 & 34.7 & 35.5 Ka-band), and its laser sensitivity is just as fantastic. Long-term users of the Valentine One never forget to praise the detector’s agility, and the unique ability to pick up even handheld police radars before it’s too late.
Four directional threat arrows provide maximum situational awareness to all threats regardless of where they’re coming from. Apart from threat direction, the Valentine One also informs about the number of detected threats and their bands. False positives are rare thanks to the Valentine One’s exceptional filtering of car collision avoidance systems, which are known for confusing lesser radar detectors to the point of rendering them unusable.
Considering how well the Valentine One is constructed and how accurate and reliable it is, the price Mike Valentine is asking for his product seems very reasonable. That said, the Valentine One isn’t without a few flaws, and perhaps the biggest one is the absence of GPS to alert to photo enforcement locations.
Because Mike Valentine is fundamentally against this feature, arguing that law enforcement could easily take advantage of it to generate a barrage of false positives, it’s unlikely that the Valentine One will support it anytime soon.
The second major disadvantage of the Valentine One is the absence of Bluetooth connectivity. To configure the radar detector using the V1 app, you have to purchase a dedicated Bluetooth module, which is a hassle that seems utterly archaic in 2019.
After a long time of downplaying the importance of directional threat arrows, Escort has finally released a radar detector with the functionality that so many of its faithful customers desired, but couldn’t get because of Mike Valentine’s patent. But the Escort Max 360 isn’t just a carbon copy of the Valentine One, it’s a solid effort to create a radar detector of a new generation.
That said, the Escort Max 360 has a built-in GPS module, a comprehensive photo enforcement database, an integrated Bluetooth functionality for easy pairing with smartphones, and support for Escort’s crowd-sourcing Escort Live mobile app.
Thanks to Escort Live, the Escort Max 360 protects drivers beyond conventional radar and laser threats by providing additional protection against laser traps and patrol locations reported by other drivers in the area. The Escort Max 360 also displays the current speed limit as well as the current speed to help you avoid going over the limit even if you miss the speed limit sign.
Just like the Valentine One, the Escort Max 360 offers good sensitivity to a police radar bands and a respectable detection of police lasers. While the Escort Max 360 feels quick and agile, its responsiveness is slightly behind the responsiveness of the Valentine One.
Whereas the Valentine One has simple one-color directional threat arrows, the Escort Max 360 has multi-color OLED arrows for easy band identification. Unfortunately, the arrows can be slightly hard to read with sun shining directly on them.
One of the cool things about the Escort Max 360 is that you can stay ahead of the threats by downloading the latest threat locations in the Escort Max 360’s software. All you’ll need to do is attach your Escort Max 360 to your Mac or Windows computer via a USB cable, and install that way.
The Escort Max 360 comes with unique and clear voice warnings that enable hands-free operation while you’re driving. The unit is able to speak alerts to you that are tailored to fit your location and movement. You don’t have to take your eyes off the road this way.
Because of all the extra features, the Escort Max 360 is considerably more expensive than the Valentine One, but it also offers much more functionality.
The Valentine One is a barebones radar detector that emphasizes reliability over extra features. The Escort Max 360, on the other hand, has more features than any other radar detector on the market, which is also reflected in its price. Neither radar detector is significantly more accurate or quicker to respond than the other, but the Valentine One has a slight edge in this regard.