I remember buying my first radar detector about 10 years ago when I first started driving. It was a Bel 926. The Bel 926 was an entry level model, but not the lowest in the range. At that time, it cost me $129 from Circuit City. This was a time when laser was still in its infancy and was pretty much nowhere to be found in New Jersey. All the towns around me used either X or K band, and most of the time they left the radar guns on constantly. While the 926 was an entry level model, it did pretty well at detecting X and K band and it saved me a bunch of times.
Unfortunately the detector died before I had it very long. Since I was still in the return period, I was able to return it to Circuit City. I decided I wanted to get a higher performing model, so I scoured the internet looking for reviews. If I remember correctly, the top models at the time were the Beltronics 980, the Valentine One, and an Escort model (don’t remember the number, it was 7500 I think). At the time, no other manufacturer even came close to the Valentine One’s $400 price tag. For me, and for many of the reviews I remember reading, people had a hard time justifying the $400 price tag as the competitors sub $200 detectors were almost as sensitive. I eventually decided to go with the Bel 950, but that’s not the point of this article.
Nowadays, Beltronics and Escort both have the best radar detector that cost more than the Valentine One, with the Escort Redline coming it at a whopping $500! While people go back and forth on which radar detector has better range, the fact of the matter is that both will warn you far before you get to the radar source. Each unit has it’s PROs and CONs, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to argue about those in this post. The fact of the matter is that the Valentine One is no longer the only astronomically priced for the best radar detectors for 2017. 10 years ago the Valentine One cost $399, and today it still costs the same price even though the unit has been upgraded over and over again and is still one of the top performing units out there. While $399 is still up there in price, it’s no longer the highest out there and can now be considered a bargain when comparing the price to the Escort Redline, Beltronics STi Driver, and the Escort Passport 9500ix. Can we consider the Valentine One a bargain nowadays?
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