Review Of The Uniden SDS100 Radio Scanner

Uniden SDS100 True I/Q Digital Handheld Scanner, Designed for Improved Digital Performance in Weak-Signal and Simulcast Areas, Rugged / Weather Resistant JIS 4 Construction

Uniden have created the SDS100 model as the first scanner with defined radio technology in order to provide outstanding digital performance, even when used in difficult radio frequency environments.

And even though the Uniden SDS100 is pricier than other police scanners, it’s not without a reason.
The high-end price is justified by the wide array of features, which we’ll discuss further in this review.

But first, let’s take a quick look at how the scanner looks.

Right off the start, you can see that the Uniden SDS100 is a handheld scanner. It has an LCD display, which is fully customizable, along with a backlit keypad that allows you to see the keys better at night.

Although it looks short at first, it has a thick handgrip molded into the device which means you’ll have absolutely no problems carrying it with you.

In addition, as soon as you grab the scanner into your hands you can feel that the rubber trim that goes around the bottom areas and the handgrip is much smoother than in other similar models, allowing for more durability.

Now, let’s go see what’s inside this device and what makes it one of the best radio scanners.

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Best Features

True I/Q Receiver

This is the best technology that the SDS100 uses because it ensures you can pick up digital transmissions even in the most testing RF environments. The I/Q receiver can capture complete waveforms in 3 dimensions, creating a much better signal recovery and improved error correction.

Location-Based Scanning

You can easily set your location by simply entering your zip code or GPS coordinates, and it will automatically find nearby frequencies. Even if you’re not sure about your location, the auto-locate feature will determine your general location.

HomePatrol Database

The scanner comes with a fully-equipped database of all the radio systems in the US and Canada. You can easily update the database with the Sentinel software that comes with the device, and Uniden makes sure that all information is correct by updating the main database on a weekly basis.

Water Resistance

The Uniden SDS100 has a water-resistant housing, meaning you can use the scanner in wet surroundings without damaging it.

Customizable Color Display

To make things easier, you can choose different colors for each individual field in the display, making the already easy-to-use design even better. Additionally, you can also choose how much information every field shows, and which field goes where so that you can get only the information that is valuable to you.

Technical Specs

  • Frequency Coverage: 25-512 MHz; 758-824 MHz; 849-869 MHz; 894-960 MHz; 1240-1300 MHz
  • Frequency Steps: 5, 6.25, 7.5, 8.33, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100 kHz
  • Location-based scanning
  • USA/Canada Radio Database
  • GPS Connectivity
  • Trunktracker X
  • Range Control
  • Audio Recording
  • Built-in Battery Charger

For the full list of technical specifications of the Uniden SDS100, click here.

What’s in the Box

When you open the box in which the SDS100 comes, you can find the following items:

  • Uniden SDS100 Scanner
  • USB Cable
  • AC Adapter
  • Hand Strap
  • Installed MicroSD Card
  • Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • SMA-BNC Antenna Adapter
  • SMA Type Antenna
  • Belt Clip
  • User Manual

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What Users Love the Most about It

When going through customer reviews and ratings of the SDS100 scanner, the feedback from actual users confirms that it truly is one of the best police scanners.

What people love the most are the many customization options of the display, and the fact that it can be used while charging makes things even easier for them.

“The SDS100 is miles ahead of all the previous models. The customizable color screen and the loud speaker are amazing. I love the fact that you can charge the battery while using the scanner. It performs equally good on both digital and simulcast systems, and the location-based scanning is outstanding, I recommend you learn how to use it! If you are on a simulcast with a lot of sites, you can enable location-based scanning in the Favorites list, and then set your current location. This way you will avoid catching the beginning of traffic. Another thing I really love is the close call alerts. They make you feel like a detective and beep before playing audio from nearby radio transmissions, all automatically.”  – yellolegalpad

Frequently Asked Questions

Will it receive 800 MHz State, county and local police transmission?

Yes, The SDS100 will cover unencrypted Police transmissions.

Does it have to be programmed by computer?

If you want to use the database, the database is updated using a computer, as well as the firmware, but you can program it by hand.

Does this do good in p25 phase 1, I don’t have simulcast in my area?

Yes, this scanner is great for picking up all systems.


Despite the high-end price, the Uniden SDS100 still makes the list of one of the best police scanners on the market. If you’re looking for something with outstanding features and high-quality digital performance, then this scanner is your best bet.

Finally, need a case for your SD100 scanner – have a look at our accessories for one.

Final rating: 4.6/5

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