Uniden R7 vs DriveSmart Alpha X: Which Radar Detector is The Best?
Some people like them, some people hate them, but speed cameras are there to increase safety for all drivers. They’re designed to ensure you stay within the speed limit and prevent any accidents.
But even the most careful drivers who watch their speed can miss a speed limit sign. Newer cars are more powerful and quieter than ever, so it’s also possible to not notice how fast you’re going until it’s too late.
That’s where radar detectors come in!
They identify the positions of speed cameras, both fixed and mobile, and alert you visually and audibly so you can slow down without getting a ticket. But that’s just the basics of it. Modern detectors have a host of other features that make them even more essential for when you’re on the road.
Let’s check out the top two leading radars on the market right now – the Uniden R7 and the DriveSmart Alpha X.
Uniden R7 Review
The Uniden R7 is an advanced radar detector with plenty of exclusive features and an award-winning range. It’s a high-end radar with a $500 price tag, but it’s well worth the investment.
It has a multicolor OLED screen that’s slightly angled towards the driver for increased visibility. The screen can display plenty of useful information at once, including 4 different signals. The main buttons are on top of the detector, while the mute button is on the left side.
With a built-in GPS, it knows the precise location and the exact distance to red lights and speed cameras. This option also allows you to manually lockout interfering signals, such as automatic supermarket doors or pedestrian lights. With no false alerts to interrupt you, you can focus on the road and enjoy the ride.
The Uniden R7 can detect X-band, K-band, Ka-band, MultaRadar, and laser, but you can easily switch between them depending on the type of frequency used in your location.
But all these fancy features wouldn’t mean anything without a proper range. The R7 has an industry-leading range that works in any type of terrain. Simply put, no other radar on the market can match the range of the R7.
Another very important thing with radar detectors is that they need to be easy to use, so they are not a distraction to the driver. The R7 is very user-friendly – it attaches to your windshield with two suction cups, and has simple and intuitive controls. It also has an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness automatically. The verbal alerts are also very helpful and can have their volume adjusted depending on your need.
“I have been using the R7 for 2 months now. The radar detection on the device is effective. I have been able to pick up radar from a mile to two miles from the point of origination. The sounds for each frequency band are also distinctive and apparent. Another great thing about the device is it is HIGHLY customizable. The filtering alone won’t reduce false alarms enough, but combine the filtering with Q-ride, frequency/band sensitivity, etc. and the R7 is king. I get very few false alarms day-to-day and pick up radar signals from a mile-plus away. It’s a little pricey, but, nonetheless, I still believe the R7 is worth the price and will far exceed all other radar detector competition.” – Debbie
- Longest range on the market
- MRCD/MRCT detection support
- Easy to use
- Directional arrows
- GPS lockouts
- No Bluetooth
DriveSmart Alpha X Review
The DriveSmart Alpha X is the updated version of the DriveSmart Alpha, but with an improved display and increased radar filtering. It’s much more affordable than the Uniden R7, at around $200, but it still has the all-important features.
It has a clear OLED display and two buttons on the top for activating the smart radar and toggling the radar distance. The main menu options are accessed via the buttons underneath for less distraction.
Just like the R7, it attaches to the windshield via three suction cups. Once you set it up, it’s quite easy to use, and you won’t need to make many changes, except a few occasional map updates.
The Alpha X uses specific frequency band checks so it can filter out false alerts, such as automatic door and blind spot sensors. It’s a very useful feature, but it doesn’t have the ability to save these spots for later like the Uniden R7 does.
I am very pleased with the Alpha X. It is accurate, telling me I’m over the speed limit when I reach 70mph exactly. It spots cameras pretty well, and warns me of lower speed limits well in advance. It did miss one speed limit change though, despite me having the latest maps, but suppose that is the map site’s fault not the unit’s. Also, the mounting options are poor – which is a shame as the unit itself is so well made. Overall, it’s all good so far. – David K. Parker
- Smart filtering
- Real laser detection
- K-band Radar
- Anti-glare OLED display
- Well built
Suction cups don’t stick
Not so user-friendly menu
The Verdict – What’s the Best Radar Detector?
It’s clear that the Uniden R7 is the better radar detector in this case. But that speaks more about the R7 rather than the Alpha X. Coming in at less than half the price of the R7, the Alpha X offers incredible value for the price and has all the essential features you would need in a radar detector. If this is the first radar detector you’re using, the Alpha X would suit you just fine.
The R7, on the other hand, is in the high-end category and rightfully so. It has the best range on the market, along with dozens of features and a built-in GPS that makes it the gold standard in speed camera detectors.
Overall, the choice depends on your specific needs and driving habits. Whichever one you pick, you won’t go wrong!