Uniden DFR1 Review
Pros: Simple, inexpensive, impressive range for the price
Cons: No GPS, limited filtering, little customization, lots of false alerts
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|Pros||Simple, inexpensive, impressive range for the price||Adjustable X, K, and Ka-band sensitivity, super long range, built-in GPS, user friendly||X, K, Ka-band and laser detection, good range, user-friendly, budget-friendly||Bluetooth connectivity, community shared information, adjustable sensitivity||Somewhat adjustable sensitivity, simple, IVT filtering|
|Cons||No GPS, limited filtering, little customization, lots of false alerts||Little memory, inadequate BSM filtering, trouble with MultaRadar detection, no directional arrows||No MultaRadar detection, limited memory, false alerts, low-quality mount||No location lockouts, sensitivity adjustments cannot be performed individually, lots of false alerts||No location lockouts, lots of false alerts, no GPS or Bluetooth|
|Bottom Line||An inexpensive radar detector with impressive range but limited filtering and lots of false alerts||A highly customizable radar detector with an extremely long range at a fair price||A simple radar detector with an impressive range for a very friendly price||A radar detector that has Bluetooth connectivity to an app on your smartphone but leaves out a few favorite features in exchange for a friendly price||A simple radar detector with low-level customization but also a low price point|
|Rating Categories||Uniden DFR1||Uniden R3||Uniden DFR7||Cobra RAD 480i||Cobra RAD 380|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Uniden DFR1||Uniden R3||Uniden DFR7||Cobra RAD 480i||Cobra RAD 380|
|Radars Detected||X, K, Ka, Laser||X, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser|
|Display||Not stated||Multicolored OLED||OLED||Not stated||Not stated|
|Available Modes||Highway, City||Highway, City, Advanced||Highway, City, Advanced||Highway, City||Highway, City|
|Power Chord Type||12v||12v||12v||12v||12v|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Uniden DFR1 is a virtually featureless low-budget radar detector. It won't miss a threat but is also won't filter out non-threatening radar either. It does not detect MultaRadar (MRCD) and does not offer features like GPS location lockouts as it does not have GPS. This detector offers exactly what one would expect out of such an inexpensive device.
The DFR1 is relatively simple in this category. However, we didn't expect it to be overflowing with features for such a low price point. You cannot turn down the band sensitivity, but it does come equipped with a few different modes to adjust the sensitivity appropriately. It offers city and highway modes, highway mode being more sensitive. It also can detect X-bands, K-and, Ka-bands, and lasers.
The DFR1 does not have MultaRadar detection and doesn't do much in the way of filtering. Since this device is among the simplest and least expensive we tested, it does not come with GPS. This means you cannot manually lockout non-threatening stationery triggers and will most likely have to hear it go off every time you approach your local grocery store, mall, or any place that has automatic doors. It simply does not offer what the more expensive models do, but considering the price, it is still a rather high-functioning device.
Accuracy is a very important metric. If a radar detector can't pick out a threat, then it simply isn't doing its job. Picking up on frequencies is not the only job these devices have, though. Radars are all around us, so a quality detector should filter out non-threatening frequencies as well.
The DFR1 is not one to miss a true threat; however, it is a very talkative little device. The only sensitivity adjustments this detector offers are the three modes — city, highway, and highway 1 — so it false alerts a lot. It has 360-degree detection, but the front detection performs better than the rear detection. If you don't mind a lot of false alerting and you're on a budget, then this device is the right one for you. But be careful because false alerts make it difficult to pay attention when there is a real threat present.
Range is arguably just as important as accuracy. All the accuracy in the world won't help you if your detector doesn't pick up on the threat until it is 10 feet away from you. By that time, the cop will already be flashing their lights and gearing up to pull you over.
Range is really where this little budget-friendly device shines. It is not a long-range detector like many Uniden products, but the DFR1 is a true mid-range radar detector. During our testing, it lagged far behind the long-range models, but it did give us enough time to slow down before approaching the threat. At a price like this, you won't find a detector with a better range.
Ease of Use
This metric applies to initial device set-up, how easy it is to make adjustments as you get to know your device, and of course, how easy it is to understand the alerts. The DFR1, being very simple, requires minimal set-up. There is no smartphone app or Bluetooth pairing needed; just plug and go. That said, this level of simplicity is not without its downfall. The DFR1 does not divulge much information, so it can be hard to decipher between a true threat and a false alert. You may find yourself slowing down every time it alerts you of the presence of a radar frequency.
The value of this device is spot on. The price and what it has to offer coincide perfectly. It is simple, comes with just a few necessary features, and is the lowest costing radar detector in our test suite.
The Uniden DFR1 is a simple, almost featureless radar detector that won't miss a beat and will warn you with just enough time to slow down. It does not win any awards for its accuracy, and it is prone to alerting when there is no threat present. But with an impressive range for the price, this detector is a great choice for anyone looking to spend a minimal amount of money and doesn't mind false alerts.
— Hayley Thomas
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