Uniden R7 Review
Pros: Built-in GPS, customizable band sensitivity, MultaRadar detection, easy to use
Cons: Inadequate BSM filtering, no Bluetooth
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|Pros||Built-in GPS, customizable band sensitivity, MultaRadar detection, easy to use||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||Simple, inexpensive, impressive range for the price|
|Cons||Inadequate BSM filtering, no Bluetooth||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 GPS, limited filtering, little customization, lots of false alerts|
|Bottom Line||A top of the line, user-friendly, long-range radar detector at a mid-range price||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||An inexpensive radar detector with impressive range but limited filtering and lots of false alerts|
|Rating Categories||Uniden R7||Uniden R3||Uniden DFR7||Cobra RAD 480i||Uniden DFR1|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Uniden R7||Uniden R3||Uniden DFR7||Cobra RAD 480i||Uniden DFR1|
|Radars Detected||X, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser||X, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser|
|Display||Multicolored OLED||Multicolored OLED||OLED||Not stated||Not stated|
|Available Modes||Highway, City, Advanced||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 R7 is an advanced radar detector, rich with features and topped off with an award-winning range. With its high level of customization, built-in GPS, and user-friendly controls, it's no wonder why this device earns our top award. Whether you drive a short but fast route to work or you're a fan of long road trips, the R7 is sure to put your mind at ease.
Features are what set each radar detector apart from the next. Accuracy, range, and ease of use are all vital, but the features a model has to offer are really what determine its versatility and how advanced of a device it is. The R7 excels in this department.
The first, and arguably the most necessary, feature that the R7 offers is its built-in GPS. This allows the device to know its precise location and the marked locations of red light and speed cameras. With GPS comes the option to manually lockout stationery non-threatening signals or mark potential threatening locations. Automatic doors often trigger the K-band alert and can become rather annoying to hear every time you pop over to the grocery store. The ability to mark a non-threatening stationary location helps to cut down on false alerts. On the flip side, there may be a speed trap in your neighborhood that you would like to be reminded of. With one click of a button, you can mark the impending threat, and your device will know to warn you every time you get close to your user mark. Both location lockouts and user marks can be deleted very easily.
The next notable feature that the R7 offers is its full customization of individual band sensitivity. This model can detect X-band, K-band, Ka-band, MultaRadar, and laser, but not all of these frequencies are widely used. Adjusting the band sensitivity according to where you live is a great way to cut down on false alerts. For example, X-band radar guns are rather outdated, so most users opt to turn this detection off completely. On the other hand, Ka-band radar guns are the most popular among law enforcement, so this sensitivity should be kept high.
The R7 also has ample memory, a small bank of selectable tones and displays for each band alert, and ambient light sensors. Every GPS location lockout and user mark require a small amount of memory, making this a very important feature. This device allows for up to 2000 marks which is likely more than you will need. Having ample memory also means that the R7 will be able to handle future firmware updates as new features are released. Speaking of firmware updates, many devices with Bluetooth can be updated via your synced smartphone, but the R7 does not have Bluetooth. This means that updates must be performed the old-fashioned way, with a computer and a cable. This is by no means a deal-breaker, as the updates are not frequent, but certainly worth noting.
The importance of this metric is a given. If your device cannot accurately alert you of a threat, then it is not doing its job. That being said, there is more to accuracy than simply sounding an alarm in the presence of a radar. This metric also refers to filtering out frequencies that do not pose a threat.
Today we use radars for everything; automatic doors, speed indicator signs, railroads, in-vehicle technology, and more. They all operate within certain frequencies, but not every device has a unique frequency. For example, automatic doors often use K-band, and so do some law enforcement radar guns. This can be confusing to a radar detector, which is why Uniden comes equipped with special features to filter out false alerts like manual GPS location lockouts, user marks, traffic sensor filtering (TSF), and adjustable band sensitivity.
The R7 has no problem picking up various frequencies, and if you have adjusted the settings for your area, it does a great job of filtering out false alerts. That being said, it is not perfect. It has trouble filtering out blind-spot monitoring radars found on modern vehicles. Depending on where you live, you may be able to turn down your K-band sensitivity, but you are then risking not picking up on a K-band radar gun posing a real threat. Having the option to turn off or adjust the sensitivity of each band on its own greatly reduces false alerts, but you need to understand what radars are used in your area before making these adjustments.
Other features like the manual GPS lockouts are a huge help in the accuracy department too. With a quick double click of the mute button, you can lock out your local grocery stores, malls, railroads, or other false alert triggers. That being said, this double-tap took us a moment to get used to, so be sure that your screen says 'Mute Location' or else it is simply muting your current alert and will not lock out the location for future visits. TSF is a great feature to have turned on while driving on the highway as it is designed to filter out K-bands generated by traffic flow sensors. Aside from the lack of BSM filtering, the R7 does a great job in the accuracy realm.
Accuracy is important, but it doesn't do much without range. Getting an accurate alert when you are 20 feet away from the cop clocking you isn't going to do much in the way of ticket avoidance. All those fancy features just won't help you without enough time to process and react. Range can be affected by trees, hills, winding roads, buildings, or anything that may be blocking the radio wave from reaching you in the first place. No matter what kind of road we found ourselves on, the R7 beat every single detector to the punch.
Uniden detectors are known for their long-range, and the R7 is no exception. Whether you are winding through the mountains, in a busy city, or speeding down a flat country highway, the range does not budge. Dual antennae allow for 360-degree detection so that you remain fully aware of your surroundings at all times. Range is a pretty straightforward metric, and during our testing, the R7 proved to be the cream of the crop.
Ease of Use
A difficult-to-use radar detector could result in an outcome worse than a speeding ticket. It should not act as a distraction to the driver, so it should be easy to understand and require little finagling while driving. This metric also considers how easy the device is to install and how user-friendly the controls are.
The R7 is a very user-friendly device. Its suction cup mount sticks to the windshield with ease. After the initial install, adjusting the tilt of your device and removing it from the general public's view when not in use is as easy as pushing a button. Because this model does not have Bluetooth capabilities, there is no need to download an app or sync it to your smartphone; simply plug and go.
All settings can be adjusted right on the device, and the controls are uncomplicated and intuitive. It is wise to take a look at the manual to ensure you know what adjustments you are making, though. The large multicolor OLED screen is incredibly clear and the ambient light sensor helps keep your screen at the appropriate brightness at all times. The verbal alerts are very easy to hear, and the volume can easily be adjusted if you have a particularly noisy cab. The customizable colors and tones are just the icing on the cake. Lastly, the directional arrows make locating your threat simple and straightforward (or maybe straight backward).
The cost of the R7 is on the higher end of the mid-priced models. It still costs more than some of the other radar detectors in our review, but not by an outlandish amount considering what you get. If you are willing to spend a few extra dollars on an advanced setup that will last through multiple firmware updates, then there is no better option than this one.
The Uniden R7 performed consistently across our chosen metrics and is a great option for tech heads and the technologically challenged alike. It will be your most reliable road trip buddy yet. With its simple controls, advanced features, and easy-to-understand alerts, it's no wonder why it was our top-scoring model.
— Hayley Thomas
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