Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Whistler XTR-695 Review/Preview


Update 23 May 09: Read about the new and even higher performance Whistler XTR-695-SE

Update 01 Sep 08: Full Review at Whistler XTR-695 Review

Whistler XTR-695 Radar Detector Formally Announced Today

I am pleased to report today Whistler Group has announced its continuing commitment to producing top-performing radar detectors while sporting unique feature differentiators at modest price points.

Whistler's latest radar detector offering is the Whistler XTR-695. Whistler has taken the best of the XTR-690/Pro-78 Rev C. platform and added some truly unique features.

With the XTR-695, Whistler now offers two new exclusive reception alerting capabilities: Ka Radar Signature ID (RSID) and Laser Signature ID (LSID).

Whistler has decided to help take the guess work out of police radar gun identification and instead indicate only the well-established Ka police radar frequencies approved for use.

In the case of Ka-band police radar, the Whistler XTR-695 RSID can identify the nominal frequency of the police radar gun that is being used to target you.

In the very wide Ka police radar band this amounts to six frequencies: 33.8Ghz, 34.0Ghz, 34.3Ghz, 34.7Ghz, 34.9Ghz, 35.5Ghz (34.0Ghz and and 34.3Ghz are used primarily abroad, while 34.9Ghz appeared on some "early" Ka police radar guns).

When it comes to police laser (police lidar), the Whistler XTR-695 is the only laser detector that will display the actual police laser's pulse-rate (PPS rate).

This will educate the driver to the PPS rates of police laser guns being used as each manufacturer's lidar gun is built to perform at a specific pulse-rates such as 100/125/130/200/238/380/600.

Beyond merely identification, the XTR-695's LSID enables another truly unique and welcomed feature —that is selective "squelching" or muting of certain laser alerts based upon the detected pulse-rate.

Whistler is being very forward thinking on this capability which should provide greater utility in the future as more and more laser-based automotive systems flow into the market. This includes, but is not limited to, LED type tail-lights and brake-lights, laser-based adaptive cruise control and lane departure systems, any of which have the potential to wreak havoc on radar detectors with sensitive laser detection.

This "lock-out" feature enables the Whistler XTR-695's owner to "mute" laser alerts from up to 10 of these systems +/- 10% of the identified pulse-rates.

If your travels routinely take you by airports, you will now have the ability to mute falses from the laser-based wind shear detection systems that can routinely set-off sensitive laser detectors. Before setting a lock out rate you should first determine if it is within 10% of known police lidar.

Ergonomically, Whistler has a number of rewarding enhancements for discriminating drivers concerned about aesthetic continuity within the environs of the driver's cockpit.

The XTR-695's LCD can now be programmed to display seven back-lit colors: two shades of green (light/med), three shades of blue (light/med/dark), one red, and one purple. This should enable the 695's owner to match the display to virtually any interior lighting scheme.

The Whistler XTR-695 can also be programmed to visually alert differently to varying police radar bands using any of the seven colors or a sequenced pattern of all seven colors.

Another welcomed and novel design element of the Whistler XTR-695 is a low-glare housing is designed to reduce/eliminate sun-glare and minimize its mirror reflection on the windshield.

The Whistler XTR-695 features an audio jack which will enable the radar detector to be potentially integrated into other related devices such as Cheetah's GPSmirror red-light camera and speed camera detection systems.

Like the Whistler XTR-690, the XTR-695 provides both compass and voltage information.

The MSRP for the XTR-695 is $249USD with the street price expected to be somewhat lower.

As with other Whistler top radar detectors, you would be well advised to purchase this new detector only from an authorized dealer who adheres to Whistler's established MAP policy to ensure that Whistler's generous three year warranty is not voided.

I am looking forward to getting some "seat-time" with this capable radar detector and providing a more formal follow-up review.

In the meantime, I again offer the fine folks at Whistler Group, mega-kudos for not resting on their laurels and for continuing pushing the performance envelope with their product offerings. I anticipate more great things from this enterprising organization!

You're welcomed to join the discussion of this exciting new radar detector: Whistler XTR-695 Announced

Update: 27 JUN 08: Formal review can now be found at: Whistler XTR-695 Review

Happy and Safe Motoring!

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