Friday, December 19, 2008

Cobra XRS R10G, R8 & Cobra XRS 9960G, XRS 9955 GPS-Enabled Radar Detectors


Cobra XRS 9960G & Cobra XRS R10G

Cobra XRS R10G/Cobra XRS R8 & Cobra XRS 9960G/Cobra XRS 9955 New GPS-Enabled Radar Detectors

Update: 08 MAR 09

Our Full Review: Cobra XRS-9960G Review

It's clear to me that GPS-enabled radar detectors—able to alert to the presence of nefarious speed cameras and red light cameras—are here to stay and Cobra certainly gets this as evidenced by their introduction of new gps-enabled radar detectors, including the Cobra XRS R10G and Cobra XRS 9960G.

For 2009, Cobra will continue following the lead established by Escort (two years ago with the Passport 9500i) with the introduction of newer, smaller, and more capable GPS-enabled radar detectors than previous Cobras, including their new flagship Cobra XRS R10G and Cobra XRS 9960G.

These new detectors, like the Cobra XRS 9960G ($389) and Cobra XRS R10G ($469), will feature Cobra's proprietary and extensive Aura photo enforcement (red light camera & speed camera) database covering the United States, Canada, and Europe with claimed 100% verification of fixed speed cameras, red light cameras, known speed trap locations, and dangerous intersections.

The accretive Aura Camera and Driving Hazard database is the latest incarnation of the former U.K. company Performance Products Limited's technology—whose highly regarded Snooper® European GPS models were equipped with the enigma database—which was acquired by Cobra in 2006.

Like other gps-enabled detectors offered which utilize another proprietary and highly regarded Trinity database (Beltronics GX65, Escort Passport 9500ci, Escort Passport 9500ix, Cheetah GPSMirror, Cheetah C100), these new Cobra models promise to provide a much higher level of accuracy and lower false rate as compared to those offered by devices relying on hobbyist provided data, since proper identification and classification of photo enforcement technology really requires trained professionals to do well.

These new GPS detectors will utilize newer, much smaller, and easier to use/update GPS modules that directly connect to the detectors and is a far more elegant solution as compared to the earlier Cobra XRS R7/Cobra XRS R9G and Cobra XRS 9950 models which required a separate cable and windshield-mounting location for their larger external GPS modules.

These smaller GPS modules (RDA GPSL55) offer the convenience of being directly connectible to your PC (via a direct USB port connection) for automated updating (SYNCing) from Cobra's online web portal on as frequent as a daily basis without the need for the entire radar detector to be removed from the vehicle, to do so. (Beltronics and Escort models have their GPS capability built-into the detectors themselves to take up less space on the windshield and are a "cleaner" approach as a result, but require the complete detector to be connected to the PC for updating).

A total of 10 radar detectors will be able to benefit from the incorporation of the Aura camera database: Cobra XRS 979, Cobra XRS 999, Cobra XRS 9845, Cobra XRS 9945, Cobra XRS 9955, Cobra XRS 9990, Cobra XRS 9860G, Cobra XRS 9960G, Cobra XRS R8, and Cobra XRS 10G.

The three Cobra models ending with a G designation, the Cobra XRS 9860G, Cobra XRS 9960G, and the Cobra XRS 10G include the GPS module and come with a lifetime subscription to the Aura camera database at no additional charge, a very nice feature, indeed.

The other seven models, the Cobra XRS 979, Cobra XRS 999, Cobra XRS 9845, Cobra XRS 9945, Cobra XRS 9955, Cobra XRS 9990, and Cobra XRS R8 will require the purchase of the GPS locator which retails for $99.95 and will require an annual subscription fee of $29.95 for continued database updates after the initial 12-month period of free updates, expires.

If you expect the need for GPS detection anytime in your future (you should), then I would recommend the purchase of one of the G designated models as the cost savings, over time, will be signficant.


Cobra's Information-Packed OLED Displays: Industry Class Leaders

Several of these Cobra radar detectors are in a class by themselves when it comes to display panels with the incorporation of the latest advancements in display technology—the OLED—which can be easily configured to suit the color schemes of most vehicles.

I only hope that the high-gloss display (which has been far too reflective)—on the windshield-mounted radar detectors—gives way to a more low-glare surface that will be easier to view in a wider variety of lighting conditions.

Cobra will also join the ranks of Beltronics, Escort, and Whistler with the augmentation of voice alerting into several of their new models.

Getting A Lot Of Things Right

If these new Cobra models continue to show real-world performance improvement with police radar, police laser detection and false-rejection (not an unreasonable expectation considering the somewhat lofty price points) I would expect them to have the potential of being compelling offerings.

In any event:

GPS-enabled radar detectors are the wave of the future.

Frankly, everything else is beginning to feel outmoded.

Happy and Safe Motoring!

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