Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beltronics Pro GX65 Review: Another GPS-Enabled Winner from BEL

Updated: 03OCT 08

I had the distinct pleasure of being able to put the new Beltronics Pro GX65 (BEL Pro GX65) through its paces this past weekend with some real, real-world miles—throughout several states which employ police radar operating at X, K, and Ka as well as police laser (lidar) and my initial impressions are that Beltronics has another winner on its hands.

Expected to start shipping later this month (or early October), the Beltronics Pro GX65 appears poised to sit-atop of the Beltronics professional series of conventional windshield-mount radar detectors and certainly picks up where the Beltronics Pro RX65 (BEL Pro RX65) left-off.

Like the Escort Passport 9500ix—the Beltronics GX65 is also based upon the incorporation of GPS and the North American Trinity Database of red light cameras and speed cameras that are rapidly proliferating in the country—the Beltronics GX65 Pro (BEL GX65) is, I believe, representative of the most sophisticated windshield-mount radar detectors yet conceived which maximize driver situational awareness not only to police radar and police laser, but photo enforcement, as well.

Incorporating some of the nice-touches from the Beltronics STi Driver, like auto-dimming and button illumination, the Beltronics GX65 Pro also provides a more natural sounding male voice alert (as opposed to the Escort Passport 9500 series of natural-sounding female voices).

I would prefer that Beltronics renames the GX65's AutoScan mode since it actually acts in the identical fashion to the Auto Sensitivity modes of the Escort Passport 9500i, Passport 9500ix, and the Escort Passport 9500ci—varying its sensitivity to X-band and K-band radar in real-time depending on the rate of travel. Naming this feature AutoScan may blur the meaning of that function—which appears on the existing radar detector models from both Beltronics and Escort.

Although the performance of the Beltronics GX65 appears similar to the Escort Passport 9500ix (which is a very good thing), it retains enough of the Beltronics "personality" to distinguish itself.

The laser reception performance of the Bel GX65 appears to be noticeably improved over the Bel Pro RX65 which was tested nearly years ago.

As with the Pro GX65's cousin, the Escort Passport 9500ix, the Beltronics Pro GX65 introduces a new auto-muting function which makes the radar detector even more easy to live with around town: If your vehicle is moving at a rate of less than 20mph and you encounter either police radar or police lidar, the Pro GX65 will briefly tone alert with a double-tone which varies based-upon the type of reception.

At first blush, I thought there was an issue with my Pro GX65, until I read page 11 of the owner's manual which describes this new innovative feature.

Unlike the Beltronics STi Driver, the Beltronics Pro GX65 can be directly interfaced to the Cincinnati Microwave Laser Shifter ZR4, externally mounted front and rear laser jammer.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's really wonderful to see both Beltronics and Escort really flex their engineering muscles.

Without a doubt, these two companies are currently producing the most sophisticated radar detectors yet conceived.

My hat's off to both engineering teams! One plus one does equal three!

This new detector is expected to ship within two weeks.

Trustworthy purchasing source(s):

Veil Guy


jwardell said...

But does it include the 9500ix's auto-learning of false locations? To me that is the defining feature that makes the GPS detectors useful to the average joe.

Veil Guy said...


Agreed. See my previous post:

Beltronics Pro GX65 Announced


Anonymous said...

This is off-topic but... I have the updated Valentine V1. or should I say had it. Ontario Povincial Police took it away from me... it sure wasn't invisible to the "spectra"! Just for your info and for U.S. citizens crossing the border.

Veil Guy said...

It's fuuny that you mention this experience with your detector.

Several months ago I drove to Montreal for a business dinner at the famed Moishes Steak House and crossed over the border in Northern Vermont.

At the time I had two remotes installed in my vehicle, the Beltronics STi-R and the Escort Passport 9500ci (both Spectre immune).

I also had a box absolutely filled with a bunch of different windshield-mount radar detectors in the boot of my vehicle.

My colleague that evening suggested that it may be wise for me to leave the box behind at the B&B I was staying at in the states.

I am glad that I did, because the first area that the Canadian Customs agent checked was the boot.

Had they found a full box of radar detectors, I suspect they may too have been confiscated and since I had about 15 models, I joked that I may have been arrested for trafficking.

I made the trip from Vermont to downtown Montreal in just a little over an hour's time (normally a two hour trip).

Even with a Spectre-immnue detector like the windshield-mount Beltronics STi Driver, one has to be mindful of the placement (and possible removal from sight) from windscreen during a traffic stop.

The nice thing about either installed detector, the STiR or the 9500ci, not only are they undetectable (ie; stealth) they are not readily identifiable as even being installed and operating on your vehicle.

Perhaps that's were you should look given your driving location...

Anonymous said...

Further to the V1 taken by Ontario Provincial Police. Upon speaking to the OPP they have not only the spectre 1 & 2 but also the 3,4 & 5,so they tell me. Can any of the spectre's pick up the STiR and 9500 ci??

Veil Guy said...

Sounds a bit like they're embellishing a bit.

The latest Spectre RDD is the Spectre IV+.

And both the Passport 9500ci and the Beltronics STI-R remain undetectable.

It is important to remember that even with a Spectre RDD immune radar detector, one must be mindful of rear targeting with police radar or police laser.

If you light up your brakes at the exact instance that you are being targeted in the rear, expect the potential of being pulled-over.

My suggestion would be to grow eyes out of the back of your head...

Veil Guy

Anonymous said...

If you have to choose between the newly released Belronics GX65 and the Escort 9500ix radar detectors, which would you pick and why?

Veil Guy said...

That's a very close, tough, and ultimately subjective call to make.

Each are exceptional radar detectors/gps detectors in their own right.

I have tended to prefer the Beltronics approach, however, having the Pro GX65 detector without the auto-learn feature is a missed feature.

I also have come to really appreciate the Passport's unique advanced alert diaplay mode--in that you can visually see up to four X-band, two k-band, and two Ka-band alerts concurrently.

Therefore, at least for now, I'd tend to reach for the Passport 9500ix.

But again, I must stress, its a very very close call.

Veil Guy

Anonymous said...

if you had a choice between beltronics sti or GX 65 which one would you pick?

Veil Guy said...

That's a tough question to answer simply, because the Beltronics STi Driver is really a specialized radar detector, specifically designed to be Spectre RDD undetectable.

In my particular circumstance that is not really a requirement, as I don't routinely drive in Virginia nor am I a commercial driver.

The Beltronics Pro GX65, as an all-round, general radar detector has, I believe, more utility, as it provides great detection with police radar and police laser, while adding the dimension of being able to alert to red light and speed cameras (something the STi Driver does not do). That capability coupled with its autosensitivity modes make for a killer combination.

So as a general choice on my travels, I would tend to favor the Pro GX65 for those reasons.

Ultimately, what I would like to see is an amalgamation of both platforms into a new windshield-mount radar detector.

I alluded to such a model (which does not yet exist) in the following post:

Ultimate $1000 Radar Detector