Review of the Escort 8500 Radar Detector

Escort is known for superb engineering and leading performance in radar detection. The 8500×50 is no exception. It is a great detector for it’s’ price, and will serve the needs of any average user.

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Off the shelf, the 8500×50’s design is quite appealing in appearance. It’s sleek and small design allows it to be mounted almost anywhere on the windshield of the vehicle. The small profile of the detector also allows minimal visibility blockage of the road ahead, which is a big plus for drivers who want full visibility of the road, as well as protection from radar.

The 8500 comes in two LED display colors- red and blue. The blue display is slightly more expensive than the red display, but other than aesthetics, the blue display offers no performance advantages over the red version display.

The 8500×50 offers great range compared to other detectors in its price range. In certain cases, the 8500×50 will offer over two miles of early warning from radar sources.

The 8500×50 is also a great detector for filtering out false alarms. The detector has three settings-“City”, “Highway”, and “Auto”. The auto mode seems to be the best balance between sensitivity and selectivity of filtering out false alarms and alerting to an actual threat.

Even though this is a great detector, there are some down sides to it. In some areas of the United States, officers use a speed detection tactic known as “Quick Trigger”. This is when an officer holds down the trigger of the radar gun for a fraction of a second, and in most cases, acquiring a speed reading. The 8500×50 will not detect these extremely short bursts of radar. Luckily, this method of radar use is not commonly used, and a user of the 8500×50 will rarely encounter these type of speed measurement tactics.

A cousin to Quick Trigger is another speed measurement tactic known as “POP”. POP is another short burst of radar, but slightly longer than quick trigger. The 8500×50 is equipped to detect POP and is extremely sensitive towards POP radar. Some quick trigger usages may even alert on the 8500×50, so saying quick trigger is the 8500×50’s weakness may not be entirely true.

Another downside to the unit is LIDAR detection. If the user is driving in extremely light traffic, in the front of the pack, the 8500×50 will not be a good countermeasure against laser. The beam of the laser is simply too small and compact to detect, unless the detector is mounted extremely low. As with all detectors, a low mount will increase laser detection capabilities, but it will decrease the range of radar detection.

However, the  is great at detecting “laser scatter”. This is when laser bounces off of other cars in front of the 8500×50 user, and the detector will alert to LASER. This is an extremely useful alert to know when to slow down in order to avoid a ticket. However, the 8500×50 makes a great companion to a laser jammer, for complete protection.

Overall, the 8500 is a great detector with reasonable pricing, good detection range, and very user friendly. If you are looking for better situational awareness when driving, it is a great choice.

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