This post brought to you by Escort Radar + Laser Detectors. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Car-Revs-Daily.com.
HD Review - ESCORT Max360 Radar Detector
Welcome to the future of driving!
After spending a few weeks with the MAX360 radar detector, we are deeply sold on its features and benefits for all drivers. To the point where normal driving without the Max360 now feels strangely brazen and risky?! And that is the surprising theme throughout the Max360: intelligent tech and features give Max360 drivers a trove of otherwise nonexistent situational data on highways and city streets.
What does this mean? Allow us to explain in a this in-depth tested review, with headings of Next-Gen Detection, Enforcement Goes Automated, Cloud Links + Smartphone integration, Pricing and Wishlist
The reason the Escort Max360 is such is big deal is its new tech features: dual front/rear antennas give full coverage, while new arrows point to front, sides or rear origin of the radar/laser signal it senses.
These details come with a new and higher-res screen with multi-color LED display, a very easy mounting system called StickyCup and a SmartCord with quick shortcuts to Mute, Save or Discard an alert without reaching up the dash to the unit buttons.
Traffic Ticket Volume is Exploding
And it works! With or without the Escort LIVE Bluetooth link connected (as discussed below), the Max360 is phenomenally helpful at keeping you safe and ticket-free. The new frontier of traffic enforcement is discussed in this linked intro article from last week. In short, it details the many ways you can get a traffic ticket in 2016 and beyond -- with Speed Cameras and red light cameras acting as fully-automated ATMs for their rev share with various municipalities.
This makes them a menace unknown to city drivers until recently. The scale of the issue? Taking police officers out of the equation means one intersection's camera unit can send out millions of tickets per year. This is at least 1000X the enforcement capacity of manned patrols.
Works great for the cities, but less so for honest drivers caught out by sudden speed-limit drops, shortened yellow lights and any other scenario with flashbulbs snapping your face, license plates and infraction.
All this means that radar detectors needed to get smarter, fast, in order to be as good in cities as they are on the highway.
ESCORT Max360- HD Radar Alert Demo Video
DOES IT WORK?
Yes, it really does. The Max360 finds and chirps alerts to these threats seconds before they are even in eye-shot. That is huge for urban areas especially, where you can't even spot the ticket cameras in most cases. But their scanner is always giving off its tell-tale trace, sniffed out by the MAX360.
Cloud Links + Smartphone integration
The major advancements in detection technology are only half the Max360's core ability. The next-gen element is not just a device, even one using auto-learning to disable false alarms, learn your routes and generally improve itself over time. The bottom line is, today's ticket threats need dynamic and hive-mind updates to stay relevant.
And Escort has really stepped up its game in this regard. Two ways:
-- DYNAMIC DATA and GPS
Intelligent, cloud-based alerts leverage all Escort owners to build impressive shared data on precise speed limits vs your speed, traffic hotspots and speed traps.
Downloading the Escort Live app for iOS or Android lets your Max360 share the phone's data connection to download local databases and relay them to the unit via Bluetooth. It is easy to set up, and links automatically (if you have Bluetooth enabled.) So a real set/forget convenience there that makes the Max360 a very helpful travel companion.
Another major benefit of the smartphone link? GPS data from your phone also stores the locations of alerts onto the device, your alert history, and offers an few supplemental display options if you open the app while connected.
-- CONTROL and CUSTOMIZATION
The Max360 has just a couple buttons and an ultra simple first-use configuration. It just works from the moment you plug it in.
But as you get more familiar and knowledgeable about the alerts, you can really go deep into the actual controls of the Max360's alert, radar and custom preferences. This lets you turn off specific bands of radar/laser types, change display brightness, colors and info... and literally dozens of other expert-level controls.
Most of these would be very tricky to tweak and personalize without the amazingly easy Escort Live interface.
You tap the change you want on your phone, and it is done and applied to the Max360 on your dash. Instantly. How cool is that?
ESCORT LIVE - Smartphone Application Demo Video
The Max360 is the flagship Escort Radar unit for 2015/2016 -- and this incredibly useful and easy technology comes with a semi-premium price.
About $650 buys you the unit with SmartCord and StickyCup mount. These are both great: the suction cup is ultra strong even before you snap its clasp into place. The Max360 just snaps into the horizontal mount, and locks magnetically. Very easy and cool.
The unit is sold everywhere, but there is a big incentive to buy the device right from EscortRadar.com. What is it? A speeding ticket guarantee! They will may if you get a ticket... but usual caveats apply.
Second benefit of going direct? It makes the Escort Live setup that much easier. Otherwise, you have to create an account first. It is free but offers a Pro-level subscription for the hardcore.
The Max360 offers various cords, but comes with just a round stretchy phone cord for half its length. This worked great in the 2016 GMC Terrain Denali testbed today, where its wire would even be tucked into the dashboard's center stack edge. Clean and easy.
But in last week's Land Rover LR4, the extendo cord looked silly and had to be stretched far to reach the device in its recommended mid-windshield position.
SO? We would like a cord extension that is just normal cable, up to 8-feet of it, to run the power cord under the dash, up the A-pillar and then down the windshield at the rear-view mirror area. Hard-wiring the unit is also a desirable custom fit, but means you will lose the double and triple-click shortcuts to go on mute mode (without leaning up to tap the unit-top button.)
In closing? We really, really like the drive experience with a Max360 leading the way. You feel more in control of the roads flying by you, more informed and better able to defend yourself -- and your wallet -- from the automated-ticketing menace.
ESCORT Live - Smartphone Apps
Official Details & Competitive Comparo Below
- Protection in all directions
- 4 times the range
- Fastest Response
- Pinpoint Accuracy -GPS-based
- Standard Filtering
- Intelligent Filtering
- Custom Filtering
- App-based filtering
- Crowd Sourced Alerts
- Defender Database
- Web Ready
- Directional Arrows
- Customizable High Resolution Multi Color Graphic Display
- Voice Alerts
- Premium SmartCord.
- Magnetic StickyCup Mount.
- Premium Travel Case.
Escort raises the bar once again by adding directional indication to its award-winning Max detector line. The all-new Escort Max 360 provides drivers with extreme range, state of the art response time, pinpoint precision and directional alert display.
Unmatched detection - Escort Max 360’s front and rear antennas scan rapidly in all directions harnessing the lightening-fast focus of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to find threats faster and more accurately than any other detector.
Unmatched precision - Escort’s Max 360’s five levels of filtering ensure the quietest ride. Escort combines three driving modes plus speed-based sensitivity, Cruise Alert and seamless connectivity via Bluetooth to its EscortLive app to silent the prime offenders. Patented AutoLearn employs GPS technology to actually learn your route and automatically eliminate false alerts unique to your daily drive.
Rich data plus the power of community - Escort Max 360 protects drivers beyond conventional radar and laser threats by preloading our Defender Database of thousands of redlight and speed camera locations in North America. And because Escort Max 360 comes Bluetooth-equipped, it connects seamlessly to our award-winning EscortLive speed trap app, providing additional protection against laser traps and patrol locations reported by other drivers in the area.
Simple communication - Escort Max 360 makes locating and identifying threats easy. Directional arrows display the location of threats while a high-resolution graphic display shows the type, strength and quantity of signals plus real-time speed limit data (when connected to EscortLive) that shows your speed relative to the speed limit. Clear voice alerts in English or Spanish keep you focused on the road.