Next we repeated the circuit with the Escort 9500i set to Auto mode. I could have shut off X band, one of its several user preferences or set it to City NoX, which dials back sensitivity while also disabling X band. Either would have given the Escort a major advantage. But since the Valentine One has no similar user preferences, to be fair, both units were run in their factory-default settings.
In fact, the Valentine does have user-selectable X-band defeat
in its advanced programming. It's the first option. When the Arrow is pointing up X-band is enabled. When the arrow is changed to the down position by holding down the volume/on push button in programming, X-band is disabled
The Valentine's also have the ability to reduce X-band detection
(like city low-x) with its advanced Logic mode
(big L) which significantly cuts down on frontal X-band detection.
While the "programming" is a bit more involved than either Beltronics, Escort, or Whistler, it is nonetheless available for users wishing to tweak/change the operating characteristics of the Valentine One and to tailor its behavior to the local conditions.
One other important distinction to make about "comparing" two different radar detectors from two different companies with two different default settings: the Valentine One comes with the ability to detect both K and Ka POP radar enabled by default. The Beltronics and Escort
units come with POP detection ability disabled
by factory default. Which, IMO, means comparing apples to oranges (at least in so far as K and Ka reception).
I have also noticed on the road that sometimes the Passport 9500i seems to "initially delay" its report of K-band in certain circumstances, initially alerting with a higher than 1-2 signal strength in its first report....Valentines don't tend to do that, which may mean that the 9500i (in an effort to keep quiet) is spending time evaluating the signal it sees before actually reporting it to the driver. Does this approach help maximize is quietness, for sure, but could it also "mute-out" a weak very-brief bonafide instant-on shots
(of K-band) down the road? Perhaps time may bear that one out...
Given the quickness of the Valentine One (as opposed to sensitivity) relative to the 9500i, especially when POP reception is enabled by default
, the potential to "falsing" is going to be higher than if both detectors were run similarly configured (with POP reception OFF). For those not
in the know, that's the J-function disabled on the Valentine One in its advanced programming mode.
No doubt, though, the 9500i is a fascinating new-breed
of radar detector.