Everyone that has driven a car has felt their heart rate increase and a lump in their throat when they pass a police officer. Even those who haven’t done anything wrong tend to perk up, pay attention, and even get nervous in the presence of a police officer on the road. For those who have a tendency to slip past the speed limit, encounters with law enforcement are inevitable. In addition to using handheld radar and laser guns to nab speeders, officials have installed speed-trap cameras and intersection cameras to capture drivers breaking the law.
When you drive to work or hit the road for a family vacation, you will undoubtedly find yourself driving over the speed limit at some point in time. It could be accidental because you are distracted or intentional because you are trying to speed up the trip. The police won’t care why you are speeding and will give you a ticket regardless. With a radar detector in your vehicle, you can protect yourself from tickets by identifying police before you can see them.
Rather than waste your precious time researching the features, pros, and cons of every unit yourself, trust our assessment of some of the market’s most popular models. In this review, we look at the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800 BT radar detector.
Features of the Cobra SPX 7800 BT
The SPX range of radar detectors from Cobra Electronics offer double the detection range and warning time of previous models. Using military-grade technology and components, the Cobra SPX 7800 BT possesses super-fast sweep circuitry that quickly and accurately identifies radar and laser signals used by law enforcement, and comes with a variety of additional features to make the unit easy to use.
One of the primary features of the Cobra SPX 7800 BT is the ability to detect POP Mode radar guns. Law enforcement has adapted its tactics in recent years to counter the improvements in modern radar detectors. The POP Mode radar gun uses instant-on radar technology rather than always-on signals. This allows police detectors to remain unnoticed by most radar detectors, popping on with short notice to tag vehicles driving down the road.
The large, color OLED screen on the Cobra SPX 7800 BT makes it easy for drivers to keep their focus on the road, while providing easy-to-read alerts that are quickly identified by drivers and allow them to react quickly. Additional features include compatibility with the Cobra iRadar App. The app provides a community of Cobra users that uses the experiences of all drivers to create interactive maps that warn all members about local speed traps, camera locations, and intersection cameras.
Best of all, the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800 BT is the smallest model on the market with an advanced array of features. With all these features, does the Cobra SPX 7800 BT live up to the hype?
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Pros of the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800 BT
The vast majority of consumers using the Cobra SPX 7800 BT report accurate and effective radar detection from this unit. This model lives up to the reputation built by previous Cobra models, and provides users with advanced warnings that provide them ample time to adjust their speed. In some cases, drivers have reported receiving alerts a full two minutes before encountering law enforcement.
Voice alerts and the color display of the Cobra SPX 7800 BT garner a lot of praise for the SPX 7800 BT as well. Some models have voice alerts that are hard to hear over radios and background noise, or offer robotic tones that are difficult to decipher. The Cobra SPX 7800 has a clear, understandable voice alerts that can easily be heard while driving down the road.
Equally important is the performance of the color display. Numerous radar detectors now offer larger, color displays that inform drivers about the type of band, distance, and (in some cases) speed of the vehicle. A major problem with many of them is the inability to see the color display in sunny conditions. The Cobra SPX 7800 has a display that is easy to see, regardless of the lighting conditions.
Cons of the Cobra SPX 7800 BT Radar Detector
The major complaint about this model is the performance of some of the additional features. The Bluetooth connectivity of the device has been criticized on a number of occasions. Some drivers have reported that the unit does not maintain a steady Bluetooth connection, while others reported that the Bluetooth simply quit working after a few months of use.
The Cobra iRadar App has been criticized as useless by a handful of drivers. Most drivers complain that the app is laden with glitches and other performance issues that make it useless on the road. Another common complaint is the number of false alerts. Although a valid concern, no radar detect can promise to completely eliminate false alerts. There are too many fixed-position devices (such as garage doors) using similar signal frequencies for radar detectors to eliminate 100% of false alerts. However, most Cobra models excel at minimizing the number of false alerts.
Honest Assessment of the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800 BT
When it comes to comparing radar detectors, there are two brands that consistently set themselves apart from the rest of the field. Escort is one of those brands, and Cobra is the other. The Cobra SPX 7800 BT radar detector lives up the hype when it comes to performance, user-friendly nature, and available features.
The truth is that no model performs to 100% of its claims, so criticizing the performance of the Cobra SPX 7800 BT because it doesn’t match 100% of its claims is pointless. In the end, the SPX 7800 performs at a level that few other radar detectors can match, providing early and accurate warnings. When it comes to pricing, the Cobra SPX 7800 radar detector is a great deal. It offers the performance and features of more expensive units, with a price that offers better overall value than cheaper models that do not match the performance levels of this device.