There are few people who can genuinely say that they experience no emotions when they have an encounter with law enforcement. The sight of those flashing lights in your rearview mirror is bound to create a range of emotions for different people. While some individuals might feel anger, either at the cop for wasting their time or themselves for their own stupidity, there are others who will feel embarrassed at being caught speeding.
Speeding is a violation that occurs on roads across North America on a daily basis. Some people speed out of complete disregard for the rules. They want to get where they are going without wasting time driving the speed limit. Other people are simply too distracted while they are driving and find themselves driving a few MPH over the limit. In either case, the police are watching. If you’re caught speeding, you will be pulled over and issued a citation.
In order to avoid receiving a speeding ticket, you can purchase a reliable radar detector to help alert you to the presence of police radar guns and laser signals. If you’ve got better things to do with your time than spend your days online reading feature lists, then you should give our radar detector review a read. We offer quick and concise reviews of the features, pros, and cons of various radar detectors. In this review, we look at the Cobra iRadar iRad 100.
Features of the Cobra iRadar iRad 100
There are millions of Americans on the road each day that have a smartphone with them. This unique radar detector from Cobra takes advantage of the millions of iPhones on the marketplace by optimizing it for use with Apple devices. The Cobra iRadar includes all the features you’d expect in a traditional radar detector, such as full-band protection, 360-degree detection, audible alerts, and a national camera and hazard database.
What this device does differently than the competition is provide the most comprehensive smartphone integration available through the Cobra iRadar app. When the iRad 100 is paired with an iPhone, the device unlocks a variety of extra features that give it more powerful radar detection capabilities. The iRadar app turns your iPhone screen into a detail-oriented display that shows your direction of travel on a compass, speed, and precise alerts on the type of radar band and distance to the target.
The iRadar app also provides you with access to AURA. This is Cobra’s exclusive database of camera traps, such as traffic cameras and intersection cameras, that provides with you advanced warning of upcoming radar and laser signals as you travel down the road. Additionally, the alerts from iRadar are delivered based on the speed of your vehicle. As you travel faster, the warning is provided with even greater advance to ensure you can adjust your speed in time. Cobra’s AURA database is easily updated because it is delivered via the iRadar app, and the iRad 100 has an estimated battery life of 12 hours.
Pros of the Cobra iRadar iRad 100
The concept of turning your smartphone into a radar detector is one that is long overdue. There are a few other devices that integrate with apps, but few that do it to the extent of the Cobra iRad. The greatest praise that consumers have for this device is the performance of the additional features that come from the iRadar app.
The most impressive of these is the accuracy of the camera database provided through AURA. Cobra’s iRadar app does a great job of providing accurate information on speed, direction, and camera locations using the screen on your smartphone. This eliminates the common complaint from drivers that radar detector screens are impossible to read in daylight conditions and allows you to focus more on the road.
As you would expect from a device that relies upon a smartphone for detailed information, this radar detector is GPS and Bluetooth-enabled. That means the device can easily and accurately transmit data on driving conditions and radar detections to your smartphone without a physical connection. Even though the device is marketed for iPhone and iPod users with its iRadar name, it does connect to and function with Android and other smartphone operating systems. The sleek design of the unit, which features no display or buttons, is also a plus for many drivers.
With the app, you’ll even be able to see a map of the area you’re going through, with icons representing locations where scanners have been reported to be installed or where the cops are lying in wait. This can make it easy to avoid speeding through certain zones ahead of time, without having to be jolted into action by the siren.
Cons of the Cobra iRadar iRad 100
Many users have been able to look past the flashy features and appearance of the iRadar iRad 100 to find the negatives from using this device. Unlike many competing devices, the Cobra iRadar iRad 100 only has two operating modes: city and highway. Many other modern radar detectors offer at least three city modes and a separate highway mode. The result for iRadar uses is a high number of false alerts when driving in urban areas.
False alerts are a common occurrence you’ll have to contend with when getting a radar detector. The Cobra iRadar iRad certainly doesn’t make the situation any better with its more than fair share of false alerts. Certain bands are also poorly detected, which may put you at a disadvantage depending on the type of detectors the police force is using in your area.
So compared to other detectors at a similar or slightly higher price point, you’ll face a bit more false alarms and detection failures that can make it a bit annoying to use at times.
The sleek design and smooth, black finish of the iRad 100 device is often quickly ruined by scratches and other damage. While this doesn’t impact the functionality of the device, there are those that buy the unit because of its sleek appearance. When the modern look of the iRad 100 is easily destroyed by light scratches, the device loses some of its luster.
Lastly, it is worth noting that the iRadar app is not without its problems as well. Numerous drivers have complained that the display on their smartphones will reset or close itself while driving, which renders the device useless because they can no longer see their speed or direction of travel. Additionally, it is difficult to alter settings and reset functions without numerous steps. That is a definite negative when you consider people are using this in their vehicles and should not be distracted with settings and functions while driving.
And if you thought the manual would do you any good, you’d be wrong. While we all certainly expect the included piece of paper (that we almost never read) will tell us everything we need to know about how to operate the Cobra iRadar, Cobra must have thought otherwise. The pamphlet will only give you a basic rundown of the installation process which can leave you scratching your head if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person around.
Honest Assessment of the Cobra iRadar iRad 100
There are a lot of devices out there that offer smartphone compatibility now. If smartphone compatibility is a big deal for you, there is no device that offers better features and functions than the Cobra iRadar iRad 100. If you prefer better performance and true distance capability, there are better devices available that do a better job at getting the job done with fewer false alarms and greater detection abilities, regardless of the band your local cops are using.
However, if you appreciate the smartphone element and want to just get through a few tickets to recoup your investment, then the Cobra iRadar iRad 100 is more than enough to get the job done.