There are a variety of reasons for law enforcement to pull drivers over and issue citations. We breeze through red lights, fail to halt at stop signs, and change lanes without signaling first. Undoubtedly, we are most likely to be pulled over for speeding during our daily commute. It’s a problem that most individuals could easily avoid if they owned a radar detector.
Speeding occurs daily because it is all too easy to do. Some people speed because they simply lack the patience to deal with the commute, or because they are running late for work. Others speed as a result of lost focus. The kids are fighting in the backseat or a really good song is on the radio, and the next thing you know you’ve slipped over the speed limit.
One thing is for sure: law enforcement won’t care. Your excuses are no good to police officers. If you have been in the market for a new radar detector, of your first radar detector, we’re here to help. Rather than spending countless hours researching individual devices for yourself, we’ve done the legwork for you. Our comprehensive reviews look at the features, pros, and cons of radar detectors to provide you with an honest assessment of its value. In this post, we look at the Escort Passport 8500 X50.
Features of the Passport 8500 X50
Escort is one of the most respected brands in the industry. The Passport 8500 X50 offers some of the best features available on a modern radar detector. This device includes V-tuned radar, Escort’s exclusive Traffic Signal Rejection software, 3 high-resolution meter modes, mute and AutoMute technology, and the greatest band-protection available today. The Passport 8500 X50 protects against all police radar in use today, including POP mode guns, and numerous laser signals as well.
The Passport 8500 X50’s enhanced radar protection and high-performance laser protection offer the strongest detection possible with a distance that can’t be matched by the competition. Escort’s V-tuned radar receiver helps provide long-range warning for all radar. The laser sensors offer maximum warnings and superior off-axis protection to help detect signals from various angles.
Escort’s Traffic Signal Rejection (TSR) is a unique offering only found on its products, such as the Passport 8500 X50. TSR is designed to minimize false alerts as a result of traffic measurement equipment installed on highways and side streets. Passport’s various meter modes offer users the option to view alerts as standard bar graphs, ExpertMeter mode (distance to target), and SpecDisplay (band information).
Finally, the Escort Passport 8500 X50 comes with intelligent mute and AutoMute features that help minimize annoying alerts in signal-dense areas. The intelligent mute feature is engaged with the touch of a button. When an initial signal is detected, users receive an audible alert. One tap of mute automatically lowers the volume for subsequent detections of the same band. AutoMute is similar. When engaged, the first alert is provided in an audible tone. All subsequent detections of the same band are offered as visual alerts only.
Pros of the Escort Passport 8500 X50
The greatest benefit of the Passport 8500 X50 is that it performs its core job well. Reviewers and consumers laud the 8500 X50 for reliably detecting radar and laser signals with enough advanced warning to adjust speed. There is no specific data available on the average distance, but countless consumers have praised it for providing ample opportunity to adjust speed before encountering police.
Additionally, the TSR software on the Passport 8500 X50 makes the device one of the best at minimizing false alerts. A lot of radar detector manufacturers promise to eliminate false alerts with City/Highway modes that improve the device’s ability in signal-dense areas, but elimination is an impossible promise. TSR on Escort devices delivers on its promise to minimize annoying alerts. Both consumers and professional reviewers experienced fewer false alerts courtesy of TSR.
One of Escort’s major selling points for the Passport 8500 X50 is its ease of use. The device can be taken out of the box, plugged in, and is ready to go without fiddling with settings to configure the device.
Cons of the Escort Passport 8500 X50
There are two big drawbacks to the Passport 8500 X50: lack of features and defects. A surprising number of consumers have reported various issues with defective Passport 8500 X50s. One common complaint surrounded the longevity of the device. Some consumers reported getting less than one month’s worth of use from their radar detector. The other common complaint was overheating.
Lack of features seemed to be bigger problem for the Escort Passport 8500 X50. By features, we mean user-friendly features and not performance features. Even those who had negative experiences with the features on this device reported that it still performed well on the roads. The major complaint here was a lack of vocal alerts. While the Passport 8500 X50 does provide audible alerts when radar and laser signals are detected, they can be heard to hear at times and require the driver to look down at the device to see the type of signal detected.
The latter complaint is a direct result of the ease of use of the Passport. In the end, the benefit of easy use is likely offset by the annoyance created by the lack of features to help customize the performance and alerts.
Honest Assessment of the Escort Passport 8500 X50
In our opinion, the value of this radar detector depends on the preference of drivers. The Passport 8500 X50 is, hands down, the strongest performer in its price range. It performs on the same level as several pricier models and outperforms less expensive models with more features included on them. In the end, if you are looking for a reliable detector that performs time and again, you won’t find a better device. If features and customization are important to you, you can either spend less to get more features with less performance or spend more money on a high-end model.
Updates for 2023: Is Escort Passport 8500 X50 still good?
As per radartest.com, this product is already discontinued. The newer version, Escort Passport X80 is similar in performance and both use the Escort M4 platform. However, the upscale features of the new X80 provides more features that would make those who loved the vintage X50 2002 version happy.
For example, the X80 has Bluetooth wireless technology which can actually be a big deal for most of us. Plus, it may come in handy for those who plan to use or are using the Escort Live app.
Meanwhile, other reviews still consider Passport 8500 to be one of the top-performing radar detectors this 2023. They say it still has a good value message.
Reviews have also clearly pointed out that Escort has been very diligent in the past few years in making sure to upgrade and innovate their product. They make sure it won’t just wither away.
Some of the upgrades mentioned for Passport 8500 include a change in the color of its outer casing from the previous silver to a matte black one. This makes it more suitable to cut down on reflections and distracting glare.
Some internal components have been upgraded by Escort as well. They can now claim at least a 40% improvement in performance compared to the X50 model.
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