There is no worse “gotcha” moment one can experience in life than being pulled over by law enforcement for speeding. If you’re like me, you just want to get where you’re going without wasting time. You don’t have to be driving recklessly to get pulled over for speeding. In some cases, driving just a few MPH over the posted speed limit can get you pulled over.
Now, local police have found all the good hiding spots around town to sit and stake out speeders as they cruise down city streets and local highways. With a good radar detector in your vehicle, you can identify police activity in the area before you actually see the cops. In this review we’ll look at the Whistler Cr90 radar detector to see how it stands up against its numerous competitors.
Features of the Whistler Cr90
The Cr90 from Whistler is the top-of-the-line model offered by the company and is the first model in the series to come with GPS-enabled radar detection. The Whistler Cr90 offers a sleek design that includes a black housing, minimal buttons, and a bright OLED display that shows messages in easy-to-read blue text. Rather than include a variety of small indicators and buttons on the external structure of the device, Whistler took a minimalist approach and left plenty of room for the display screen.
This particular radar detector has a number of advanced functions available. Its GPS-enabled, real-time notifications have to be considered the most significant functions. Drivers receive warnings from the detector when they approach nearby red-light cameras, as well as speed cameras placed along highways and freeways. Existing speed cameras and red-light cameras are preprogrammed into the device, and it comes with a USB port on the side that allows you to update the device’s memory.
Additional features worth noting include the City/Highway modes, filter modes, and alert priority. The vast majority of radar detectors now come with City/Highway modes that you can use to improve performance when driving in different environments. Urban areas have a high density of other devices that can interfere with the signals coming to and from the radar detector. The Whistler Cr90 has three separate City modes that allow you to adjust for the density and driving conditions of the population center you find yourself driving in.
The six additional filter modes make it easy for you to fine-tune the effectiveness of this radar detector to ensure it is performing at peak levels when analyzing signals from the surrounding area. Last but not least, the alert priority allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the device to low-level signals emitted by pole-mounted devices such as those used by transportation departments to measure traffic volume and patterns on roadways.
Pros of the Whistler Cr90
It is difficult to hold one radar detector above the rest of the pack to single it out for praise, but if we had to pick one it would be the Cr90. This Whistler model provides all of the features that drivers expect in a radar detector, and delivers on almost all of its promises. For starters, the Whistler Cr90 uses its GPS to provide drivers with real-time vehicle speed, location, and direction of travel with a high degree of accuracy.
The various alerts the Whistler Cr90 uses to keep you informed of what’s going on around you include voice alerts and text alerts on the device itself. The additional audio input jack allows you to connect the Cr90 to your vehicle’s speaker system to ensure you can hear the alerts. These features aren’t any good if the detector isn’t actually doing its job though. Fortunately, Whistler users all come back with the same praise for its performance. Driving around corners or going up hills, the Whistler shows little struggling in detecting police radar guns in any environment.
When it comes to function and user-friendly interface, it’s hard to beat the Whistler Cr90. The biggest complaint that most drivers have about radar detectors is not missed signals, but rather too many false alerts. When your radar detector is constantly alerting you and you don’t see cops, trust is eroded. When your trust is eroded, you turn the device off. At this point, you’ve got a nice paperweight in your vehicle.
The Whistler Cr90 performs remarkably well for the vast majority of drivers using it both in town and on long road trips.
Cons of the Whistler Cr90
The complexity that makes the Whistler Cr90 a great tool for detecting police radar guns in the area could also be its greatest downfall. The degree to which this proves detrimental comes down to the individual driver. The three City modes and six additional filters make it possible for drivers to enhance the Whistler’s performance, but if drivers are unable or unwilling to tinker with these filters based upon their driving environment, then the detector won’t perform at its highest level.
It is also worth noting that a fair number of consumers had issues with the longevity of their device. Despite not having it powered on for extended periods of time, there were drivers who only got a few hundred miles out of their unit before it simply failed to operate any longer.
Honest Assessment of the Whistler Cr90
The value of the Whistler Cr90 comes down to the individual. This radar detector is blessed with a number of impressive features. Given that it is priced anywhere between $160 and $200 retail (on average), this device has features that most other models in this price range simply do not have. In order to get these features on another device, you’d have to spend (on average) an additional $200.
If you are willing to learn how to use the filters and City/Highway modes available on the Whistler, you’ll have an extremely effective tool for detecting police radar, red-light cameras, and speed cameras. If, however, you want a device that you can simply take out of the box and plug, we’d suggest investing in a model that requires less fine tuning to perform at its best.