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I have owned one of every Mike Valentine design since 1984, from the original Escort, to the Passport, the second gen Escort, and for the last 20 years, a V1.
The man knows his stuff. Excellent ergonomics, and his devices do not try to be a Swiss army knife. They do one thing EXCEPTIONALLY WELL, and that's what you want in countermeasures.
Here's some trivia for you all. Michael Valentine founded the Escort company. After a while, he sold his business and made the Valentine 1. V1's design is unique. It is still the best and easiest to use on the market. There are some products that compete closely from Beltronics, Uniden, and Escort. Some are very comparable in range and in features, but not always in functionality. I'll keep my V1 because I believe such a device should be easy and intuitive to use, not complex and feature-laden.
Uniden R3 is the way to go at this point in time according to the extensive reviews at
Valentine was great, but not anymore. There's no reason this thing still needs to look like it was made in 1976.
Is the look of it really the only downside? I'd really prefer functionality, and if I can keep it looking clean, I don't care if it looks outdated, its not meant for decoration.
There's no need to make it look like an ugly rock either with modern design. His design is simple, elegant, and he places emphasis on changing the internals, which arguably matter more here.
I bought a Valentine One a few years back when I flew out of state to pickup a vehicle to drive back home. It paid for itself in the first 12hrs of owning it. Winding roads or hills, it picks up on it all. Since then I've sold it for $50 under retail so it holds value as well.
I tried the max and while its completely functional in its detecting capabilities it just fell short of the V1 in other areas: the app, the bulk, lack of arrows, lack of customization. I think people who get it just want a detector that works completely out of the box without tinkering but its not like the V1 is difficult to customize.. For the same price i got the V1 and after a few years i am still extremely pleased with it. It's a very trusty detector. You can customize it with Yav1 but you dont have to use yav1 all the time - only if you want gps speed muting and lockouts. Detectors produce many K alerts where i am so i turned it off and just use the Ka detecting unless im going on a road trip. If i were to upgrade, i would look at the Uniden R1 or R3, seems like its the new king in detecting distance. I know for sure i will miss the V1 arrows if i do upgrade.
BTW it's not detectors producing the K bands, it's all of the new cars with traffic sensors, proximity sensors, collision detectors, etc etc. Really annoying.
I've tried several radar detectors including the V1. The Valentine One is king. It gives you true situational awareness. It practically paid for itself with two traffic stops. Sadly mine was stolen a year ago and replaced it with a cheap cobra. I miss it so much.
I have the original Escort Max ... It's good, but I have to say that the iOS app is pretty weak. The app offers control of the detector, but using its features, understanding what controls the app and what controls the device is confusing to say the least. Updates to the app are infrequent, almost non-existent, and support is very average. The device appears to be okay, though I can't say anything about the 360º version. My biggest issue was that it warned me of red light and traffic cameras while I was on the highway ... these warnings were for roads nearby and had nothing to do with the highway I was on. There really needed to be a true "highway" mode capable of disabling these warnings. Over time, it became just another distraction, like all those false-positives from my older detectors. YMMV
Valentine One is a must.