Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector ! An Insightful Review
With the new Beltronics GT-7 Radar detector is all about maximizing your own experience on the road while also ensuring safety. Essentially a hand me down passport max from Beltronics sister concern Escort, our own view on how it works and what it’s all about is on really about how it works, what kind of performance you can expect from it and at the end of the day if it’s feasible. On the outset it is fair to say that Beltronics is making an attempt in order to make a statement – with its striking outward design the reliable hardware and what not it’s priced at a fair range of $499, considering that the Passport Max is a bit upmarket at $549 – the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector is surely worth it and also includes a couple of other improvements as well.
If it really comes down to sibling rivalry – The Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector wins the Line!
TESTING AND PERFORMANCE:
Most common to all radar detectors is the ability to pick up signals in time, performance and this factor out weighs all other aspects. For instance if you aren’t able to detect a police radar just in time to avoid getting a ticket – it’s fair to say you might as well throw it out the window. On the other hand it also depends on your priorities as well, you might not want a radar which beeps each time it picks up let’s say a stray radar signal. The downside of an overly accurate radar is that it’ll beep and chirp all the time, and you’ll probably end up phasing out alarms just when the real one comes along – now that isn’t a pretty picture.
With the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector what you pay for is what you get, having tested side by side against a top radar detector pick worth just under $200, we used the device on multiple road trips including between cities and interstate as well.
The Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector in all its glory incorporates the digital signal processing circuitry, now this isn’t anything new you can find the same system on the Escort Passport Max line as well, needless to say both devices did a great job at not only picking up in time but also at early detection of providing alerts for both K and KA radar bandwidth, at the same time they also greatly reduced false alarms. Another great feature is the collision avoidance system from other vehicles – the GT-7 is a stellar performer in this field to.
Having tested it against the market leaders and brands you’d probably find at the top of the metaphorical shelf at a store, the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector out-weighs all. To find a balance however the bottom line for the customer might be price of the equipment, but then again considering the quick response and extra features, we’d say it is probably worthwhile dishing out that extra bit of money in order to enjoy a number of extras.
During my testing, I did encounter an odd bug. While driving through long tunnels the GT-7 does tend to either get non-responsive or just completely shut down. In our experience the display went completely dark and there was no sound or beep to warn us of this as well. However the good news is that a spokesperson from both Beltronics and Escort assured us that this bug had been fixed via a simple software update. Now that is good news! But in the spirit of giving an honest and straight forward review we just thought we’d mention it for those out there who were wondering what just happened – all you need do folks is upgrade your software.
BUILD AND FEATURES:
Now let’s move on the features and what can you actually expect from your Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector, needless to say it is a full-featured detector and has numerous customization options. The downside? Well those of you who are familiar with the Passport Max will know that this is probably nothing new and that the two devices are essentially the same to a certain extent identical. There might just be a few small tweaks and the like when considering certain modes but overall there is nothing notably different.
So – does it really drill down to consumer usability ease? After all if the features are all the same than why choose a different devices? Well – it’s not up to us really but we should mention that there is a difference in pricing for both the devices.
With the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector you will find that it is able to detact all radar and laser used by US law enforcement agencies these include bands across X, K, Ka, Ka-POP and TSR – just to add in our experience the device did so with ease. A further benefit we’d thought we’d mention is that you are able to adjust detection for each band independently and they can be turned on or off as per you’re requirements as well, this is of course put into place to match the types of detection used in your area and at the same time also reduce false alarms.
Another feature of the GT-7 is that you are able to adjust sensitivity in order to balance alert spend which reduces false alarms while on highway. In our own experience we tested using Auto No X and found alert times to be excellent with a notable reduction in false alarms from inner city driving. With a Built-in GPS which also allows you to lock out static false alarm areas, the GT-7 does deserve extra brownie points in this area.
Moving on – it is worthwhile mentioning that the GT-7 has Escort's built-in Defender database of known red light and speed cameras. This gives you a leverage, meaning that the GT-7's GPS is able to provide timely alerts. We’ve found the database to be accurate and up to date even in cities who have in the past depended upon red light cameras. Purchasers get three months of Defender updates, after which they must purchase a subscription which comes up to $19.95 for one year or $39.95 for three.
It might just be worthwhile mentioning at this point that there is one side effect of using the red light camera warning on the highway – they usually detect nearby red lights and come up with false alarms. Fortunately these false alarms are way too obvious thus making it easy for you to pretty much ignore them.
The GT-7 can be paired to the Escort Live services, however this means yet another subscription at $49.99 per year. An upside to this is the smartphone app which connects with Escort Live services for real-time updates and over speed warnings, these are based on actual speed limits for the vicinity you are travelling within. Like the Max, connecting to Escort Live requires purchasing the optional Smart Cord Live for $99.95, putting the GT-7 at the same price as the $599.95 Passport Max 2, which uses built-in Bluetooth to connect the detector and smartphone for Escort Live. But if you are tech savvy, you will find other apps in the market which allow you to do the same with the GT-7 – we’d recommend WAZE – try it out!
To wrap it up let’s give the display a once over, the Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector has an easy to read display ad that to in all lightening conditions. It can provide you with numerous options and the choice to choose between what informational alert data to show and when as per your requirements and convenience. The color scheme on the display can be changed as well between copper, red, green or blue, it also provides a heads-up speed indicator on the display. This feature is there to alert you when you exceed a certain speed limit. And there are four display information configurations modes that provide varying levels of technical details about detected threats.