Cobra RAD 380 vs 480i

You can easily avoid speeding tickets. All you have to do is drive the speed limit but how many drivers do this? Another and more practical option is to buy a radar detector. These convenient devices let you know if there’s a speed trap nearby, giving you time to slow down before it’s too late.

This sounds great. You can stop worrying about expensive speeding tickets and the inevitable rise in your insurance premiums.

There are plenty of radar detectors to choose from but two by Cobra stand out from the rest. Both the Cobra RAD 380 and 480i are capable of detecting radar guns up to two miles away. However, when it comes to performance the Cobra RAD 480i is the recommended choice (>>> Find how much it cost on Amazon).

Cobra RAD 380 vs 480i Side by Side:

Cobra RAD 380Cobra RAD 480i
RangeLong Range, Front and Rear DetectionLong Range, Front and Rear Detection
Built-in GPSNoNo
DisplayMulti-color OLEDMulti-color OLED
False FilterNext Gen IVTNext Gen IVT
Red Light & Speed Camera AlertsYesYes
Speed-based Auto MuteYesYes
Bluetooth connectivityNoYes
PriceFind on AmazonFind on Amazon

When you’re trying to decide between the two radar detectors it helps to compare their features side-by-side. You’ll have a better understanding of what each product offers, along with its downsides if any.

Detection Range

Both models are capable of detecting radar signals up to two miles. This only applies to straight roads, curves and hills will reduce the range.

Cobra’s front and rear detection are also standard so no matter which direction the radar gun is pointed it will be picked up. However, only the 480i comes with the iRadar app so you’ll get updated alerts for upcoming red light and speed cameras.

False Alert Filtering

False alerts from a radar detector aren’t only annoying, it can also cause you to ignore real alerts. Alarm systems in stores, automatic garage door openers, and even your vehicle’s motion-activated devices like doors and windows can cause false alerts.

IVT Filter and anti-false circuitry technology eliminate the problem of false alerts. Both Cobra radar detectors come with the updateable technology. Not all updates may be available for the older 380 models.

Display Style

You know how important it is too not get distracted while driving. This is how the majority of traffic accidents occur. You need a radar detector that is easy to read at a glance.

Bright digital displays that clearly show the radar band, like the 480i are ideal. With a quick glance, you can see exactly what type of radar signal the device picked up.

Cobra RAD 380

Cobra RAD 380

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly radar detector that also performs, the Cobra RAD 380 delivers. It comes with everything you need, including a 12-volt power cord and options for mounting the radar detector to your windshield or dash.

You’ll love how easy it is to operate. There are only three buttons. The digital display is bright and clear in any light so you can read it at a glance.

With front and rear detection, radar signals will be picked up regardless of the direction. You also have long-range detection and the IVT filter combined with anti-false technology ensures that you won’t be annoyed by false alerts.

The radar detector’s firmware is updateable so you don’t have to worry about the device becoming obsolete as technology continues to advance. The updates ensure the radar detector’s continued performance. A more detailed review of the Rada 380 can be found here.


  • Easy to install
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Front, rear, and long-range detector
  • Upgradeable firmware
  • Early warning alerts


  • Does not have red light and speed camera detection
  • Cannot connect to Bluetooth devices

Cobra RAD 480i

Cobra RAD 480i

You will pay a little more for the 480i but it does come with additional features. If driving the speed limit is impossible and cameras at intersections are a problem, this handy device will help.

Not only do you get long-range protection, but also front and rear. Even if you don’t see the speed trap the radar detector will pick it up.

It also has a convenient feature, iRadar app. This lets you connect with three million plus drivers constantly providing updates on law enforcement activities in real-time. It also alerts you to nearby red light and speed cameras. You’ll always know when it’s time to slow down.

The next generation IVT filter takes care of false alerts. The firmware is also updateable so you’ll stay current with the latest radar signals used by law enforcement.

The 480i is simple to use. The five control buttons are clearly marked. The bright display is incredibly easy to read. You won’t have to take your eyes off the road to see what type of radar signal is close by.

It’s ready to go out of the box. You simply plug the 12-volt charger in and attach either the suction cup for windshield mounting or use the loop and hook fastener to secure the radar detector to your dash. Click here for full Cobra RAD 480i review.


  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • iRadar app
  • Early warning detection
  • Front, rear, and long-distance coverage
  • Updateable firmware


  • Comes with a higher-price point
  • The display layout might not appeal to all drivers

Are Radar Detectors Legal to Use

Before you purchase a radar detector, it’s a good idea to check with local laws. These convenient devices aren’t legal in all jurisdictions. If you do drive through an area where the devices are prohibited, take it down until you can legally use it again. You can get a ticket for using a radar detector if it’s illegal.


Both cobra radar detectors can detect radar signals before it clocks your vehicle’s speed. What sets the 480i apart is the convenient iRadar app, and it’s Bluetooth connectivity (>>> Check on Amazon).

While you do get more in terms of features and protection, the 480i also comes with a higher price. Ultimately, it’s your decision on what you need and expect from a radar detector.