Uniden R1 vs R3

It isn’t often that you find two mid-priced radar detectors so incredibly similar as the Uniden R1 and R3. Both units boast advanced detection features and user controls, but which one is best? When you are picking the Uniden R1 vs R3, you need to know the important differences to decide which one is best.

After spending time comparing both units, the Uniden R3 provides the user with a better experience, making the additional cost money well spent. (>>>Check it’s pricing on Amazon)

Uniden R1 vs R3 Side by Side:

Uniden R1Uniden R3
RangeExtreme Long RangeExtreme Long Range
Built-in GPSYesYes
DisplayMulti-color OLEDMulti-color OLED
False FilterAdvanced K Band FilterAdvanced K /KA Band Filter
Red Light & Speed Camera AlertsYesYes
Speed-based Auto MuteYesYes
Price Find on Amazon Find on Amazon

Key Features: Uniden R1 & R3 Radar Detectors

Side by side, these units are identical. They feature the same design and function. Before we discuss the differences that set the Uniden R3 above the R1, let’s take a close look at what these detectors can do.

These detectors can identify in-use radar from X, K, and Ka-bands, covering the most common types in use by law enforcement in the U.S. these detectors also pick up MRCD and Laser when in use, providing you with a heads-up. They have advanced filtering built-in to eliminate false chirps from driver assist technology and other sources of radar like automatic doors.

Both units use the same forward-facing antenna that provides “extreme long-range detection” according to Uniden. In practice both units provide good to excellent notification of in-use radar under ideal conditions. The display provides drivers with signal strength information that helps to identify how distant the source of radar is from your location. You can set individual tones for different types of alerts on both devices.

Both the R1 and R3 provide voice notifications about alerts and are undetectable to law enforcement hunting for detector users. Evading detectors increasingly becomes important as law enforcement departments find ways to circumvent laws to bust drivers they suspect of speeding but can’t prove with radar.

Functionally, these two devices are nearly identical. The detectors have a bright screen that gives the driver information about the type and strength of in-use radar. Physical buttons on the top are for power and volume, and menu options. Front-facing buttons differ between the two units with the R1 featuring Dim/Mute and City mode while the R3 replaces City mode with User Mark.

Uniden R1

Uniden R1


  • Excellent detection of in-use radar
  • Decent at filtering false alarms


  • Lack of GPS and user-defined lockouts means you have to learn to ignore some common false alarms

Uniden R1 vs R3 Differences

There is one feature that the R3 includes that is not a feature of the R1: GPS location data. This feature allows the user to mark locations where false alarms frequently occur, locking them out of the system and preventing repeated alerts. GPS data provides the Uniden R3 with data on speed cameras, red light cameras, and other law enforcement tactics that wouldn’t trigger alerts from the R1 unit.

Built-in GPS provides the driver with overspeed warnings to let you know when you are going too fast which is a great feature when you live in areas that have unexpected changes in speed limits.

The main reason that the built-in GPS puts the R3 in front of the R1 is that it allows you to lock out false signals you pass by every day. This is an excellent way to reduce false alarms from common sources and helps to put your mind at ease. Fewer false alarms means that you are better prepared to correct your driving behavior when the real thing happens. Click here for our more in-depth Uniden R3 review.

Uniden R3

Uniden R3


  • Easy to use and as close to a plug-and-play device as you will find
  • Plenty of user-customizable options for alerts
  • GPS provides automatic lockout of false alarms from common sources


  • No direction indicators to identify location of in-use radar

Real-Life Users Report Back

As with almost any product on the market, the manufacturer wants you to think this is the newest, best, most valuable thing that has ever dropped. Well, when you go to a head-to-head between two nearly identical products from the same company, they can’t both be the best.

It turns out that among all the most popular radar detectors on the market, the R1 and R3 both have loyal followings. So much so that Uniden struggles to keep these units in stock and many buyers end up paying above market value for either one. They are just that popular.

The reason these detectors are so popular is because of how effective they are at accurately and quickly providing warnings to drivers about the presence of in-use radar and the reduction in false signals. Both units do a superior job providing over a mile of warning even on windy, tree-lined roads that other detectors can’t reliably provide warnings.

Why Choose the Uniden R3

Even though these two units are functionally identical, the addition of built-in GPS logging provides you with a superior environment. The price difference isn’t huge, particularly considering how difficult it can be to get one of these super popular units. As time goes by, we think you’ll be happier buying the Uniden R3 and taking advantage of the advances in GPS technology that detector provides.

Uniden R1 &  R3 Key Features

  • Detects X,K, Ka-band radar and MRCD/MRCT and Laser signals
  • False filtering for common bands
  • Easy to read OLED screen
  • Extreme long range detection
  • Voice and tone alerts


Though the differences between these detectors seems small and may even be insignificant to some users, the vast majority of drivers will benefit from the addition of built-in GPS data. Having the ability to quickly and effortlessly identify and lock out false signals provides a safer driving environment so you can pay attention to where you are going and not what’s going on with your radar detector.