Uniden R3 vs R4

There is no question that the Uniden R4 is a better radar detector than the Uniden R3 -that’s why Uniden introduced it after all. But, you are probably wondering why the R4 is a better detector and if it is worth more than the R3. We’ll put the Uniden R3 vs R4 to show you why the R4 is a better choice (>>> Find how much it cost on Uniden.com).

Uniden R3 vs R4 Side by Side:

Uniden R3Uniden R4
RangeExtreme Long RangeExtreme Long
Built-in GPSNoYes
DisplayMulti-color OLEDFull-color OLED
False Alert FilteringYesYes
Red Light & Speed Camera AlertsNoYes
Speed-based Auto MuteYesYes
Bluetooth connectivityNoYes
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We can’t start to discuss the differences between the R3 and R4 until we talk about the legacy the R3 created. When Uniden introduced the R3, it was one of the top performing radar detectors on the market, no matter what price point. Not only did it boast superior range, it had features that kept it from constantly alerting to the presence of insignificant threats and changed the radar detector game for everyone.

When the R4 was released recently, it took everything that made the R3 a legendary performer and amped it up. The R4 gained numerous technological advances while retaining the look and feel of the R3. The R4 has rapidly established itself as one of the best options for the average driver.

The Features that Make the R4 Better

Range Detection Advances

The Uniden R4 adds two low noise amplifiers to the R3 processor design that significantly enhances the range and sensitivity of detection. In side-by-side testing, R4 has a range of several hundred feet more than the R3 with a significantly faster alert time.

The faster response time comes into play because of advances to the digital signal processor. The upgrade lets the R4 recognize, interpret, and notify you more rapidly than the R3 regardless of radar band.

False Alert Filtering

Uniden made a few advances to the false alert filtering system with the R4. Notable changes include an advanced ability to automatically lock out common sources of false alerts after you’ve driven past them a few times. In theory, this helps to eliminate false alarms, but it does have some limitations.

One big change is the increase in memory. Users of the R3, particularly people who drive in cities a lot, often report that they run out of manual lock outs -the only option available. The R4 allows for more manual lockouts and includes automatic lockouts, giving users even more space.

Finally, the R4 makes significant upgrades to k-band false filtering. The R3 only blocks one band, while the R4 blocks two, giving it better abilities to lock out signals from newer vehicles.

Display Changes

The R3 was one of the first designs to have a display we really liked. The R4 took it up a notch by enhancing the way that information is displayed so that you can quickly and easily interpret and understand what you need to know. We really like the new display of the R4 and think it is one of the best we’ve used.

Why We Think the R4 is Worth the Upgrade

The R4 boasts significantly longer range than the R3 and the DSP ensures a rapid alert to get you notified faster. Upgrades to the manner in which threats are alerted also make a difference. The ramping alert is more useful than the R3. We also found that although the auto lockouts don’t always work, over time they do make the device much less noisy. More radar/laser detectors options can be found here.

Uniden R3

Uniden R3 in the box

The Uniden R3 is not slated to be discontinued at this time, even though the R4 is clearly a successor. Instead, Uniden is keeping it active to fill in the range of detectors sold by the company. The R3 is a legend that is reliable and has better range than most detectors. It offers excellent false alert filtering that works well enough.

The overall design of the R3 is an angular shape with a dual mount system. One nice feature is the mute button that is located on the front of the device. The location makes it simple to rapidly silence the device without fumbling around trying to find the button.

This is a proven design that works very well in real-world situations. It has been one of the most popular radar detector designs on the market for many years and continues to have a valuable place in the market. For our more in-depth review of this radar detector, click here.


  • Impressive range of detection and sensitivity ensure that you notice them before they notice you
  • Good false alert filtering helps prevent common signals


  • Somewhat outdated filtering ability
  • Better range is available from the R4

Uniden R4

Uniden R4 in the box

The Uniden R4 hasn’t been on the market for very long, and already it is proving to be as good as you’d expect. The R4 uses some of the best tech from the previous R3 model and amps it up to produce an even better radar detector.

Range is improved with the inclusion of dual low-noise amplifiers and signal processors that have very high sensitivity to radar sources. The average user will get notified of signals well in advance even under the most demanding conditions. Under ideal conditions, the R4 can reach miles of range.

False alert filtering is significantly enhanced with the inclusion of dual bands. This covers most of the common signals used by auto manufacturers for driver safety systems. The R4 seems to be better able to automatically shield you from alerts from most vehicles, though the Mazda CX-5 tends to continue to trigger false alerts. Click here for our more in-depth Uniden R4 review.


  • One of the longest range detectors available at any price point
  • Excellent ability to filter false signals for a quiet ride


  • Auto lockouts tend to require close proximity before recognizing and silencing the alert
  • Lack of arrows to indicate direction of signal


The R4 is clearly superior to the R3 in nearly every regard (>>> Check on Amazon). From the overall design to the new features, the R4 does a better job at giving you alerts rapidly and accurately than the R3. The R3 still makes sense for some buyers who are looking for a lower cost option with legendary range and features, but most people will want to upgrade to the R4 and get the advantage of the latest technology.