A quality laser radar detector is a good investment whether you spend your days driving around the country or whether you are driving to the market or delivering the kids to their daily activities and Uniden makes two of the best, the R7 and the DFR9. This review looks deeper into what each detector can provide so that your can decide which of the two is the better choice for meeting your driving needs.
Head-to-Head Uniden R7 vs. DFR9
|Uniden R7||Uniden DFR9|
|Range||Insane Long Range||Super Long Range|
|Display||Multi-color OLED||Multi-color OLED|
|False Filter||Advanced K /KA Band Filter||Advanced K /KA Band Filter|
|Red Light & Speed Camera Alerts||No||Yes|
|Speed-based Auto Mute||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Range of Detection
When it comes to range, the distance your detector “sees”, either ahead of you or behind you, the greater the range of detection the better. Your detector needs to identify an operating radar far enough away from you so that you have time to react and slow down if necessary.
Better Uniden for Range of Detection: the R7
Instant-On Detection Ability (I/O or POP)
Speed enforcement agencies are now using radar guns with Instant-On or POP modes. In this mode, the radar gun emits a very short burst of radar, 67ms or less, in an effort to register your vehicle’s speed before your radar detector can warn you about it and you can slow down. This type of radar gun can defeat 85% of radar detectors that don’t have this detection ability.
Better Uniden for I/O or POP Detection: the DFR9
Having GPS navigation enables the detector to provide warnings about and identify locations of speed traps, red light cameras and fixed speed cameras along your drive route. Radar detectors with GPS can also be programmed to ignore and block out stationary radars from sources like automatic door openers that cause other detectors to sound an alert for no reason. Some detectors with GPS can even warn you of a sudden change in the speed limit.
To be effective, a radar detector has to have great sensitivity so that it can pick up on weaker radar signals, especially when the signals are at a greater distance from you or around the next bend. Having high sensitivity needs to be balanced with the ability of the driver to adjust that sensitivity when driving in town as opposed to driving out on the open road.
Better Uniden for Sensitivity: the R7
Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range Laser Radar Detector
The R7 is larger than many other radar detectors, so if stealth is your goal you might want to look elsewhere. However, the full-color OLED display, which is angled towards the driver for ease of viewing, is one of the largest and brightest display screens in the industry. And the addition of directional arrows to indicate where the threat is located is a plus.
For range of signal detection, the R7 stands out from the crowd. Having dual antennas makes this radar detector extremely sensitive and reliable. It has several different adjustable sensitivity modes and does a great job of filtering out BSM and CAS systems on today’s newer vehicles. Its GPS technology allows you to “teach“ the R7 to mute (“Mute Memory”) commonly passed stationary radars and it is able to store 1,750 different lockouts. Also included is a database of red light and speed camera locations. The R7 also has a function for low-speed muting. This keeps the detector from alerting when you are traveling at lower in-town speeds. Once you exceed your low-speed setting, the detector “wakes up” and again alerts to any radar signals detected.
If you drive through areas where operating a radar detector is illegal, the R7 is virtually undetectable by radar detector detectors (RDD). The only thing worse than receiving a speeding ticket is receiving a ticket for operating your radar detector. For our more in-depth review of the R7 click here.
- Range of detection
- GPS auto lockouts
- Nearly invisible to RDD
- Directional arrows
- MRCD/MRCT support
- Large size
- Display may wash out under bright lighting conditions
Uniden DFR9 Super Long Range Laser Radar Detector
To start with, the DFR9 has a full-color OLED display that shows a lot of information, maybe too much. Besides identifying radar band and current speed, do you really need to know battery voltage and altitude? After all, you’re not flying a plane, just tooling down the road in your car. Even with all this different information, the display is bright and easy to read under bright sunlight conditions.
The DFR9’s range is somewhat shorter than its extreme long-range cousin, the R7, but it is better than other similarly priced models that boast long-range. And it has Uniden’s Advanced False Alert Filtering, which combined with its GPS technology will provide a quieter ride. The longer you use the DFR9, the “smarter” the detector becomes. It will build a directory of false alert locations that you pass frequently and ignore them when encountered. The DFR9 also comes with Uniden’s Eagle Eye laser detection technology to provide 360° protection.
Having the ability of issuing a clear voice notification means that you won’t have to take your eyes off the road to see why the DFR9 is alerting. It also comes with a database of alerts for red light and speed cameras that is updateable. About the only consumer complaint concerns the windshield mount. Many people say that the detector should come with a roll of really strong duct tape, because you’re going to need it to secure the unit to your windshield.
- Long range detection
- GPS capability
- Over-speed warnings
- Visual and voice alerting
- Amount of display information can sometimes be confusing
- Low quality windshield mount
Summing It Up
Uniden manufactures quality radar detectors and the R7 and DFR9 are good additions to their radar detector lineup. If saving an extra $150 or so dollars is important, choose the DFR9. You won’t be disappointed.
If, however, you want all the bells, whistles, and protections, go for the R7 (>>> Find on Amazon). It has one of the greatest ranges of detection and sensitivity among all radar detector brands. It does a great job of filtering out false alerts and with its dual antennas, it offers 360° protection.