The Uniden R8 is the newest flagship model released by the company that touts itself as one of the industry leaders. The R8 is intended to replace the R7 and includes several important updates that set it apart from the R7 and all other radar detectors on the market. This Uniden R8 vs R7 comparison will show you the differences and why the R8 is a better buy regardless of the price (>>> Find how much it cost on Uniden).
Uniden R8 vs R7 Side by Side:
|Uniden R8||Uniden R7|
|Range||Extreme Long||Insane Long Range|
|Display||Full-color OLED||Multi-color OLED|
|False Alert Filtering||Yes||Yes|
|Red Light & Speed Camera Alerts||Yes||No|
|Speed-based Auto Mute||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Find on Uniden.com|
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|Find on Uniden.com
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Uniden R8 vs R7 Similarities
The R8 is the current top-of-the-line radar detector from Uniden and it boasts long range detection capabilities with a slew of useful and important features. The R7 has many similar features but has been superseded by the R7 in terms of performance.
Both units use an OLED display screen that offers multi-color information logically organized to provide you with the ability to respond rapidly. Both provide current speed or direction information along with detected radar bands and signal strength. Both also use dual-directional antennas to capture signals from 360-degrees and include direction arrows on-screen to help alert you to threats.
Buttons and Appearance
The two radar detectors are clearly related. The bodies of the detectors use sharp angles and a suction-cup mount design for affixing the detector to the windshield. While there are some small differences, for the most part the two detectors are nearly identical.
The main function buttons located on the top of the unit are identical on both units with the menu button, volume controls, and power all located on top. Both units also use the same power cable connections, so if you are switching from one to the other, it is simply a matter of plugging the device in.
GPS, Auto-Mute, and Advanced False Alert Filtering
The R8 and R7 both feature GPS technology that allows the unit to automatically locate and lock out common false alerts. GPS remembers the location of things like automatic doors and prevents the detector from alerting.
Even more important, both devices feature advanced false alert filtering. This is a database of information the devices use to lock out radar signals from other vehicles that use driver safety systems and speed-control cruise control.
Red Light and Speed Camera Database
Both the R8 and R7 feature an internal database of logged red light cameras and speed camera systems so that you’ll automatically be alerted to these threats. Both devices feature databases that are updatable.
What Makes the R8 Better
Right off the bat, one of the features that we like about the R8 is the relocation of the mute and mark buttons. The Uniden R7 has these two critical buttons mounted on the side of the unit. The R8 locates the buttons on the face of the device just below the display screen. This makes pressing the buttons much more comfortable and convenient.
These two devices have similar technology on paper, but in practicality, the R8 is better at every turn. When looking at the R8 and R7 side-by-side and comparing real-world effectiveness, the R8 is clearly better.
More important than anything else is the range at which a detector can identify in-use radar and notify you. The R7 and R8 both feature longer range than many other devices, even ones costing significantly more, but the R8 easily beats the R7 at all of the most common radar bands.
VortexRadar.com tested both the R7 and R8 and found a significant difference in the average range that various X, K, and Ka bands were detected. The R8 had a long detection of 2,980 ft. and a minimum of 2,506 ft. At its best, the R7 was only able to detect radar signals out to 2,426 ft. Though that distance may not seem like much, particularly when you are driving too fast, every moment counts.
The Uniden R8 has an advanced digital signal processor intended to get you the information you need as rapidly as possible. In practice, it works spectacularly well and easily beats out the R7 in terms of detection and notification speed. Both units have built-in DSPs, but the R8 has the latest technology to outperform anything on the market.
Both devices will detect laser signals, but the R8 is much more accurate. It will almost always detect signals hitting the license plate. In tests, the R8 does a better job detecting laser signals when used on light colored cars with sloping hoods. The color and shape help reflect enough signal to the receiver to provide detection.
While this is a clear win for the R8, it should also be pointed out that in almost every case, a laser warning essentially means that you are getting a ticket if you are speeding. Several companies sell laser jamming devices that help disrupt laser signals.
Uniden’s R8 is an upgraded version of the R7 using many of the most advanced features found in the recently-released R4. Among the key features, the dual Low-Noise Amplifiers ensure extremely long range radar detection. One user driving over flat terrain even said they got a signal from over 10 miles away. The long-range detection abilities couple with a lightning-fast DSP to ensure you get ample warning of the threat in time to react.
The R8 gives you an audible and visual alert of the strength of a detected signal that ramps up as you approach the source. Not only does this help you to prepare, it also prevents sudden, blaring alerts from your detector.
The reconfigured design of the R8 moves the two most used buttons directly below the display to make it significantly more convenient to use. The OLED display provides clear and easy-to-read information quickly and easily. Click here for our more in-depth Uniden R8 review.
- Impressive range and detection speed performance
- Excellent false alert filtering prevents overwhelming alerts
- Only slightly better than the R4
The R7 was introduced to capture the top-of-the-line radar detector market. It became hugely popular and was the preferred choice of many drivers who also had the ability to use more expensive designs. At the time, the R7 boasted longer range and faster detection speeds than almost anything on the market with excellent false alert filtering and built-in GPS.
The R7 is a good all-around choice, but with the enhanced performance of the lower-market R4 or the choice of the newest R8 edging in on the R7, it is quickly losing a role in the company’s product lineup. Click here for our more detailed Uniden R7 review.
- Good range and highly reliable signal detection
- Outdated since the introduction of the R8
- Not as much range as the R4
The main reason we like the R8 over the R7 is the enhanced performance (>>> Check on Amazon). It makes a noticeable difference when you count on a detector to give you ample warning of a threat. The redesigned display and button location are a significant improvement over the R7.