The new 8500 x50 has a new antenna, but the internal electronics are still almost the same set designed my Mr. Valentine in the 80s. Bel is just junk.
The writer trys to slam the Valentine at every turn. Example: He implies that wider is worse as it blocks site. A radar detector properly installed is put right next to the rear view mirror and blends with it. Never had any site issues.
No praise for the metal case for durability. Just points out its there.
Slams it for not having a voice alert. Anyone use voice? Why?
Automute? Again, why? Put it on one of the city modes and it kills false alarms dramatically and doesn't lower sensitivity.
Remote volume adjustment. Why? Is the one on the detector not good enough or too far to reach?
No text messages. This isn't a palm pilot, its a radar detector. A bunch of lights going off is enough, especially if you are speeding and shouldn't be taking your eye off the road.
Last, no band killing or optional city modes. This is just plain wrong.
He tries to expand the price by adding the Optional Carry case and remote setup on. Who buys a carry case for their radar? Just trying to make theirs look like more of a bargain.
Criticizes for not having a tutorial mode. If you need a tutorial on a radar detector, you shouldn't be driving.
Says noises were too close together. Hmmm, cop noise is so different to me you think "what the BLANK was that?" when it goes off. And always when there is a cop, never when there isn't.
Rear antenna a "mixed blessing?" How? It is the best thing you could get in a detector. With a passport it goes off, and you have NO idea where it came from. Valentine tracks signal and tells you where it is. In front, aside, or behind. You can track a signal as you pass it to determine what made it and if you can disregard. Can't do that with either of the other detectors.
They then proceed to put it on the dash, a place no detector should be. This dramatically reduces range of detection and therefore ability to react. In this position they say the range is reduced to the rear. Holy captain obvious.
Lastly, he says its time to update it. It is updated continuously. And, you can send it back for the upgrades and have them done for FREE.
If you are into "Bells and Whistles" the Valentine isn't for you. If you want to avoid tickets, you can't beat it for under a grand. :machinegu
Hope this helps everyone. BTW, love the MG Pacman smiley.