One company that makes popular budget radar detectors is Whistler. Like most brands, some people love them while others hate them. This all boils down to experience, of course. Overall, I would say most of their detectors are decent considering the price you pay.
The issue here is budget. Some people don’t have realistic expectations about the performance of a budget detector. If you pay $50 for a radar detector you can’t realistically expect it to perform as well as more costly ones. This is where the Whistler XTR-140 comes in. This is a solid radar detector as long as you keep your expectations realistic. We are talking about a unit that costs $50 or less in most places.
If you can accept that you get what you pay for, then you will likely enjoy using the XTR-140.
Nothing Fancy Just Solid Protection
Lets face it, you may not get advanced features on a budget detector but you do want it to be able to detect all the major bands. Without this important ability any detector could be considered almost useless. With the XTR-140 you won’t have to worry about that. You will get coverage of all the bands and lasers. Safety radar bands and VG-2 are also detected, which is great for such a low cost radar detector.
Unfortunately being able to detect bands and actually doing it are not the same thing. The XTR-140 does perform really well, but some users have complained that it hasn’t worked for them at all. This could be because of any number of different reasons. Some people may have simply gotten themselves a lemon and should seek a replacement unit. It could also be because of other outside interferences. On the other hand most people have been pleasantly surprised by how well it does perform for it’s price. Either way, the price is cheap and it comes with a 1 year warranty.
The XTR-140 does have a very good alert system, accept for one thing: You may experience many false alerts. However, this is fairly common in budget detectors and can be a problem in the most expensive ones, too. False alerts happen because there are many other devices that use the same bands and signals that the police use. This can be a bigger problem when you are driving through certain areas more then others. But it really isn’t that big of deal when you take into consideration the cost.
The XTR-140 does come with some features that help reduce these false alerts. It comes with a highway mode and a city mode. The real important one for most people is the city mode. When you are driving through the city or around town you are more likely to pick up more false alerts. This is because there are more devices around that that can interfere.
Other then that, you get visual and audio alerts. Both of these work extremely well. The visual alert will tell you the band that has been picked up and the strength. Audio signals are minor when the signal is far away, but makes much more noise when the detection is close by.
You probably won’t want to hear the radar detector making allot of noise, so you can always use the quiet mode to help adjust the audio. Quiet mode will automatically adjust the audio to a lower tone after the first alert. This is really great for any signals that are picked up well in advance. You can also mute the sound completely if you want by hitting the quiet mode once you hear an alert.
Installation is straightforward. The detector is ideally meant to be installed on the windshield. It should be kept low and near the center of the windshield. It could of course be installed elsewhere, but that is where it has been designed to be installed. You get a mount and some suction cups to make this process a little easier. Overall, it’s not hard to install or get used to it’s features.
When you are installing the detector, you should keep in mind that some windshields may contain a coating that could interfere with the radar detector. This may be a reason why some users complain that the system didn’t work for them.
Is It A Good Buy?
The Whistler XTR-140 is a solid radar detector for anyone who is looking to spend $50 or less. It does everything it is suppose to do once it is setup and installed correctly.
Some users may find that it gives off a few too many fake alerts, but if you can live with that, then you will be pleased with your purchase. At the end of the day, this is about budget. If you always wanted a radar detector but didn’t want to pay a high price for one, then the XTR-140 is certainly a good option.