If you are looking for a cordless radar detector, there are not many options to choose from. There was the Solo S3, but that got discontinued, and then Escort launched the new Escort 0100034-1 Solo S4. The Solo S4 retains the feature set and performance of its predecessor, the S3, however, regarding design the Solo S4 got a modest styling refresh.
Escort Solo S4 Review & Suggestions
- Long-range detection superior sensitivity on all conventional and instant-on radar bands plus maximum laser range and off-axis coverage.
- ESCORT’s standard DSP technology which has the fastest response time paired with multiple laser sensors provide the earliest warning of speed-monitoring threats.
- OLED display each alert is communicated to you with clear messages. Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth
- Cordless convenience no other detector provides the cordless convenience and protection of the Solo S4.
- You can customize up to 9 features including exclusive SpecDisplay and ExpertMeter modes using E-Z Programming.
At first glance, you can notice the large power on/off button on the front of the case. On the opposite side is a similarly-sized multi-function button for sensitivity mode and user-preferences programming. The large buttons are helpful as they are easier to locate and are easy to operate.
The Solo S4 also has the same yellow OLED display seen previously on the Solo S3. There is a top-mounted mute button that can also double as a battery-level indicator. All you need to do is press the button, and an icon is displayed that shows the level of battery remaining. Usually, a pair of AA batteries can last you around for 30-40 hours of driving.
The Solo S4 comes with a display that is momentarily backlit which helps in saving power only when you press a function button or during an alert. The display stays lit, however, when the power cords are plugged into it, and the volts are free. When the power cord is attached to the detector, it provides five types of status displays like you can set it to display the voltage which indicates the health of your car's electrical system.
Identification of the band is displayed by X, K, Ka (radar) and laser. You can also check the signal strength which is shown by a bar graph that lights progressively, left to right, and audibly by beep frequency.
The Solo S3 comes packed with nine programmable options. These include three-level manual display brightness, full-dark or auto mode. City Mode offers standard, LoX (low-sensitivity X) and NoX (X-band disabled). Nox is a standout feature as it helps in eliminating urban false alarms caused by the radar-controlled automatic door openers found in most cars. Selectable band defeat is another excellent option that lets users deactivate any radar band or laser. Also included are the alternate sets of audio tones and a fast power-up option to skip the self-test sequence.
Usually, wireless radar detectors have always had problems with battery life, and therefore the S4 has an automatic power-off feature that helps to prevent battery rundown. The detector can also be set to shut off the power if no motion is detected for a while or after a period of inactivity.
However, you need to pay the price if you want to buy a cordless radar detector. The price comes in the form that the Solo S4 has a shorter range than which is offered by corded models, particularly on Ka-band, the frequency used by nearly every state police agency. Also, the Solo S4 like many other radar detectors does not come with an inbuilt GPS. This essentially means that it can't lock out false alarms from nuisances like radar-controlled automatic door openers. No GPS also means that the Solo S4 cannot warn you of red light cameras, nor can you adjust sensitivity and audible alert settings based on speed which would have otherwise further helped in reducing false alarms.
The Solo S3 being cordless has a fraction of the range when compared to other wired Escort models. However, for people who mostly drive around in rental cars, for them, the range might not be an issue but for some who owns a car and is in search for a detector that can detect long range then the Solo S4 is not the one for you, and you might want to look someplace else.