We love our cars, and we love to drive…and most of us push the limits of government speed related expectations. So, regardless of whether you have a serious commute or just love a good long-distance jaunt, a radar detector can be a helpful ally.

I spent a couple of weeks with Beltronics GT-7, one of the most recent offerings in the world of radar detecting.  I have admittedly limited experience with this technology, but do have some observations about this product and what it brings to the table. The GT-7 is nicely packaged with it’s own zip-up carrying case, and while it is larger than some of the other radar detectors on the market (making it less discrete), it does have a sharp modern look with it’s black shell trimmed in bronze. The readout display is easy to see and includes a Current Speed Display for convenience when glancing at the readout. The instructions which are included are minimal, and one may need to access the online owner’s manual to get the complete rundown of the features which are included in the device.

Quite frankly, the technology may be something of an overreach if you are driving in small town America, but for anyone that needs a way of managing conventional radar detection as well as potential speed traps, speed cameras, or red light cameras, this device may be exactly what you are looking for.  Like any radar detector there is an initial learning curve relative to the controls and warnings but once you settle in, and get used to your device it is relatively simple to negotiate.

Installation is trouble free, and the magnetic bracket is a nice replacement for the button controlled mounting process on past units.  The detector then can be plugged easily into a cigarette lighter or accessory pocket.

There are a number of features that are included in the GT-7 package.  Beltronics suggests that the HD Performance identifies real threats sooner than other detectors.  I don’t have any data to support this claim, nor enough experience with the GT-7 to speak effectively to the claim. The Defender Database option is available as well as the EscortLive network allowing you to use your smartphone to access additional information from other drivers in the area.

There are two features however which are included in the GT-7 that were especially helpful.  The Over Speed reminder for those that may need a  gentle nudge back down to the civically acceptable speed limit is a useful tool.  The second is the location based intelligence.  After a few days of driving a consistent route, the GPS processes the false alarms from previous passes and filters out the false positive hits. In short the device seems to quiet down with time, but those hits that do register should be taken seriously.

So, spend your money now on a quality unit like the GT-7 and keep yourself forewarned of potential speed hazards, or spend your money later  supporting your local government’s use of your financial contributions.  The choice is yours, but really seems quite clear.  We suggest you chose the option that produces the least amount of profanity…

By Scot Irwin


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