Preview/Review: Uniden R3 & Uniden R1 Radar Detectors

Preview/Review: Uniden R1 and Uniden R3 Radar Detectors

Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, the storm has arrived!

Uniden R1 & Uniden R3 Radar Detector
Uniden R3/Uniden R1 Radar Detectors

The last several years have been a momentous time for competition in the radar detector industry.

Just like our past Presidential election and BREXIT, 2017 seems to be the year of the anti-establishment making its presence felt.

Beyond the ostensibly tectonic-shifting merging of the establishment players of Escort, Beltronics, and Cobra into one organization (which runs counter to competition), there have been some new and (one long-standing) manufacturers establishing or re-establishing a presence in the U.S. market.  I’m going to refer to these two companies as the “outsiders” or “anti-establishment” manufacturers.

Radenso, one of these new comers, has released three radar detectors in particular that are noteworthy for their performance, feature-sets, and reasonable pricing–with their Radenso XP, Radenso SP, and Radenso Pro SE radar detectors.

And now Uniden America (is looking to really shake things up) with two new extreme performance and “RDD-immune” radar detectors, called the Uniden R1 and Uniden R3.  Both of these detectors represent the third evolution of the well-regarded Uniden LRD-950 (and LRD-850) that were introduced a few years ago (which were updated to the Uniden DFR7 and Uniden DFR6, respectively).

In my view, it is really remarkable that both of these companies (Radenso & Uniden) have evolved their products so well in such short periods.  The pace of these improvements and refinements makes the more established manufactures look like they’re going in slow motion, dare I say, resting on their laurels and past accomplishments.

Innovation drives competition and vice-versa.

But more than just innovation is at play here.  It’s the engagement.  Engagement with the consumer.

It’s the “connectivity.”  It includes the staffing and the partnering with those who understand and have historical knowledge and interest in the health of the industry. It’s the relationships. It’s the knowing your customer-base; listening to your customer-base; and delivering on what they’re asking for.

Given the rapidly changing (deteriorating) RF landscape and the appearance of new more-difficult-to-detect police radar and police laser, the most established radar detector manufacturers who are slow to improve their product offerings in substantive ways are going to find themselves less relevant.  The rapid pace of change that has been routinely effecting other industries, is now upon the shores of the radar detector industry.

Iconic products, like the Escort Redline can no longer afford to remain little changed for an extended period of time. I specifically mention the Redline because these Unidens are clearly taking aim at the Redline/Magnum. (Note: Escort is not standing still, either).

Uniden appears to be positioning itself in the market for the long-term.  To that end, it’s also encouraging to hear from them that they intend to strenuously enforce tight pricing controls and consistency of these two fine detectors across the entire sales and distribution channel.

As a result, the entire sales channel and specialty dealer base that will do the heavy lifting in product education and customer front-line support will be protected, which directly enhances brand value, something that is essential for growing market share. To be sure, Uniden hasn’t historically taken this approach, but they are sending the right signals now with these detectors.

When manufacturers do not; allow online entities (like Amazon) and big-box retailers to race to the bottom on price, and/or end up competing themselves (and undermining) their own sales channel, the only differentiator ultimately becomes price in the consumer’s mind.  The products produced become mere commodities and long-term brand value suffers as a consequence.

These matters can be further complicated when other more nimble manufacturers increasingly offer products at lower price points (and better values), beating them at their own game since price became the driving factor, not brand distinction.

At least for now, Uniden (as well as Radenso) appear to understand this with the introduction of their latest Uniden radar detectors and are providing the critical end-to-end support from the manufacturer to ensure collective channel viability.  Let’s hope they don’t lose sight of this once their products (and brand names) become more mainstream.

So, without question, the game is on.

Despite some unprecedented consolidation of the marketplace, these two “new outside” players are going to ensure that innovation will continue to ultimately separate the winners from the losers.

These “new innovators” are the Tesla to the GM; the David to the Goliath.

The best part is the consumer (ie; we drivers) are going to be the ultimate beneficiaries.

And this my friends, is the real tectonic-shift in this small and specialized industry.

You can read more about these new detectors with our brief overview.

Best place to purchase your Uniden detector:

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