Pros: Extra Bright Display; Clear alerts; Low Falsing
Cons: Alert Volume Low; Dim to Bright for night; Electronics to light
Need the Easy way out; the Bel 880 from Beltronics could be your answer. Not only are you getting a Bel, you are get a relatively decent detector.
The Bel 880 uses the older casing design used by the 845/855STi-Vector STi (Circuit City.) The display is a step-up to the older 800 series that is a BRIGHT RED vs the Red-Orange of the old. The 880 also uses the Visor mount and the Windshield mount again of the old 800 series (plus mounting is the same as the 900 series.)
The difference between the 880 and the 845/855STi, is the Weight. The 845STi/855STi are heavier than the 880. This is do to the Shadow Tech I and more sensitive electronics in the 845STi/855Sti. The Bel 890, one step up from the 880, is the 855STi but in the 890 form.
The Bel 880 detects the Standard FCC frequencies allocated to the Law Enforcement in the United States. These are X, K, Ka, and Laser. Plus, the 880 detects SWS (Safety Warning Systems) Safety Alert, and Vg-2 Alert. The Unit also uses a Male Voice for SWS and Band ID on Radar.
In the City, the unit is fairly quite compared to the Vector LR 970 by Beltronics. It is roughly 1/3 quiter. In the Highway the unit suffers like MANY of the other detector on the market; it detects other detectors.
The Volume on the 880 is poor. The maximum Instant-on Volume on all Alert Band ID is 87 dBLs. The standard volume at peak alert is 85 X band; 84 K band; 85 Ka band.
The Ranging of the Unit:
X band- EST 1+ miles highway/ .5-.8 City
K band- 1.5 highway/ .4-.7 City
Ka band- 0.8 highway/ .3-.6 City
In if you are driving in a slight hilly area the range of the 880 on K band can drop to 1/2 mile compared to a top of the line Vector LR which would provide up-to 2.5-3 miles. This is do to a (-8)- (-10) dBL sensitivity on the receiver. One thing I encountered with the 880 is if you are to close to a X band gun that goes off in Instant-On, it could alert you as Ka first followed by X band continuous. This was establish by a S-80 X band Gun.
I would recommend the Bel 880 over a Cobra 9000 series and Uniden 700 Series and some of the Lower 1500-1600 Whistlers. Like Ever year the Manufacture upgrades their Detector Line-Up. The New Lower 900 series have already hit the Market. The New Bel 916/926= Bel 870 and the Bel 936=the Bel 880. If you can get your hands on the Bel 936, get it.