TopTenREVIEWS - Bronze Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

If you are searching for a radar detector that will provide you with protection without breaking the bank, consider our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner, the Whistler CR90. This unit costs significantly less than many of the best radar detectors we have reviewed. It detects legitimate radar signals and has a good detection range. It uses GPS technology to improve accuracy and reduce false signals.

Features
Compare
9.4/10
Escort Passport Max
Escort Passport 9500ix
Whistler CR90
Beltronics Pro500
Cobra SPX 7800BT
Beltronics STi Magnum
Escort RedLine
Cobra XRS 9970G
Beltronics RX65
Escort Passport 8500 X50
10
10
9.4
9.1
8.8
8.5
8.1
8.8
6.9
6.3

The Whistler CR90 has an impressive feature set for a radar detector in its price range. At the top of the list is the exclusive Ka Radar Signal Identifier (RSID), which displays known Ka band radar gun frequencies. Most radar detectors only indicate that there is a Ka band signal in the area. Many Ka band signals can be coming from other radar detectors in the vicinity.

Whistler's RSID feature displays the Ka band frequencies most commonly used in police radar guns – 33.8GHz, 34.7GHz and 35.5GHz. If the XTR-965SE displays one of these frequencies, you will have a better idea of how to react to the alert. If the Ka alert is not triggered by a police radar gun, the detector does not display a frequency, indicating that the signal is most likely not coming from a radar gun. In addition to the Ka band, it detects X and K, so you get full coverage.

Similar to the RSID feature is the Laser Signal Identifier (LSID) feature, which identifies the pulses per second that are transmitted by speed laser guns. The LSID feature can also identify other sources of laser such as Laser Assisted Cruise Control (LACC) or pulses that may come from a local airport. If you encounter false alerts from sources such as LACC, you can lock them out so they do not alert you the next time you encounter them.

The Whistler CR90 has an internal GPS that allows it to detect red light camera and a speed camera. Red light cameras take pictures of cars that pass by the sensors after a light has turned red and take a photo of the violator.

The GPS will also monitor your speed and automatically engage the auto-quiet mode if you are going below a predetermined speed. means it will run quietly when there’s no need for alarm. If you know an area where police like to set up speed traps, you can program the GPS to alert you when you get near to those spots.

Performance
Compare
9.6/10
Escort Passport Max
Escort Passport 9500ix
Whistler CR90
Beltronics Pro500
Cobra SPX 7800BT
Beltronics STi Magnum
Escort RedLine
Cobra XRS 9970G
Beltronics RX65
Escort Passport 8500 X50
10
9.6
9.6
9.1
9.4
8.8
8.8
8.8
9.4
9.4

Whistler radar detectors include a unique way of giving you visual alerts with a feature called Alert Periscopes. When potential threats are detected, two low-profile blue LED lights mounted on top of the unit flash to warn you. Even with the sound turned off or with your music blasting in the car, chances are the two flashing blue lights will draw your attention to the unit's display to help you decide what action to take.

In addition to the Alert Periscopes, other visual alerts include seven different display colors so you know what type of signal the unit has detected. For example, X band detections are displayed in green and K band displays in red on Whistler radar detectors.

If you don't want to be distracted by visual alerts, the Whistler CR90 also includes a voice alert feature. When a radar signal is detected, the unit tells you in plain English what type of signal it is. Using voice alerts helps you keep your eyes on the road for safer driving.

While the Whistler CR90 radar detector do a good job of detecting legitimate threats, the range and signal strength are not as good as our as some of the other top-rated radar detectors. Like the other radar detectors we have reviewed, this one has a POP mode for detecting radar guns that use POP technology. However, we found that this mode is not that reliable and actually causes more false alerts. Turning off the POP mode helps reduce false alerts.

Accessories
Compare
9.1/10
Escort Passport Max
Escort Passport 9500ix
Whistler CR90
Beltronics Pro500
Cobra SPX 7800BT
Beltronics STi Magnum
Escort RedLine
Cobra XRS 9970G
Beltronics RX65
Escort Passport 8500 X50
10
10
9.1
10
10
10
10
7.5
10
10

The Whistler radar detectors come with a windshield mount, a power cord and a simple owner's manual to get you up and running. However, one feature we really like is that it is also Intellicord-ready, which means that several of its features, such as power and setting city modes, can be controlled by an Intellicord power cord. Although the unit does not come standard with the Intellicord, it is optional and sold separately.

 

 

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Escort Passport Max
Escort Passport 9500ix
Whistler CR90
Beltronics Pro500
Cobra SPX 7800BT
Beltronics STi Magnum
Escort RedLine
Cobra XRS 9970G
Beltronics RX65
Escort Passport 8500 X50
10
10
10
10
8.8
10
10
8.1
10
10

Whistler CR90 radar detectors are covered by a three-year warranty that covers material and manufacturing defects from the date of purchase. If a unit is defective, Whistler will repair it free of charge.

From the Whistler website you can access the FAQs page to find answers to common questions, chat with a live customer support representative or send questions in an email message about your radar detector. If you want to speak with a customer support representative, the website lists a toll-free telephone number.

Whistler CR90 Summary:
9.5/10

If you want a good, feature-rich radar detector without breaking your budget, the Whistler CR90 might be your best bet. It performs as well as many of the high-priced products in our lineup of radar detector reviews. It is capable of detecting all radar bands and laser pulses. It also does a good job of eliminating false alerts so you can more fully concentrate on your driving.

By
 
 
 

Whistler CR90

Pros
It includes a great feature set including a signal type identifier and a GPS.

Cons
The signal strength is weaker than the range signal on this detector.

The Verdict
: 9.5/10

This is a great radar detector for those searching for something that is easy to use, provides prime radar protection – particularly along the popular Ka band – and minimizes false alarms with its GPS technology.