(Updated Feb 2019)
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Overview
Both the Uniden R3 and Max 360c are high end, top of the line radar detectors. Both are very capable, but they have different price points, different features, and appeal to different people.
The Uniden R3 ($399) is the best performing radar detector you can buy. It also offers good false alert filtering and a GPS chip to learn the location of stationary false alerts as well as alert you to red light cameras and speed cameras. The price is surprisingly reasonable and many people consider the R3 to be the best radar detector on the market at any price. While I need to notch performance, the R3 is the radar detector I personally depend on to keep me protected.
Uniden R3 Advantages:
- Longer range, superior performance
- More frequent firmware updates
- Physically smaller detector
- Detects the MRCD
- Stealth design, undetectable by radar detector detectors
- Lower price, better bang for the buck
The Escort Max 360c ($649) is the most feature-packed radar detector on the market, it offers many useful features the R3 doesn’t. For example, it gives you arrows, real-time cloud alerts shared with other drivers, automatic firmware updates over WiFi, and more hands-off automation than the Uniden. The 360c is a radar detector that you can install on your windshield and then it takes care of most everything for you all by itself. It’s the detector that I gave to my wife because it’s so easy to use and it’s what I run myself when I want a detector that is quiet and does a great job around town.
- Better BSM filtering
- Automatic GPS lockouts
- Bluetooth for realtime cloud alerts
- Automatic firmware updates over WiFi
- Speed limit displayed on front of detector
- Update software available for Mac users too
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Performance
When it comes to long range detection, the Uniden R3 is the unquestionable champion. When you need the very best shot at detecting police radar at a distance, particularly in tougher situations like detecting instant-on or driving through more difficult terrain such as radar-blocking trees or hills, the R3 will give you a superior level of protection.
The Max 360c is still capable too and can provide you sufficient advanced warning in most situations as well, but when it comes to all-out range, the R3 is the clear winner.
Take a look at these test results to see a comparison on Ka band between the two. The R3 is in light gray. The Max 360c is in light orange.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Filtering
False alert filtering is another area where you’ll see a difference between the two detectors. Both detectors are good at filtering false alerts and offer several different filters to help you cut down on annoying false alerts.
Many new cars have radar-based collision avoidance systems like blind spot monitoring systems, and sometimes they can be tough for a radar detector to recognize as a false alert and filter out. No radar detector can filter out 100% of these falses, but some are more effective than others. Both the R3 and the Max 360c offer effective BSM filtering, but the Max360c can filter out more vehicles and is a much quieter detector.
You’ll also find many stationary radar sources that trigger false alerts. Common examples include automatic door openers in shopping centers and drugstores as well as speed signs on the side of the road. Both radar detectors can filter these out using GPS. It learns the frequency and location of the radar signal, memorizes it, and filters it out for you next time you drive by. If it later sees a different frequency signal or a signal in a different location (ie. a police officer shooting radar in the area), it’s designed to tell the difference and alert you to this different signal.
R3, Manual Lockouts: The Uniden R3’s lockouts are created manually. When you come across a false alert, double tap the mute button to teach it this is a false alert and it will filter it out for you in the future. You do this initially when driving around town and then it stays quiet for you. It requires you to tell the difference between a real alert, a moving false from another car near you, and a stationary false alert you’ve seen before.
Max 360c, Automatic Lockouts: The Max 360c can do this lockout process for you automatically. After you pass the same radar source several times, the 360c can automatically filter these out for you, hands-free. This makes things much easier for you as the driver, you don’t have to mentally keep track of if this is a false alert you’ve seen before, and it lets you focus on driving while the detector automatically gets quieter for you over time. For many, this is the preferred solution and is one of the biggest benefits of Escort’s radar detectors. (Escort’s patent on autolockouts is good through mid-2019 which is why Uniden is doing it manually.)
Low Speed Muting
Both radar detectors also offer GPS-based low speed muting. This way you can drive through new parts of town and when you’re sitting in traffic or sitting at a redlight, the radar detector will keep itself extra quiet so that you don’t have to keep repeatedly hitting the mute button.
The Max 360c can also determine the speed limit of the road that you’re on by referencing an online database (when connected to the internet via Bluetooth or WiFi) and keep itself quiet when you’re traveling below the speed limit and alert normally when you’re speeding. Be aware that this doesn’t take into account things like construction zones or school zones so the detector may be muting itself while you’re speeding which isn’t cool, but it’s a way to have a dynamically adjusting low speed muting threshold that varies depending upon the road that you’re on. Plus it’s nice seeing the speed limit and your speed side-by-side.
Speed-based Sensitivity Adjustments
Both detectors also offer the ability to reduce the sensitivity to help filter out some false alerts such as weak automatic door openers on the side of the road. The R3’s approach appeals more to the radar detector enthusiast while the 360’s approach is better suited to the everyday driver.
The R3 gives you granular control over exactly how far back you can dial down the sensitivity while the Max 360c is more automatic where it can reduce the sensitivity at low speeds and give you full sensitivity at high speeds. The R3 requires you to change sensitivity levels manually.
Personally I run my R3 at reduced sensitivity on K band because I see very little K band around here and so it helps cut down on false alerts. I like it even at highway speeds. The Max 360c could be set up similarly if you run it in the AutoLoK sensitivity level, however.
K Band Segmentation
Both detectors also give you the ability to adjust the frequencies the detector scans for on K band, a feature particularly useful for international drivers. The R3 offers a K Narrow option to scan for a slightly more narrow range of frequencies on K band and the 360c offers K Band Segmentation to selectively choose smaller segments of K band to scan for. This is a potentially risky way to filter out false alerts, but it’s an advanced option available to drivers and it’s particularly appealing for drivers abroad. For more information, see my R3 setup guide and my Max 360c setup guide.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Arrows
Another key difference between the two detectors is that the Max 360c adds arrows to help you locate the source of the threat. Both the R3 and 360c can detect radar ahead of you and behind, but the 360 adds an additional rear-facing antenna which allows it to tell you where the radar source is coming from.
Arrows can be very helpful information to help you quickly determine where the police officer is and how you should respond. The intensity of the audio beeps getting faster or slower (called the rampup) can tell you a lot, but adding arrows helps you quickly understand your surroundings much more accurately and easily.
I’m a huge fan of arrows. They’re not 100% necessary, but they really do add a lot to the experience.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Escort Live
The Max 360c offers another advantage which is the ability to connect to the internet to share radar, laser, and police spotted alerts in real time with other Escort users. This offers an additional layer of protection above and beyond what your radar detector can do on its own.
Through the app you can also program your radar detector. You can change settings by going into the radar detector itself of course, but doing it through your phone makes things much easier and quicker, especially if you want to change settings on the fly.
When you go out to the internet, the radar detector can also reference an online database to find out what the speed limit is of the road that you’re driving on. This information can be displayed both on the phone as well as on the face of your Max 360c.
Escort Live can be accessed either by running the Escort Live app on your phone (iOS and Android available) or by connecting to a WiFi hotspot in your car, a new feature that’s being introduced with the new 360c.
Now the R3 can get these cloud-based features too including police spotted alerts and displaying the current speed limit by running Waze on your phone, and you’ll also get both more alerts and more quickly updating alerts when a police officer shows up due to there being wayyy more users on Waze in the first place, so really the main benefit of Live is that it can display the information right on the face of your radar detector for a more integrated setup. This is especially nice for times when you want to run another app on your phone (ie. Google Maps, Spotify, etc.) or if your phone is still in your pocket.
Personally I always run Waze no matter what, even if Live is running in the background too and I’ve been very happy with the R3 / Waze combo. Escort Live is appealing because it integrates with your radar detector more seamlessly and alerts get posted to the cloud automatically without you having to use your phone while driving.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: WiFi
The Max 360c is Escort’s first radar detector with WiFi built in. If you have a vehicle with WiFi built in, your 360c can connect to Escort Live via WiFi, bypassing your phone altogether.
The main benefit of WiFi over Bluetooth-only Escort Live compatible radar detectors like the Max360 or Redline EX is that the Max 360c can automatically update itself over WiFi, giving you automatic firmware updates and automatic redlight camera database updates.
With the 360c, you can drive around and when Escort releases an update, your detector can go ahead and update itself without you having to take the detector home, plug it into your computer, and update manually the way you would with the R3. This means that the Max 360c can be kept in your vehicle and it’ll continue to keep itself up to date over time. I mostly use this feature when I start up my car and the detector can check for updates while I’m still in my garage. If there’s an update, it’ll let me know, download the update, and I can update while I drive. Very handy.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Firmware Updates
So speaking of firmware updates, there’s definitely some differences here between the R3 and Max 360c.
Firmware Update Frequency & Quality
With Uniden, the company does a great job of listening to their customers and implementing popularly requested features and fixing bugs as they arise. There’s been a series of helpful firmware updates already and more coming thanks to Uniden listening to their customers and working with the community.
Escort has a tendency of brushing off any issues lately and even being oppositional towards those who come across and report any bugs. Escort has released a series of firmware updates with the original Max360 that also benefit the new 360c, but moving forward, I’m giving Uniden the advantage in terms of what we should expect with continued firmware updates and development.
Firmware Update Process
In terms of how to actually update your detectors, I’m giving the advantage to Escort.
Uniden’s update software is currently available for Windows only, not for Mac users. The R3 update process with installing drivers and downloading several different files can be confusing for some users.
With Escort, there’s both Windows and Mac update software available, you plug your Max 360c into your computer, you click the update button, and the software goes out to download the latest update files for you and install them onto your detector. Plus with the new WiFi updating capabilities, that streamlines the process even further to where you no longer even need a computer in the first place. Advantage, Escort.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Laser Jammer Integration
For those of you who want to use a laser jammer, either radar detector is compatible with any laser jammer you choose. Radar detectors and laser jammers are typically standalone products so you can mix and match either the R3 or Max 360c with the AntiLaser Priority, for example, which is the best laser jammer on the market, and get the best of both worlds. There’s no difference in this regard.
For those of you who want your radar detector to interface with your laser jammer, Escort has released the Escort ZW5, a wireless laser jammer that will have the ability to communicate with the Max 360c radar detector.
The ZW5 is unique in that it is wireless and so you won’t have to drill through your car’s firewall, nice if you want a simpler and/or less expensive installation. The 360c will be able to communicate with and control the ZW5’s so if you want an integrated radar/laser setup, that’s something that the 360c will soon be able to offer.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Price
The Uniden R3 is definitely the better value, not to mention it offers longer range and all of the key features that most people really need, but the 360c offers a bunch of extra additional features that many people find desirable.
Is the 360c worth the extra cost? If the extra features are useful to you, it may be. Let’s summarize the differences and benefits of each detector.
Uniden R3 vs. Escort Max 360c: Summary
Both radar detectors are very capable units. They’re also pretty different detectors.
Should You Get the Uniden R3?
If you’re looking for a high performance radar detector and your focus is on obtaining the highest level of protection from speeding tickets, buy the Uniden R3.
The R3 is the best performing radar detector on the market, has great false alert filtering, and offers all the key features that drivers really need.
Should You Get the Escort Max 360c?
If you’re looking for more than just the essentials and you want more convenience, automation, and functionality, the Max 360c could be right up your alley.
The Max 360c offers capable performance and even more effective false alert filtering, but the key differences are that it offers arrows to help you easily locate the threat and it also offers much more of a plug-and-play experience. The false alert learning process is automatic and hands-free. The firmware updates can be done for you automatically. Alerts can be shared to and from the cloud without you needing to mess with your phone.
The Max 360c offers many of the same features as the R3 and more and it also does many things for you. If you’d like the added convenience and functionality, buy the Escort Max 360c.
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