Whistler CR90 Review

 

 

 

 

The Whistler CR90 signifies a new era for Whistler as they begin to offer GPS-enabled radar detector to customers.

With great features i.e. the ability to detect all radar and laser used by law enforcement officer in U.S, great blue OLED display, clear voice alerts,  GPS with database to mark locations with speed, camera and speed traps, the Whistler is truly in a class of it own.

In the following Whistler CR90 review, we’ll be looking at the different features of Whistler CR90 as well as its pros and cons.

Whistler CR90 Review

 

 

 

 

 

Whistler CR90 review

Power On Self-Test

Whenever you turn on the Whistler CR90, the device will automatically go through a self-test to check that the visual displays and speaker are in good working condition.

Volume Level

You can adjust the volume by adjusting the Power/Volume button. Once this is set, you’ll hear a beep to confirm the setting and the display will be show the volume level.

External Audio Jack 

Besides adjusting the volume, you have the options of connecting to external speaker or headphone for better voice alert. Once this external audio is engaged, the device’s internal audio will be turned off.

Note: If you connect it to external speaker, make sure that the volume is not too loud or you may get a ‘shock’ when the alert audio is on.

Note: For details on how to select a radar detector, read about our Radar Detector Guide.

Radar / Laser Detection

Whistler CR90 laser radar detector review The Whistler CR90 is able to detect all radars (X, K or Ka-band), laser and POP alerts.

Once a signal has been detected, the band ID, indicating the types of signal detected will be shown together with the signal strength. At the same time, you’ll also hear the alert audio which informs you the kind of signal being detected and it will also beep faster and faster as you approach the source. Once you move further from the source, the frequency of alert will also be slower.

If the signal detected is laser, the audio alert will continue for a minimum of 3 seconds while the display will show ‘LASER” together with the signal strength.

Do take note that laser guns are mostly used for short range and must be stationed at certain place; it can’t be used in a moving vehicle.

If you are being targeted by laser, within seconds, the Whistler CR90 will pick up the signal and you’ll hear full alert tone. Generally, under such circumstances, you will not have sufficient time to slow down. On the other hand, if you are travelling behind a targeted vehicle, chances are you will still have time to react. Regardless of what situation you are in, whenever you hear the laser alert, SLOW DOWN IMMEDIATELY!

For pulse (or instant-on) signal, once it is detected, the CR90 will sound an urgent 3-second audio warning. After that, you’ll hear the standard alert pattern as long as the signal is detected. Do take note that because the pulse signal is more difficult to detect compared to the normal radar signal, once it is detected, you are advised to respond immediately.

Regardless of how good is a radar detector, it will not be able to detect a patrol car following behind you if the radar detector is not turned on; you will still get a ticket under such circumstances. Similarly, if the police use vascar/aircraft which measures te time your vehicle travelling from point A to B, you can’t escape if you are speeding.

Note: When you first use the Whistler CR90, you may not be familiar with the voice and visual alerts. However, after driving with it for a few weeks, I can assure you that you’ll know what you are hearing without even looking at the visual display.

Radar Detector Detectors: VG-2, Spectre 

The police, by using radar detector detectors (DGG) have the ability to detect your CR90. If you are using a radar detector in a state that is illegal, your detector may be taken away plus you’ll also get a ticket for possession of radar detector and a ticket for speeding; a truly double whammy indeed! 

Auto Quiet Mode

Whistler CR90 laser radar detector reviewsOnce any signal has been detected, the Auto Quiet Mode will kick-in to reduce the volume to level (1) 5 seconds after the signal is detected. This is good as it will cut off the noise level. If any new signal is detected within 20 seconds, the alert will go off again.

Quiet Mode

You can manually mute all alert tone by pressing the Quiet button. Pressing the Quiet button again will restore the standard audio alert pattern.

City/City1/City 2 Mode 

When travelling in city or densely populated area, the automatic door openers, intrusion alarms and other devices can cause false alarms to your radar detector. Normally such device will use X band. In order to reduce these false alerts, the Whistler CR90 allows you to set to 2 different City Mode.

When switching to City Mode setting, the weak speed/safety warning system signal s will give an initial alarm of 2 beeps and then will remain quiet unless the signal gets stronger.

In City 1 mode, the X-band sensitivity level will be reduced while for the City 2 mode, the X-band sensitivity will be completely cut off.

Highway Mode

If you are travelling on highway or any open roads, it is recommended to switch to Highway mode for maximum range of your radar detector. Under the Highway mode, all signals will be detected.

Whistler CR90 Review – Dim/Dark Mode 

You have the option to reduce the brightness of display by setting to dim/dark mode. This is best used when driving at night to reduce distraction.

Setting the CR90 to dim mode will reduce the illumination of the display and setting it to dark mode will further reduce the brightness of display.

When set to dark mode, the display will be black out for up to 20 seconds when a signal is detected; after that, the display will return to dimmer setting.

Auto Dim 

If you set the CR90 to auto dim, the brightness level will be adjusted accordingly between GPS time of 7am and 7pm. You also have the option to manually override this feature. 

Vehicle Battery Saver Mode

The power to the Whistler CR90 will be switched off automatically after 3 hours. Before the power is shutoff, you’ll get an audible and visual warning; pressing any button during such time will reactivate the timer. If the device is off, just press the Power button to switch it on again.

GPS Advantage.

We now continue with the Whistler CR90 review with perhaps one of the best features on this device.

The GPS feature on the Whistler CR90 gives the device an edge over other radar detectors without such feature.

With GPS, you’ll have real-time info on your vehicle’s speed, location, direction of travel any many other info. As you approach any junction with red light camera or locations with speed cameras/traps, the CR90 with its huge database will be able to warn you beforehand the existence of such cameras. You can also update this database by using the USB port on the right side of the device. If you spot a new location for red light / speed camera, you can manually mark this location and the CR90 will warn you the next time you pass through this same location.

The GPS is also very effective in eliminating false alerts on routes that you travel frequently. For example, on your normal route to work, if you know the location of the false alarm, you can block out this false alarm by just a press of button.

There is however a lack of community interaction or sharing for the Whistler CR90. The device lacks an app that allows its users to share information on the latest speed / camera traps. If sharing is allowed, you will be warned by data shared by other users on the latest location of speed and camera traps.

When you first turn-on the device, it will begin to search for satellites and this may take several minutes; make sure that nothing is blocking your GPS as doing so will prevent your GPS from getting satellite signal.

X/K and Ka Filter Modes

Whistler CR90 reviews

 

If another vehicle near you is also using a radar detector, this will cause false alert to your radar detector. In order to reduce the occurrence of false alerts, the X/K and Ka filter modes allows you to increase the filter level to edge out all these irritating false alerts.

Note: If you are travelling at a speed below the selected option mode, the maximum filter level will be applied.

Ka Max Mode

Ka Max Mode provides enhanced Ka sensitivity increased protection.This mode can be selected with or without RSID.

Traffic Flow Signal Rejection (TFSR)

Today, more and more highways are equipped with radar based traffic monitoring systems to monitor traffic flow on the highway. Normally you can see this with radars being mounted to poles along the highway.

This new system has caused many problems to radar detectors operating on X or K band as they pick up these radars causing a lot of false alarms.

With the Whistler CR90 internal rejection system, the device will analyze all incoming signals and reject such signals that caused continuous false alerts. If you are picking up excessive X or K band when travelling on highway, chances are your device is picking up these radars. To overcome this problem, turn on TFSR to weed out all these unwanted false alarms.

Stay Alert Feature

The main purpose of this Stay Alert feature is help to keep you awake when you are driving.

With this feature turned on, 2 quiet beeps will sound after a minute. When you hear this, you’ll have 3 to 5 seconds to press one of the buttons; failing to press the button will result in a loud alarm.

Note: You should not rely on this feature to keep you awake when driving. If you are tired, take a rest and then continue your journey. Improper reliance on the Stay Alert feature may result in vehicle damage, personal injury or death.

Alert Priority

When the Whistler CR90 detects two or more signals, it will intelligently sort these signals according to the following priority:-

  • Laser
  • Speed radar
  • Safety warning system

Intellicord® Ready

CR90 review

Do consider getting the optional Intellicord if you are buying the Whistler CR90. The Intellicord allows you to remotely control two of the following detector features

(Power On/Off, City Modes, Dim/Dark, Mark Waypoint and Quiet/Auto Quiet) with a press of a button located on the power cable’s plug. This is quite convenient as you do not have to reach out to the detector to press the buttons.

Option Select Mode 

The option select mode allows you to set some features of the Whistler CR90 as mentioned below:-

  • Quiet
  • Power
  • Tone
  • Test
  • X-Band
  • K-Band
  • Ka-Band
  • Laser
  • Laser Area 1
  • Laser Area 2
  • Laser Area 3
  • SWS
  • Voice
  • POP
  • Battery Saver
  • XK Filter
  • Ka Filter
  • Alert Periscopes
  • TFSR
  • GPM Mode
  • Local Time
  • Daylight Sevaings
  • Clock
  • Auto Dim
  • Compass Mode
  • Compass Voice
  • Unit of Measure
  • Speed Warning
  • Auto Quiet
  • Auto Filter Speed
  • Max Speed
  • Trip Mileage
  • Alarm Radius
  • Delete Radius
  • Delete Waypoints

Reset Features.

Do not worry if you have set the wrong settings for your Whistler CR90 as you can set everything back to its factory by just pressing a few buttons.

Mounting / Installation

When mounting the Whistler CR90, make sure that it is mounted to the center of the vehicle; also make sure that no object is obstructing the detector for the direction pointing up (pointing to the sky) as such object may block the satellite signal.

If your windshields have an Instaclear™ or Electriclear™ type coating, this will affect radar signals being detected. Check your car’s owner manual of consult your dealer to determine if your vehicle has such kind of windshield coating.

To avoid any break-in to your car, try to conceal the unit when not is use.

Dimension

 Whistler CR90 radar detector reviews

The Whistler CR90 is small and compact measuring 2.25 x 7.81 x 6.06 inches and weights only 0.8 ounce. You can easily mount it on your vehicle’s windshield.

Is Radar Detector Legal?

In Most States YES. Laser-Radar detectors are legal in every state (except Virginia and Washington, D.C., which have local regulations restricting the use of radar receivers in any vehicle) when used in automobiles or light trucks (under 10,000 lbs.).

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a regulation, effective January, 1994 which prohibits radar and laser detector use in vehicles over 10,000 lbs. Prior to the FHWA regulation, laws existed in New York restricting the use of radar detector.

Whistler CR90 Review – Customer Review

At the time of this writing, the Whistler CR90 is rated 3.8 out of 5 stars; not a bad rating indeed.

From the users’ reviews, I read multiple positive comments on the CR85 and this includes a comprehensive four–paragraph–long review posted on Amazon by user Dasan, who compared the CR85 in action side–by–side with a new Whistler Pro–78SE that he purchased in early July — with their settings matched.

“The difference between the 2 was so great that my wife told me to pull the trigger on another CR85 for myself which should be here tomorrow lol,” Dasan wrote.

He particularly praised the CR85’s ability to detect police laser, known as LIDAR, and said owning the CR85 dissuaded him from wanting to buy a laser jammer.

Pros

  • Excellent radar sensitivity
  • GPS feature – Ability to lock out false alarms and protection from a huge database of red light and speed cameras.
  • Auto quiet feature
  • Stealth mode – Will not be detected by radar detector detectors
  • Highway / City mode
  • Traffic flow signal rejection
  • Exceptional resistance to false alarms
  • Value for money
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • No community sharing app
  • Manual not that detail
  • No over speed alert

Verdict

With advance feature like GPS and many other great features, the Whistler CR90 is surely one of the best radar detectors on the market today. Although it does not have community sharing capability, nevertheless with good price, you are getting more than what you pay for. In fact, just a few saves from the law enforcement office and everything for this device is paid for.

If you prefer a radar detector with GPS features plus community sharing capability, consider getting the Escort Passport 9500ix or for the ultimate top of the range, go for Escort Passport Max2. If you think that you do not need the GPS feature, then look into the Escort Passport 8500 X50.

End of Whistler CR90 review.

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Whistler CR 90 review

 

 

 

 

Whistler CR90 specs

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