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Style Name: Radar DetectorPackage Type: Standard PackagingChange
Price:$218.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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457 of 485 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
Let me preface this by making clear that it is the only radar detector that I have owned so far, and that I have returned it after two weeks of ownership.

If you're looking at this product, it's probably for good reason. Escort makes excellent radar detectors with a range of features. Other contenders for your money should be similar offerings from Beltronics and Valentine One's V1. Read more and I'll get to why this radar detector might not be the best fit for you.

The Escort Solo S3 radar detector's main selling point is that it doesn't require a car charger to stay on. The Solo S3 comes packaged with two AA batteries, which Escort claims will keep it powered for months of regular driving. In order to conserver battery life, the Solo S3 has an OLED display that turns off during regular operation. You'll know that the Solo S3 is still on because an LED will blink periodically to remind you that it is in fact working.

The supplied windshield mount works, but it's been often cited as a reason for dissatisfaction amongst owners of Escort radar detectors. I never had issues keeping the radar detector securely affixed to my windshield with the two suction cup design, but the radar detector would bounce and occasionally rap against the windshield as I was driving. This wasn't too much of an issue, but it did prove to be a minor annoyance at times.

The Solo S3 also comes with an attractive carrying case that has room for additional batteries, the windshield mount, and user manuals.

The Solo S3 sounds a clear alert when it first detects radar signals. The factory-enabled Auto Mute feature reduces the volume of this alert after a few seconds so that it doesn't become a nuisance. Upon detecting radar, the Solo S3's display also lights up to give an indication of the signal type and strength. I did pick up radar signals in advance of my being able to visually confirm highway patrol units, and received a couple of LIDAR alerts during my time with the Solo S3. I felt that the Solo S3 did an adequate job of alerting me about the presence of police radar in these situations, as the alert distance was sufficient for me to check my speed and take any driver action necessary to avoid police response. However, I felt that an extra few seconds would have been very helpful, and worth paying for.

One feature that the Solo S3 lacks is GPS capability. Fully featured radar detectors sometimes include GPS, which is used to store the locations of false alerts. This can be helpful when driving around town, as there can be roadside sources of radar that are irrelevant to drivers. Because the Solo S3 lacks this feature, you may find yourself getting alerts with no sign of police radar.

While the Solo S3 does a decent job, the more capable Escort Passport 9500ix Radar/Laser Detector (Blue Display) and Escort Redline Radar Detector have been shown to outperform in all conditions. Both of these units come with a higher pricetag, and require the use of a power cord that must be plugged in to retain functionality. While the Solo S3 can also be powered through an optional power cord, the detection range has not been shown to change. It is also worth considering the Valentine One Radar Detector, which has been consistently rated as one of the top performers in detection range.

For those about to buy, I strongly recommend that you consider what you find most important to you. Given my personal driving habits, I would do better to hardwire a more robust radar detector into my daily driver. If you frequently travel and every last bit counts, then you will be served well enough by the Solo S3's detection capabilities. The handy carrying case and lack of a power cord make setting up in rental cars clutter free. The Solo S3 is a decent radar detector that is worth your consideration. Just be aware that you will always make tradeoffs in portability versus performance.

At least for me, the loss of a power cord wasn't worth the tradeoff.

As a closing note: If you found this review helpful, give me a thumbs up and I'll keep on writing! In any case, your comments are welcome.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2011
Passport still reigns as the top brand of detectors. This was my third one over the years. I have had cobra as well as iradar . What was obvious at first glance , that when an alert sounds ,you might think that's it's false, however a few miles ahead there is the radar. In other words, the passport gives you more than enough time to adjust your speed. The flaw is that I have noticed a slight reduction in sensitivity with battery models over the wired units. Also, carrying extra batteries on trips is a pain. Once I was caught off guard because the units batteries were so weak, that it didn't notice the radar. in another instance, the batteries were dead and I wasn't warned to replace them... However, that said, it's still the best portable out there and even on the front seat picks up the radar..overall, I would give this 5stars simply because it's the best out there.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
I just completed a 1200 mile, 20 hour drive (Seattle to San Diego) in a rental car with the Solo 3 was thoroughly impressed. I use NiMH rechargeble batteries and they are still at 75% charge after the long drive and three extra days driving around. For some reason, the detector never went off in Oregon. But I always had about 5+ seconds advanced warning of radar in California. I did go into the settings and use the customizing option to see the distinct radar types that I highly recommend. I love the auto-black out and auto-muting function. This is a big factor is saving the battery, as well as handy to not have to reach up and press the mute button every time you drive by a grocery store door or radar run emplacement. I like the visibility of the display. I find it easy to read in the day and the night. On a negative side, I was a bit disappointed in the overall size. This is my first detector in many years and I was hoping the would have shrunk to the size smaller then a smart phone by now. The accessories that it comes with, as well as the case and the instruction manual were great. Overall, I do recommend the detector. But I can't attest to how well it operates technically as I never received a laser indication, and would need another detector to compare it to. Still, I find this an outstanding detector if you travel and/or need to remove your detector a lot from you car or windshield.
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79 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2012
I used this for a few weeks until I had a valentine 1 hard wired into my car. I thought I would test them both side by side just to see if there was a difference. The valentine 1 beat the escort by at least 5-10 seconds on both X and K bands, however the real problem was with the ka band, which is really the only band that cops use in the northeast (not including laser). The valentine 1 was at least 10 seconds ahead of the escort and the escort only picked up the ka signal when I had visual confirmation of the cruiser, which would have been useless at that point. I really wanted to like the escort because I remember when my dad got his first detector about 20 years ago which was an escort passport, but this unit was not worth the cost since the ka detection is so poor. I also tried an escort 8500 but it kept having laser faults which drove me crazy. I actually like the s3 better but it has nothing on the valentine 1. I would rather spend the money on the valentine than take a chance getting a ticket. I do not write many reviews but I wanted people to have this info before they spend a lot on a detector. I have no affiliation with valentine in case you were wondering.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
I bought this detector for my wife who wanted a wireless unit to avoid dangling cords. We've had the unit for about 2 weeks and it has worked perfectly. I'm not a techie, so I don't know all the in's/out's of radar detectors. All I know is she has received adequate warning prior to speed traps enabling her to slow down and pass without problems. The unit is a snap to install, easy to stow, has a cool looking display, and seems well made. It's a little longer than I envisioned, but that's not a problem.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
My 2nd unit has failed again with no audible signal from the speaker after using the auxillary audio signal port on the side. This happened one day after my initial purchase. Amazon was great and sent me a replacement unit right away. Now the replacement is failing with the same problem. I saw in other reviews that this was a problem in the previous S2 model. Apparently, the problem has not been addressed with this updated model.

I use this unit when I drive my cars or ride my motorcycles but now is useless for the car. I had 3 Passport X50 8500 before the Solo S3, but they are all fried. There appears to be a problem where a power short occurs if their 12V adapter arcs from working loose from the power socket. The fuses don't apparently do their job to prevent this problem. The main unit is damaged and fries any new replacement adapters.

Bottom line is that although the features and performance may be robust with Escort products, durability is least in my experience.
If you intend to use the auxillary audio port to plug in earphones for motorcycling use AND for use with cars, I would not recommend this product.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2013
I've had many radar detectors from beltronics and whistler, this is the worst. If a detector is constantly giving false warnings, especially on laser, it is useless. On battery this may last two weeks, not the months indicated. Even on the regular radar bands by the time it alerts you can already see the patrol car. On my last beltronics and even the cheap whistlers there were about a half mile of mile of warning. I don't know if this is indicative of the passport brand but they seem over hyped and over priced.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
You should not be receiving many false laser alerts. Your SoloS3 may need to be serviced.
Due to the power restrictions of their cordless design, cordless radar detectors are not going to detect radar quite as good as a comparably priced corded radar detector. Using Highway sensitivity mode will give you the best detection range possible. If you want more detection distance to radar then look into our corded radar detectors such as the Passport X50, Passport 9500ix, RedLine and Passport Max.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First and formost it is important to understand that the S3 model has been updated at least 3 times in the last few years so if you want the latest and best you need to buy from a reputable dealer that has up to date inventory. That being said, so far the unit I have has performed flawlessly.

Like all new detectors you have to deal with annoyance alarms but you can program the x band out and that will give you some peace while not causing any ticket issues for most. I in the vehicle approximately 3 hours a day and the first set of batteries lasted about 3 weeks.

Where this unit shines is its portability and build quality. Its not a toy. If you are in and out of vehicles like rentals this is your guy hands down. Same with motorcycles. Park and take it with you.

Small, compact, battery operated so no wires, easily stored and transported.

Cons: Not as powerful detection as Redline, Max, or 9500 due to power limitations from batteries.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2015
I have to call this one a failure.

And I have a special perspective most buyers do not. I have an older model Escort S2 that is at least 10 years old from back when it was still made in the USA. But the display is starting to act up and the status lights do not always blink. So it was time to get new detector. I thought I would upgrade from the S2 to the newer S3. I did a three day road trip from Arizona to Idaho and back so I decided to operate both the older model S2 side-by-side with the recently purchased S3. I took the S3 right out of the box and mounted it. No programming, no messing with the settings. This was put in the car right from the box.

The trip was some backroads, some city driving through Salt Lake City, but mostly open Interstate. I mounted both detectors on the same side of the windshield. One was mounted with a visor clip and the other mounted to the windshield with suction cups. I switched them back and forth to see if there was a difference. I can report here was no difference in performance on the visor clip or the suction cup mount.

I noticed from the first night of driving they were not picking up the same signals. The new S3 was going "laser crazy" for the first two hours out of the box. It was seeing lasers everywhere. But after a few hours it settled down. I noticed the older S2 was picking up more K band and some Ka band which the new S3 was not. K band can be police, but usually its motion detector doors, automatic doors, or "speed limit signs". Ka band is guaranteed to be a patrol car of some sort. In Utah the highway patrol likes to use lasers. The S3 would sometimes start as a laser signal and then switch to Ka band.

On the second day of driving I could tell the new S3 was missing patrol cars the older S2 was picking up. I also noticed that when the S3 did pick up a patrol car it would do so 2-5 seconds after the older S2 model. Now 2-5 seconds may not seem like much, but at 80mph it can make the difference between a ticket and a wave as you drive by. When I pulled into a small town in northern Utah the S3 missed a sheriff car sitting near a stop sign. The older S2 started to send out small warning chirps about a mile back and was going crazy when I got to the stop sign where the patrol car was sitting on the shoulder of the road. But the new S3 just sat there blinking at me like nothing. If I wasn't operating both the S2 and S3 at the same time I would have just thought the sheriff was sitting there without the radar on, but the S2 let me know it was there and the radar was on, the new S3 did not.

I should mention that there were some instances when the S3 would alert on the Ka band or the laser band and then switch to the Ka band, when the older S2 did not alert at all. This tells me that all detectors will miss some signals. Maybe its just an issue with the Escort brand. That was not something I expected or knew before this trip. So drivers - beware - your radar detector may miss some signals and you won't even know it.

So on my return trip down Interstate 15 I thought I would try to catch on video the performance of both detectors. I know this website and I know what the product sellers and trolls are like. If you trash-talk their product they really come after the reviewer. Many product sellers have fake accounts and trolls they send after anyone who writes a bad review. Trust me, I know. Just look at the comments on some of my 1 Star reviews if you doubt it. So I wanted to add some videos which shows the comparative performance of this new S3 versus the 10+ year old S2. Amazon will only allow me to upload one video, I think.

Now please keep in mind I am driving 80-90mph and trying to turn on the camera in time to catch the difference in performance. You can drive for hours without getting a signal, so I am not sitting there with the camera on pointed at the detectors. It can take 2-3 seconds for me to turn on the camera and get it up to the detectors. There were many signals I missed or experienced 'operator error' when I got all excited and messed up the video. But I did manage to get 3 good videos, two of which show the new S3 sleeping while my trusty old S2 is squawking. The S3 has yellow lettering that lights up when it picks up a signal. I uploaded the best video that shows driving in open highway conditions with a confirmed patrol car in the area. I am not sure Amazon will let me post the video, but I will try.

For anyone who knows detectors and has operated one for 20 years like I have, its that first faint signal that saves you from possibly getting a ticket. Its that first little chirp. That little squawk that something might be up there on the distant horizon. A detector does you no good if it finally alerts you when you are being hit full on with Ka band or a laser, then its too late. You need those faint signals that alert you to the possibility of a radar up ahead so you have time to slow down and get under the speed limit before the detector is actually hitting your vehicle. the faster you drive the more warning you need. I rarely drive more than 10mph over the limit, but I hate those "speeding fines doubled" construction zone speed traps and patrol cars that sit outside airports to catch out-of-town visitors because they know the driver will never come back just to fight the ticket.

I would rather get a false signal than a late or no signal. In that mode of thinking the new S3 is a failure! Should I give it 2 or 3 stars because it worked sometimes?? No, failure is failure and in radar detectors failure is not an option. I was hoping I could just roll into the new S3 and send my old S2 out to pasture, but that is not the case. Watch the video and decide for yourself. keep in mind this signal failure happened several times on this trip. So Escort - instead of shooting the message/reviewer, get your product quality back up to where it was 10 years ago like my old S2!! Don't blame me for your product. I don't know if its a design flaw or poor product assembly (the unit seems solid and my S2 has lasted forever and been on 5 Continents). if you want to see the other videos I took send me an email address that can take 25mb of video.

And by the way Amazon, I am returning this detector. I will try another brand, but I really liked the battery powered S2 & S3 detector because you don't have a power cord hanging down and power cords are the biggest weaknesses and causes for detector breakdowns. and it didn't cost $500. oh well.....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2014
Rec'd as 75 birthday from son, Cordless idea was what I wanted, moving from car to car. Compared it in battery mode to my Beltronics 100 and 940 in the same car at same time for the past month. It does not live up to the product information supplied about its capability , my Beltronics went off a quarter to a third of a mile away, whereas the SOLO went off when the police were only 200 yards away. I called the Escort tech support, and was told that this unit only works to its max when using the 12 volt supply ???. Why buy this product if you want mobility. Will compare with 12 volt supply later this month. 1935ford
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