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Best Radar Detectors With a Dash Camera (2023 Buyer’s Guide)

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Best Radar Detectors With a Dash Camera

Escort and Cobra own this niche, but there are key differences between what’s available.

Best Overall
Escort MAXcam 360c

Complete driver alert system.

Best Budget Option
Cobra Road Scout

Compact two-in-one design.

Radar-Mounted Option
Escort M2 Dash Camera

Attaches to your radar detector.

Radar detectors and dash cameras have individual benefits, but there are some “two-in-one” options. Driving with a combined unit saves windshield space and may save you money since you are buying one unit versus two. This list includes three options for radar detectors with a dash camera. Two are combo units, while the other is considered a “radar-mounted” dash camera. I own all three and will recap my experiences with each.

Best Overall: Escort MAXcam 360c

Described by Escort as a complete driver alert system, the MAXcam 360c is an enhanced version of the MAX 360c radar detector with a 1440p camera. Escort is known for higher-end and tech-packed units, which is why the MAXcam 360c is the most expensive – but best overall – on this list.    

Pros

  • Video quality
  • Radar detector performance.
  • App offers real-time alerts and video access.

Cons

  • Most expensive on this list.
  • App functionality still needs improvement.

MAXcam 360c Radar Detector

The radar detector portion includes Escort hallmarks like front and rear antennas for increased range, directional alert arrows for better situational awareness, and AutoLearn Intelligence, which automatically locks out false fixed-location alerts. Escort beefed up the false alert filtering on the MAXcam 360c and included two convenient sensitivity modes in Auto No X and Auto Lo K. You also have the option for different Ka segmentation filters

Dash Camera Specs & Features

The 1440p camera is powered by a Sony Starvis sensor that captures about 80 percent more pixels than a 1080p camera. Included is a 16GB SD card that automatically stores footage on a running loop, which can also be accessed in real-time via the Drive Smarter app. Additional features include an integrated G-sensor, parking mode, and an emergency mayday alert.

Bluetooth Connectivity

The MAXcam 360c is compatible with the Drive Smarter app, connecting drivers to a network of other Escort radar detector users. The Drive Smarter app gives you access to shared alerts, including active radar bursts, speed camera locations, and other road hazards. Likewise, you can issue an alert for others via the app if you notice something like a speed trap or a stationary patrol car.

While the Drive Smarter app is marginally better than in the past, Escort still has some bugs to work out. The good news is you don’t necessarily need the app to enjoy the MAXcam 360c. The unit’s hardware is unaffected, meaning you still have long-range radar detection and excellent camera quality. While you won’t be able to access your footage on the fly, you can pull it off the unit later with the included mini-USB cable.

Escort MAXcam 360c

Radar detector and dash camera are equal in terms of performance.

Display colors include blue, green, red, and amber.

Uses the Blackfin 706 DSP and SDR AD 9363 chips from the mighty Redline 360c.

Best Budget Option: Cobra Road Scout

The Cobra Road Scout is similar to the MAXcam 360c in that it’s also a combo unit, but it doesn’t pack the same punch. It’s the more economical version of the MAXcam 360, offering similar features but lower performance. Overall, the Road Scout is not a bad choice for a radar detector with a dash camera, but it’s not the best either, based on our experience

Pros

  • Compact
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Detection range
  • GPS lockout capability
  • Needs two apps for full functionality

Dash Camera Features & Apps

An Ambarella A12 processor and a Sony Exmor image sensor power the Road Scout’s 1080p camera. Meanwhile, Cobra’s Drive HD app lets you view, edit, and share videos from your phone, similar to Escort’s Drive Smarter app. Drive HD differs from Drive Smarter in that you can only access dash camera footage through Cobra’s app. The community-generated, real-time radar alerts require the separate iRadar app.

If you want to try both apps, you can switch back and forth between the two. On the Road Scout, hold BRT until either “CAMERA” or “iRADAR” appears. While using the iRadar app, you won’t be able to see video footage in real-time. However, the Road Scout is still recording to the 16GB SD card as long as the unit is on. Like the MAXcam 360c, the Road Scout’s radar detector and camera hardware will work without the apps.

Cobra Road Scout: Daily Driving

The Road Scout’s camera is sufficient, but the radar detector leaves much to be desired. Although the false alert filtering is above average, the detection range is meh, and GPS lockouts rarely stick, meaning any permanent digital signage on your daily drive will trip the Road Scout. Redeeming qualities include an info-packed display screen and an Auto sensitivity mode.

I own a Cobra Road Scout and an Escort MAXcam 360c. On any given day driving around metro Detroit, I’m more inclined to reach for the latter. Granted, the MAXcam 360c is nearly double the price, but so is the performance (and undeniably so). The MAXcam 360c has a nicer camera and absolutely torches the Road Scout when it comes to detection range, especially Ka alerts from the rear. It might be different if the Road Scout had a more muscular radar detector to match its camera.

Cobra Road Scout

Unlike the MAXcam 360c, the radar detector and camera are not balanced in terms of performance.

G-sensor automatically stores the recording during an impact.

Cobra offers interest-free payments.

Bolt-On Option: Escort M2 Dash Camera

The M2 is a “radar-mounted” dash camera that attaches to a compatible Escort radar detector, including the brand’s popular MAX and iX series and the Redline. Despite having a 16GB SD card to capture footage, the M2 is not a standalone unit but a bolt-on accessory powered by the radar detector.

Pros

  • Easy install.
  • Mayday alerts.
  • Video includes GPS markings.

Cons

  • Dismal app performance.
  • Adds weight to the radar detector.

Camera Features & Apps

As a follow-up to Escort’s M1 dash camera, the M2 is a noticeable upgrade with 1080P resolution, a 140-degree field-of-view, dual-band Wi-Fi, G-Sensor, and a built-in GPS. The GPS records your speed, location, and other valuable information that could be useful during an insurance claim.

Meanwhile, when connected to the Drive Smarter app, you can view a live feed in real-time via the camera’s Wi-Fi and save footage to your phone. You can adjust different settings and set up your mayday alerts (i.e. emergency contact).

Installation Tips

The M2 comes with a long bolt, two washers, and a windshield mounting bracket. There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to installation. The first is to position the radar detector closer to your steering wheel than you usually would. This “left offset” will allow the M2 to film from the middle of your vehicle.

The second is how the M2 will add weight to an already heavy radar detector, especially if you are running something like the MAX 360c or Redline 360c. To ensure the best possible seal, clean the radar detector’s suction cup mount and a small area of the windshield with rubbing alcohol.

Escort M2 Dash Camera. Best radar detectors with a dash camera.
Position the radar detector closer to your steering wheel than normal. This “left offset” allows the M2 to film from the middle of your vehicle.

M2 Dash Camera Considerations

If you already own a compatible Escort radar detector, the M2 is a less expensive upgrade at $200 versus $400 for the Road Scout or $750 for the MAXcam 360c. If you don’t have an Escort radar detector and still want a dash cam, the MAXcam 360c is the better option. You will get the combo for less money than purchasing something like the MAX360c MKII ($700) or the Redline 360c ($800) and adding the M2 later.

One idea is to consider pairing the Escort MAX 3 ($400) with the M2. That will give you the radar detector and dash cam combo for about $600. The MAX 3 isn’t as powerful as Escort’s higher-end models, but it’s still a solid radar detector. 

Escort M2 Dash Camera

The M2 bolts onto a compatible Escort radar detector within minutes.

While the M1 dash camera is still available, the M2 is a considerable upgrade for the same price.

Drive Smarter app lets you manage settings, features, and footage on your phone, though the app can be clunky.

Radar Detectors With a Dash Camera: More Info

For additional insight, browse through the Radar Detector & Countermeasure Forum, which has entire discussion sections dedicated to nearly every brand of radar detector and dash camera (including radar detectors with a dash camera!). There are tons of people on there (myself included) who can help you with any questions or troubleshooting.  

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He serves on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, is a past president of Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal Detroit Lions fan.