Escort’s Passport Max is the best radar detector I have ever used. It looks great, sounds good, and works extremely well — signaling only if there’s a real issue. (Read my review, and keep an eye out for Judie’s “second look” post!) I was, however, missing the active real-time connection with traffic information. The Escort SmartCord Live! fixes that.
The SmartCord Live! replaces the cord that ships with the Passport Max, and it adds a level of connectivity to your iOS or Android device that takes the radar detector online, allowing it to communicate with other cars and an active database of information. Using Bluetooth, the SmartCord Live! connects to an iPhone or Android phone and uses Escort’s special app. It “gives you access to the most powerful driver alert network”. Yes, a subscription is required to make it work, but it is worth the expense. The app also allows you to access and control all of the settings and notifications on the radar detector remotely. That’s a good thing, since the onscreen controls on the detector itself can be a bit cumbersome.
The active communication of the SmartCord Live! means you are able to instantly communicate all radar/laser encounters automatically and share them with others. They, in turn, are able to do that for you; creating a network of information that will make your Passport Max (or other unit that is also compatible with the SmartCord) more accurate than ever.
The system is compatible with
- PASSPORT Max
- PASSPORT 9500ix RedLine
- PASSPORT 9500ci
- Most PASSPORT 8500 X50 models
- Also compatible with Beltronics STiR Plus, STi Magnum, Pro 500, Pro 300, V10, V8 and V6 models
Here’s a quick look.
So while the SmartCord Live! may not look too much different from the cord that ships with the Passport Max, it is a completely different animal; it includes these buttons and alerts.
As you can see, the SmartCord Live! may look simple, but when paired to your phone it takes a great radar detector and makes it even better! The app makes using the Passport Max (or a similarly compatible radar detector) simple.
If you are going to the expense of purchasing the Passport Max, then it only makes sense to spend a bit more to get the total protection offered by the SmartCord Live! because of its active communication with the Escort database and the drivers around you. You can learn more about it here.
MSRP: $99.95- $149.95 when purchased separately; less when bundled at time of purchase
What I Like: Easy to set up and use; Adds live communication with and to the radar detector; Resolves the one and only criticism I had of the Passport Max
What Needs Improvement: Additional expense
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample