Escort MAXcam 360c Review: Is This Expensive Combo Unit Worth … – Automoblog

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Affiliate Disclosure: Automoblog may earn a commission if you purchase the items here. The Escort MAXcam 360c in this review was supplied by Cedar Electronics, and any commissions come to us at no additional cost to you. Automoblog is a member of the Radar Detector and Countermeasures Forum to ensure truth and accountability when covering radar detectors. 
Described by Escort as a complete driver alert system, the MAXcam 360c is an enhanced version of the MAX 360c radar detector with a Quad HD 1440p camera. As a two-in-one, tech-packed unit, the Escort MAXcam 360c promises fewer false alerts with its updated IVT and traffic sensor filters and increased situational awareness via directional alert arrows. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for two different Escort apps are added bonuses.
The Escort MAXcam 360c is on the higher side at $850, though it’s a helpful tool and a fun toy with its unique combination of features. The biggest concern for the price is how certain functions within the MAXcam depend on an app called Drive Smarter. That app is awful (and has been for some time) and detracts from the MAXcam’s user experience.
In this review, I will hit the main points of the MAXcam 360c if you are in the market for one. 
My MAXcam 360c sits alongside units from Escort, Cobra, K40, Radenso, and Uniden in my collection of radar detectors and my Garmin Tandem dash camera, which also films in 1440p like the MAXcam. When running my MAXcam, I store my other radar detectors and Garmin dash camera since I simultaneously have both functions. As far as combo units go, the MAXcam is the most expensive, but it’s by far the best and most functional compared to similar offerings.  
While navigating heavy traffic in Detroit, I’ve come to appreciate the dash camera portion of the MAXcam 360c. While I will always be a radar detector enthusiast, the dash cam provides that extra layer of security in case of an incident. The MAXcam records on a continuous loop, but the G-Sensor activates an Emergency Recording mode when it detects a significant impact, like hard braking or a collision. 
Emergency recordings are saved separately, so the continuous loop recording does not overwrite them (with a 30-second buffer to prevent footage before the incident from being lost).  
Detroit is a wonderful place to live, but traffic on M10, I-696, I-94, Telegraph, Woodward, and other main roadways can be downright crazy. And things only get more complicated when it snows. If you live where drivers fly across several lanes of traffic, cut in, and then slam on their brakes – or assume stop signs are merely suggestions, the Escort MAXcam 360c will help ease some of that anxiety.
The MAXcam comes with a 12V power cord, a suction cup windshield mount (Escort calls it an “EZ Mag Mount”), a 16GB Micro SD card and mini USB cable for the dash camera, and a carrying case. The 12V power cord has a USB port on the backside, so you can still charge your phone. It’s a nice feature if your vehicle doesn’t have a wireless charging pad.
The radar detector portion includes Escort hallmarks like front and rear antennas, directional alert arrows, 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.
Additionally, the MAXcam will issue an advanced warning in feet when approaching a redlight camera or other speed traps (listed under “Marker Enables” in the settings menu)
The Escort MAXcam 360c will alert you to X, K, and Ka radar bands and laser (LiDAR) guns. Generally speaking, X and K bands tend to be false, but not always. It depends on where you live and what law enforcement uses in your area. Ka and laser alerts are almost always police based and rarely false. In the settings menu, through the Band Enables tab, you can turn off the detection of each radar band, although it’s only recommended if you are certain law enforcement isn’t using that particular band.
Here in Detroit, I run my Escort MAXcam 360c in Auto Lo K sensitivity mode, with the X bands off and different Ka segmentation filters applied via the settings menu. Based on where I live, this minimizes K band falses and ensures I’m scanning only the necessary frequency ranges for Ka. If you want to experiment with different segmentation filters and “custom sweeps” based on where you drive, Vortex Radar has an excellent guide on the topic
The MAXcam also detects Multaradar CD and CT, often written as MRCD and MRCT for short. Multaradar usage in redlight and speed cameras and other photo enforcement devices is growing in North America. Unlike a standard radar gun, multaradar changes frequency, making it harder to catch, especially for older radar detectors. The default setting for MRCD and MRCT is off, but both can be switched on via the settings menu.
The Escort MAXcam 360c includes a built-in IVT Filter, or “in-vehicle technology” filter. Escort’s proprietary IVT filter automatically reduces false alerts caused by the collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems of other vehicles.
An additional K Notch filter can be activated in the settings menu to reduce false alerts caused by certain vehicles and their radar-based collision avoidance systems (between the frequency ranges of 24.190 and 24.210 GHz). Here in Detroit, I have the K Notch filter on.
The MAXcam utilizes the Blackfin 706 DSP (digital signal processing) and SDR (software-defined radio receiver) 9363 chips from Analog Devices, both of which are found in the Redline 360c, Escort’s flagship radar detector.
Based on my experience, the dual-antenna MAXcam falls somewhere between the Redline and MAX360c for detection range (in other words, it’s excellent). At times, my MAXcam has a bit longer reach than my MAX360c, especially in rush hour traffic on I-96 and I-275 in the Detroit metro (up to a mile in some instances). However, in Escort’s lineup, the Redline 360c is still the top dog for range detection, thanks to its triple antenna (two front, one rear) design.
While the Escort MAXcam 360c excels in straight-line detection, it does equally well with “vicinity detection.” For example, the MAXcam might alert, but you don’t immediately see anything, even though the directional alert arrows point ahead. There have been times I will drive for a bit with the MAXcam alerting and flashing, only to turn a corner to come head-on with a patrol car a few minutes later.
AutoLearn (sometimes called “auto lockouts” or “GPS lockouts”) analyzes fixed-location radar over time to determine if such alerts are legitimate or false. Should the MAXcam encounter the exact frequency in the same location approximately three times – and that frequency is deemed false – it automatically locks them out and flashes a “Stored” message. False fixed location alerts include things like motion sensors and automatic doors.
My Escort MAXcam 360c has automatically locked out warehouses, railyards, and other industrial facilities around Detroit. Where I drive in the Motor City, I encounter those types of fixed-location radar sources more so than grocery stores and shopping plazas. In the owner’s manual, Escort notes that variations can occur with seasonal temperature changes. Such changes may affect the frequency of fixed-location radar sources, meaning it can impact the performance of the AutoLearn feature.
To lock out a false alert manually, tap the Mute button on the 12V power cord. When encountering a previously locked-out location, the MAXcam will display it in gray but not audibly alert.
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.
The 1440p camera is powered by a Sony Starvis sensor that captures about 80 percent more pixels than a 1080p camera. Meanwhile, the Mico SD card houses the dash camera footage in separate, one-minute files on a continuous loop. Should you ever need to replace it, Escort recommends Class 10 high-endurance cards (the unit is compatible with Micro SD cards up to 128 GB). Otherwise, you can leave the Micro SD card alone and use the mini USB cable to transfer footage from the MAXcam to your computer.
These features are similar and activate automatically if you keep the Escort MAXcam 360c plugged into the 12V outlet in your car. Parking Mode uses the G-Sensor to monitor your vehicle while it’s parked, while Motion Detect relies on the motion sensor. During an impact (Parking Mode) or when movement is detected (Motion Detect), the camera will “wake up” and begin filming for as long as the activity is detected.
The footage captured by the camera can have things like an Escort watermark, date and time stamp, speedometer, and radar band notifications. You can turn each of these on or off via the settings menu.
Escort’s Drive Smarter app lets you view and download footage and set additional safety and security measures. Like the Escort Live app, Drive Smarter will notify you of user-generated radar threats from the wider community of connected Escort owners in real-time. Drive Smarter also includes a Mayday Alert, a feature that allows you to input an emergency contact. In the event of an impact, a text message is sent to your emergency contact. The app also stores incident reports to assist with the claims process during an accident.
In theory anyway . . .
The list of features for Drive Smarter is impressive, yet its performance is absolutely terrible. It’s the most frustrating and glaring drawback of the MAXcam 360c and other Escort offerings like the M2 dash camera. There are potentially great features through Drive Smarter that could enhance the overall functionality of the Escort MAXcam 360c. However, connection and crashing issues are still rampant within the app, leading to a slew of ongoing one-star reviews.  
I don’t (currently) run Drive Smarter on my MAXcam 360c, opting for Escort Live instead. Escort Live is a toned-down version of Drive Smarter that sends user-generated “live” alerts to your phone (sourced from other Escort owners). Live alerts can include active radar threats, upcoming speed cameras, road construction zones, and traffic jams. Escort Live could also be better, but its simplicity is preferred over Drive Smarter if you want to run a compatible app with the MAXcam 360c.
Depending on your needs and preferences, there are a few things to consider for the $850 price tag. The MAXcam is currently available through Escort’s website.
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.
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.
Photos: Danielle Anthony.


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