Escort MAXcam 360c Review: Is This Radar Detector & Dash Cam Combo Worth The Money – Automoblog

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Automoblog is a member of the Radar Detector and Countermeasures Forum to ensure truth and accountability when covering radar detectors. Whether we receive a radar detector from a manufacturer to review or purchase it with our own money, there are four main points we consider, listed below. Our primary driving areas with any new radar detector include the Detroit metro and the Ohio Turnpike.
The MAXcam 360c is an enhanced version of the MAX 360c radar detector with a Quad HD 1440p dash camera.
As a two-in-one, tech-packed unit, the MAXcam 360c offers exceptional false alert filtering with its Blackfin DSP (digital signal processing) chip and updated IVT (in-vehicle technology) filters.
Directional alert arrows around the left-side dial provide increased situational awareness. This feature is enabled by the MAXcam’s dual-antenna platform (one front, one rear), which determines if the radar source is in front of or behind you. When a radar source is detected, the arrows on the dial illuminate accordingly to let you know where it’s coming from.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity via Escort’s Drive Smarter app are added bonuses.
Through the Driver Smarter app, you can receive real-time updates from other connected Escort devices, like if there is an active radar source in your immediate area. Drive Smarter also allows you to configure different settings for the dash camera portion of the MAXcam 360c.
The little “c” in the name stands for connected, meaning the MAXcam 360c can connect to Wi-Fi to receive the latest firmware updates (versus a hardwired connection via your laptop). If you run the Drive Smarter app with the MAXcam 360c, you can pair the two via Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The MAXcam comes with a 12V power cord, a suction cup windshield 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.
If you like the idea of having a radar detector and a dash camera integrated into a single unit, there are only a few options available.
As detailed in our Radar Detector with Dash Cams guide, the Escort MAXcam 360c, the Cobra Road Scout, and the Whistler MFU440 are the most prominent options in the United States (and, by contrast, the Neoline XCop 9300s outside the U.S. market).
The MAXcam 360c is the most expensive, retailing for $850, not counting any deals or discounts. However, it’s by far the best option in terms of overall quality, performance, and customization. The MAXcam 360c is the only one we’ve seen that combines a radar detector and a dash camera without compromising the functionality of either.
Below, we will cover the main features of the MAXcam 360c to help you if you are in the market for a “combo unit.”
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Enhanced version of the MAX 360c radar detector with a Quad HD 1440p dash camera.

Upgraded digital signal processing technology minimizes false alerts, while emergency recordings and Mayday Alerts activate during a collision.

Compatible with Escort’s Drive Smarter app, which has seen marked improvements since its first iteration.
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.
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 radar detector portion includes Escort hallmarks like front and rear antennas (dual-antenna platform), 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. 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 is usually associated with traffic light cameras and other photo enforcement devices.
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 under the “Band Enables” tab. 
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 unit.
With Blackfin DSP integration, the MAXcam can more thoroughly analyze and decipher all the different radar signals that may be present in a given area, determining which ones are real threats versus false alerts and what should be prioritized on the display.
Digital signal processing is a fascinating and in-depth topic, and Analog Devices provides this helpful beginner’s guide if you want to learn more. While no radar detector is immune from false alerts, Escort cuts them down substantially with the Blackfin DSP. 
Blackfin DSP integration for more precise false alert filtering has become a staple feature of Escort’s MAX family. It’s one of the defining features of the MAX 360c MKII radar detector, the next generation of Escort’s popular MAX 360c.  
When the MAXcam 360c is listed as an “enhanced” version of a MAX 360c, Blackfin DSP integration is a big part of that. In so many words, the MAXcam 360c is an MKII version of the original MAX 360c radar detector combined with a 1440p dash camera.
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.
Likewise, a 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). I have the K Notch filter on here in Detroit.
The Redline 360c is still the best in Escort’s lineup for range detection because of its triple antenna design (two front, one rear). However, the MAXcam is surprisingly good with its dual antenna design despite carrying the extra processing power of the dash camera.
In the Detroit metro, we have tracked Ka alerts with our trip odometer from roughly 0.4 miles to half a mile out on a good day with clear weather. The range is undoubtedly farther than the more budget-oriented Cobra Road Scout and the original MAX 360c radar detector.
The Escort MAXcam 360c does equally well with “vicinity detection.” For example, the MAXcam will alert, but I don’t immediately see anything, even though the directional arrows point ahead. There are times I will drive for a bit with the MAXcam alerting and flashing, only to turn a corner and 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.
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Enhanced version of the MAX 360c radar detector with a Quad HD 1440p dash camera.

Upgraded digital signal processing technology minimizes false alerts, while emergency recordings and Mayday Alerts activate during a collision.

Compatible with Escort’s Drive Smarter app, which has seen marked improvements since its first iteration.
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 include 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.
The dash cam footage below was recorded with our Escort MAXcam 360c during a fall drive up to Mackinac Island. In this video, you can see us going over the Mackinac Bridge toward St. Ignace, Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth-longest suspension bridge in the world, stretching over five miles across the great waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 
The Drive Smarter companion app, available for free via Google Play and the App Store, has several different purposes for the Escort MAXcam 360c.
Drive Smarter taps you into the wider network of other Escort owners. Essentially, all the other connected Escort radar detectors near you can “talk” to each other. When connected, the MAXcam will receive shared alerts from other drivers, including active radar bursts, red light and speed camera locations, construction zones, 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.
In addition to sending and receiving alerts, Drive Smarter lets you adjust a host of settings for the MAXcam from your phone, including display colors and brightness, sensitivity modes, and more.
The Drive Smarter app is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and has Mapbox built-in.
On your vehicle’s touchscreen, you will see all of the normal Apple CarPlay or Android Auto features alongside any real-time threat notifications from Drive Smarter. Similarly, Escort has added Mapbox functionality, meaning Drive Smarter effectively doubles as a navigation app. 
The Drive Smarter app lets you view and download recorded footage from the MAXcam and set additional safety and security measures. 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 if an accident occurs.
You don’t necessarily need the app to enjoy the MAXcam 360c (the app will run down your phone battery). 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 via your phone, you can pull it off the unit later with the included mini-USB cable.
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Enhanced version of the MAX 360c radar detector with a Quad HD 1440p dash camera.

Upgraded digital signal processing technology minimizes false alerts, while emergency recordings and Mayday Alerts activate during a collision.

Compatible with Escort’s Drive Smarter app, which has seen marked improvements since its first iteration.
Depending on your needs and preferences, there are a few things to consider for the $850 price tag.
One Other Thing to Consider: Depending on your level of familiarity, the MAXcam might take some getting used to. If you have owned an Escort detector in the last five years, the MAXcam will feel familiar; if it’s been a little longer, that’s okay, too. We recommend giving yourself some extra time to go through the settings menu.
If that last point is the case, the Cobra RAD 700i is affordable and punches above its class in false alert filtering. Meanwhile, the Uniden R3 is still on the market and is an excellent all-around affordable option. If you are okay with spending a little more, take a look at the Uniden R4
Otherwise, if you purchase a new Escort MAXcam 360c and have questions, join us on the forum, and we can point you in the right direction.
Carl Anthony is the Managing Editor of Automoblog and the host of AutoVision News Radio and AutoSens Insights. As a respected automotive industry thought leader, Carl has appeared on numerous podcasts and radio shows, including Wrench Nation, Cars Yeah, The Car Doctor, and Brains Byte Back, in addition to appearing as a regular contributor on MotorMouth Radio on WHPC 90.3 FM. His work can also be seen and heard 24/7 on the Automoblog YouTube channel.
Using a radar detector in a privately owned passenger vehicle is legal in the U.S., with the exception of Virginia and Washington D.C. See this guide to radar detector laws for all 50 U.S. states if you have additional questions.
While proprietary technology can differ between each radar detector manufacturer, think of a standard radar detector in terms of receiving and deciphering.
Every radar detector has a “horn” or antenna (sometimes more than one) and an internal microprocessor. The antenna picks up or receives the police radar gun, and the microprocessor deciphers it, ultimately showing on the display screen important info like signal strength and band type.
Radar detector manufacturers build on that basic principle with their own hardware and software to achieve increased detection range with fewer false alerts.
Yes, all radar detectors will alert to police laser guns, meaning your radar detector is also a laser detector by default.
Some radar detectors are compatible with an accessory called laser shifters, but those are different from laser jammers, which are illegal in some states. Police laser guns use a technology called lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging.
The best radar detector for you will depend on where and how you drive and how much you want to spend.
If you love having the latest and greatest gadgets, you might enjoy the features a higher-end unit will provide. By contrast, if you only need a gentle reminder of police radar in the area, you can find something more basic but still of good quality.
Popular radar detector manufacturers today include Cobra, Escort, Radenso, Uniden, Valentine, and Whistler. Some high-performance radar detectors, like the Escort Redline 360c, are compatible with a smartphone app that shares user-generated alerts.
Sometimes, a patrol car will have its radar gun off, meaning there is nothing for the radar detector to alert to. Traffic officers also use an enforcement strategy called “Instant-On” radar, where they only use their radar gun at certain times (think like the storied image of the officer on the motorcycle hiding behind the billboard).
If this happens, traffic officers will only target one vehicle at a time. Most high-quality radar detectors will alert to Instant-On radar with plenty of advanced notice, although it’s still possible to get a ticket via Instant-On if you are not careful. Instant-On radar is the opposite of “Always-On” radar.
Photos: Danielle Anthony.
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