Sunday, May 17, 2020

Cobra Elite Road Scout 2 In 1 Radar Detector and HD Dashcam Review

If you are like me and suffer from what I call lead foot syndrome, a radar detector can help. If you are also concerned about security, a dash cam could also be desirable. But having multiple devices on your dash could make it look cluttered. Cobra is here to help. Enter the Cobra Elite Road Scout. It is a 2 in 1 radar detector and dash cam, with a $449 MSRP.

Features and specs:

Item #:  0181000-0

Unit Dimensions:   4.38” L x 4.25” W x 1.63” H

Unit Weight:  8.0 oz

Radar Detector Type:


Digital Signal Processing (DSP)

Dash Camera

Max Video Resolution: 1080p Full HD

Sensor: Sony Exmor

Processor: Ambarella A12

microSD Card Size: 16GB (Expandable to 32GB)

Field of View: 154°

Video Format: .MOV

Input: MicroUSB

Operating Bands:

X-band 10.525 GHz ± 25 MHz

K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz

Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz

Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth

Display Type

Graphic Multi-Color LCD

Bar Graph

Frequency Display

5 Levels of Brightness with Full Dark Mode


12VDC, Negative Ground

SmartCord USB Included



The Cobra Elite Road Scout came in a nice looking color printed box with photos and specs of the device. Opening the box revealed a well protected device held in a nice hard zipper case. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic. Quality of the materials used was excellent, as was the fit and finish. The Cobra Elite Road Scout is a premium product and it shows. Also included was a hard zipper case, windshield mount, power cord, USB cord, micro USB Cord and owner’s manual.

I love the design of the Cobra Elite Road Scout. It takes a radar detector and dash cam and combines them into one device. And you get advanced features for each functionality. So now you can have both a radar detector and dash cam with just one device on your dash. And for potential use in multiple vehicles, it also comes with a hard zipper case. The magnetic mount is awesome!

The Cobra Elite Road Scout is an advanced radar detector, with premium features. Sure it had long range radar detection, with multiple frequencies and radar type detection, and protects against false alerts. It also has built-in GPS. Thanks to the built-in GPS, and the built-in database, there are alerts for red light and speed cameras. It will even display your current speed. And Cobra has a defender subscription to keep the database updated. There’s even wi-fi and Bluetooth built in.

For use as a dashcam, the Cobra Elite Road Scout has you covered there as well. Videos are recorded in high definition 1080P, and the camera is optimized for both day and night recording. The built-in G- sensor provides input detection. Thanks to wi-fi built in, you can even connect to it through your smartphone using Cobra’s app to view videos. And thru the wi-fi connection and GPS it can even have your location, date, and time embedded into your videos. It even records audio.

Cobra didn’t stop with the advances features. They also made the Cobra Elite Road Scout easy to use. Only the power button is located on top. Everything else is located on the front. On the left side are buttons for mute, sensitivity and brightness. On the right is the mark button and rotary dial. The design and layout of the buttons is really simple to use and easy to learn. And I love the Cobra app that you can download onto your phone, to control the video and alerts in real time. Now let’s see how it works.

Installation was really easy. I absolutely love the magnetic windshield mount. The suction cup is strong, holding it firmly onto the glass. The bottom of the mount is a magnet, and the top of the Road Scout also has a magnet. Just set the Road Scout close to the magnet and it gets sucked into place. Installing the app on my LG ThinQ V40 smartphone was easy, and so was registering the Road Scout on Cobra’s website. Registering the Cobra Road Scout will get you 90 days free of the Defender Database service. This updates the location of red light cameras and speed cameras. Both of the iRadar and Drive HD apps were also very easy to download and get setup with the Road Scout. Following the well written and easy to follow app was a sinch. The iRadar app was really cool. I love the way you can use it to send updates, such as if there is a new speed trap. And the Drive HD app was also equally cool. Open the app, and you can see in realtime the image that the camera sees. You can also manage the video on the Road Scout; genius!

I also love the design of the Cobra Road Scout. The color LCD display was nice and bright and easy to see in the daylight. Other than the power button on the top, all of the buttons are on the front. And I LOVE the rotary knob as well, such as controlling volume. A rotary knob is found on so many different devices. But finding a rotary knob on a radar detector…my mind was blown!  Genius again!

The Cobra Road Scout performed in spades. I was working with the apps, not paying attention, when the radar detector went off. About a quarter mile further up the road there he was. I think it saved me a ticket! There were a few times that it went off, and I could see the highway patrolman. Only one time did it go off and I couldn’t see him. But it does have a really good range, so it’s possible that I could not see him. It’s performance against false alarms appears to be very good. The built-in GPS worked very well. It displayed my current speed which matched pretty close to the speed on the speedometer, only off by 1mph. And when I went over the set max speed, I got a verbal warning from the Road Scout that I was exceeding the set speed. It truly is a Road Scout!

The video performance of the built-in dash cam was also very good.  It recorded very well onto the included microSD card.  And thru the app I was able to view my video content.  It was easy to see the resolution provided with the 1080P video.  I clicked on a couple of the prerecorded videos thru the app.  One of them was a little glitchy and didn’t do a good recording, which can happen on any device.  But the others worked great.  The resolution was great, enabling me to see everything in front of me.  And the colors looked great with good color saturation. Night images can be very difficult to record.  But I was able to again see everything in front of me in good resolution, with no image noise. I was also impressed with the field of view that was recorded, giving a nice wide field of view in front of me.  At night it recorded well the entire area in front of me that was directly lit with my headlights.  When you got out of the headlights, you started to lose details until it was blackness, which again is expected. I had forgotten about the audio recording, as it was funny hearing the music playing in the background or the conversations I had on the phone or with my family passengers.  The mic did a great job recording the conversations in the cabin.

At the end of the day, I was pleasantly unsurprised by the performance of the Cobra Road Scout which is probably one of the best compliments to give. Cobra has a strong reputation for high quality products, and it’s nice to see them not just sitting on their laurels. With an MSRP of $449, it’s not for everyone. But for its rock solid performance, and ultra cool advanced functionality though the two apps, it’s worth every penny. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Cobra Elite Road Scout has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at