At first glance the Cobra SL3 looks like a normal radar detector, but it’s really a GPS-enabled speed camera locator. The SL3 features a built-in, updateable database of speed camera and red-light camera locations. Its LED indicators and alert tones warn you when you approach a camera location so you have time to slow down.
The Cobra SL3 does not detect police radar; it is a camera locator only. The SL3 uses a GPS receiver to determine when you approach one of the camera locations stored in its AURA database. In addition to speed cameras and red-light cameras, the AURA database also includes driving hazards such as dangerous intersections and as many as 1000 user-defined locations.
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Cobra says the AURA database is updated every 12 hours and customers can access updates 24/7. Simply connect your SL3 to your PC using a USB connection and download the latest location information.
Speed trap databases are nothing new. Many navigation GPSs offer this feature, and point-of-interest (POI) packages of camera locations can be downloaded from the Web. There are even combination GPS/radar detectors on the market. On the other hand, radar detectors are illegal in some jurisdictions whereas the Cobra unit is legal. So is the Cobra SL3 for you? It depends on how many gadgets you already have on your dashboard, but for US$99 the SL3 may be worth a look.