20 June 2015

REVIEW: Snooper 4Zero Speed Trap Detector

Zero to hero.

With insurance premiums sky-rocketing for those caught speeding, it's no wonder than we might seek a way to know when a speed camera, or police laser gun, is on the road ahead. Instead of trying to memorise all the speed camera locations in your town, or installing a telescope on your windscreen to spot awaiting coppers, fork out for this. We test the Snooper 4Zero Speed Trap Detector.

Like their dash cams, in the 4Zero Snooper have created a compact gadget that is filled to the brim with features. Not much bigger than your phone, the 4Zero is designed to sit on your dashboard (or stick to your windscreen with the included suction cups) and detect approaching speed cameras, radar, and laser traps. When your car begins to get near a speed trap, you are duly warned with enough time to check your speed and slow down if necessary. It does this in two ways.

First, using an easily downloadable and updateable system, the 4Zero uses GPS to know where you are compared to all the speed cameras on its database. In use we found this to be very effective, and were actually surprised at the amount in our general locale that we didn't know about. Not only will the device tell you that you're about to pass one, but it will also alert you to whether or not the camera is actually functioning that day, by detecting a radar signal. Again, we were shocked at how many of these newly discovered cameras never seem to actually work.

Next, the 4Zero can detect laser speed guns from a distance of one mile. Although we tested the detector for a good fortnight before writing the review, we never encountered a police speed trap so can't really comment on how effective this feature is. All we know is that line of sight is required for the 4Zero to pick up the laser signal, and as police laser guns require a good long stretch of road, we're hopeful for possible future warnings (and no, we've not been blazing down the A1 at 120mph in hope of being caught).

One very important thing to note about the Snooper 4Zero is that a subscription charge is required to for it to detect fixed speed cameras. Currently this is £29.99 per year, which although many will immediately scoff at, considering the amount of fines and license points you could be spared thanks to it, it's a small addition to the cost of the actual device - not to mention insurance premiums. Paying the subscription is also what entitles you to keep an up-to-date database of current speed cameras, and as the annoying things tend to spring up and disappear all the time - especially on motorways - this is great peace of mind. Before you buy, take a good look around, as after a search online we found a couple of suppliers who offer a few months of subscription to the service for free. However, the device will of course still work without the subscription, but you'll be limited to detecting only the mobile unit as and when they appear. Still bloody handy, though.

This is a great piece of kit which, when combined with a dash cam, will help to keep you safe while on the road. In the past we've heard that these gadgets essentially allow dangerous speeders not to get caught, but in use we discovered that it actually made us far more aware of just how many speed traps there are, resulting in safer driving on our part. Thanks to Snooper, once again the road feels that little bit safer. High five, guys!


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