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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The Cobra iRadar Atom

An unobtrusive look

Radar detecting from both sides

A more boxy build

Muting alerts when needed

Looking for speed traps

A crowdsourced community

LAS VEGAS -- Along with announcing its new AirWave Bluetooth music receiver at CTIA this week, Cobra also launched the latest iteration of its iRadar sensor device.

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The Atom is a small, glossy black box that is no bigger than the palm of one's hand. It looks similar to a small wireless keyboard mouse, and weighs about a fourth of a pound.

Caption by / Photo by Lynn La/CNET

Radar detectors face both the front and back of the device. One its left edge is a power toggle that also doubles as a volume rocker. On the right is a port for charging.

Caption by / Photo by Lynn La/CNET

While the Atom is smaller than the original, its shape is a bit boxier, especially when considering its most recent predecessor, the iRadar 200. However, given its petite aesthetic, it won't be as obtrusive when mounted on your dash.

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It measures 1.15 inches tall, 2.25 inches wide, and 3.30 inches long. On top is a speaker grille, which you can hear audio alerts from. If you want to turn off audio, you can press the big mute button below it.

Caption by / Photo by Lynn La/CNET

As a radar detector, the Atom can warn drivers of nearby speed radars that are operating on the K-band system frequency, which includes radar cameras that are situated at stoplights or street corners. Cobra also reports that the Atom is twice as accurate and sensitive as the original, which translates to an even wider alert area.

Caption by / Photo by Lynn La/CNET

Though you can use the detector as a standalone device, you'll get more out of it when you use it in conjunction with the iRadar smartphone app. Available for free, the app maps out known flagged locations, as well as crowdsourced hot spots where users flag reported sights of live police officers looking for speeders, or radar cameras that perhaps have been overlooked.

Caption by / Photo by Lynn La/CNET
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