Motorola Roadster Mini-Review

I picked up a Roadster recently after the idea was recommended to me by a fellow gdgt user.

I’m not going to say much as there are a few reviews out there already, but I would like to touch on something that the reviews didn’t mention – the volume level. The Roadster is designed to sit just a foot or so away from your face on the driver-side visor of your car. At this small distance away, the volume level far exceeds my phone’s speakerphone and in fact, the volume of the Roadster is much higher than any phone’s built in speakerphone (that I have encountered).

I’m basically using this to listen to Podcasts as I drive and for the basic hands-free features it has. It works wonderfully for those two tasks.

The FM transmitter mode is as expected… weird. I didn’t have high hopes beaming A2DP Bluetooth from my phone to a speakerphone and then back to my car’s radio, but it works better than you’d expect.

The My MotoSpeak software (a 30MB download [yes, it can be moved to the SD card]) does all that it promises, but there are one or two quirks. As others have detailed the features of the software, I’ll just say that sometimes it misunderstands what I’m saying, then thinks I said “help”. When the My MotoSpeak software thinks you said “help”, it drops you into the help menu and stops responding to voice commands and will not get out of the help menu unless you hit the home button. This happening on the Freeway is probably more likely to kill you than texting on your phone in the first place; beware of the help menu.

Even with the above caveats, I really love the speakerphone. It has replaced the failing FM transmitter I previously had in my car, is more discreet, and has a lot of cool speech features that make hands-free pretty painless.

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