The Motorola Roadster Bluetooth hands free car kit is one of the smallest on the market, with one of the best feature sets.
Times are changing – and it is no longer socially (or legally) acceptable to be driving around with your phone in one hand and your steering wheel in the other. Sure, not all cities or states have introduced legal measures to ban the use of your phone without a hands free unit or headset, but there is no denying that it is much safer to use some basic technology.
The basics are all there in the Roadster – it’ll do hands free calls, incoming caller announcement and features a smart power management system and multi-point connections (which let you connect to more than one phone at a time). The Roadster comes with a MicroUSB charger cord, and since most phones also feature this connector, you can consider that a decent bonus.
As soon as you turn the Roadster on, it plays a pleasant little tune, and a female voice walks you through the paring process. Once paired, the voice will announce the name of the paired phone each time you activate it.
Controls are simple – a sliding power switch on the side means you don’t need to fiddle around with buttons to turn it on. Volume and music is controlled with buttons on the rear, and a call control/mute button lineup is on the front.
Calls sound fantastic – thanks to active echo cancellation and dual microphones with noise cancellation. If you pair the Roadster to a phone with the Motospeak software, you’ll even have access to text message dictation (as found on some of their other Bluetooth products). Volume is more than sufficient, even if you drive around in a noisy car or with the window open.
Now for the fun part – the Roadster can transmit its speaker to an FM frequency. This means you can use your car stereo speakers to listen to phone calls. The FM is extremely powerful, and even when set to a frequency close to an active station, there was almost no interference.
The unit clips to your visor and stays in place quite nicely. Because of the curved front, the control buttons are always in reach.
Best of all, the Roadster also lets you stream stereo Bluetooth music to the unit or the FM transmitter. With this, you can get in a (rental) car, stream your tunes to the Roadster and broadcast them to the car stereo speakers.
Battery life is an impressive 20 hours of talk time or 3 weeks of standby. You do not need to turn the unit off each time you leave your car either – as soon as it detects a lack of Bluetooth phones in range, it’ll go into standby mode. Enter your car, and it turns on again.