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Hi all, New crackberry user here (about 2 weeks) but soon to be an abuser like so many of you hard core, thumb aching readers. I'm a bit of a techie having been into computer gaming and staying abreast of the latest and greatest in hardware over the last 20 years. I've built a few systems here and there, some for myself and others for friends so I'm not afraid to venture into the great unknown. A little while ago, I did my first OS upgrade without issue so I'm getting familar with the blackberry and how its system works.
I commute 72 miles each way to work, 5 days a week and work as a manager for absolutely, positively, the best air express company in the world. As you can imagine, I take quite a few calls on the road during that travel time. I have had a over the ear bluetooth solution before and liked it but was always bothered by keeping up with it and afraid of losing it. When I switched to a blackberry a few weeks ago, it also presented the con of having two different vehicle chargers so I started my search for a handsfree bluetooth device that would use the mini USB charger my 8330 did.
A quick gander at newegg and here at the crackberry store had me interested in a few different devices. I Googled reviews for each of the contenders and after a few hours of reading, I decided to give the Motorola T505 the thumbs up as my first attempt at a solution.
It's a sweet little device that clips on your visor and becomes a speakerphone for your bluetooth enabled phone/blackberry. Where the T505 really brings some bells and whistles to the dance is that it also has a FM transmitter to play through your car's stereo. No more poor volume from your bluetooth connection. If you have volume to crank on the left dial (or volume buttons), it will play just as loud as your favorite AC-DC song. Max volume on the actual unit without going the transmit route is more than acceptable in all but the worst of noisy conditions.
Linking to a FM station is as easy as pressing the right hand button on the rear of the unit. It searches for a clear frequency and speaks it over the speaker twice. You tune your FM dial to that channel and your good to go. What I do is discover the frequency when I get in the car, tune to it and do a quick press of my radio's pre-set buttons and then go back to listening to my sirius radio. If I get a call, a quick press of my radios pre-set tunes the radio and then a press of the left front button to answer the call and I'm into my conversation.
The FM transmitter also works for your music library if your device supports music playing (doesn't everything these days).
The T505 goes into pairing mode easily by pressing two buttons at the same time to put it into discovery mode. It's a one time thing and takes all of about 5 seconds and your linked to your phone for good. Could not be simpler.
It supports voice commands (any actions that your phone supports).
Sound quality is clear and plenty loud although it's comparable to AM radio in tone. I have been using the T505 for over a month in my little Elantra. It's not the most sound insulated vehicle on the road but I have never had anyone complain they could not hear me or understand me, even when driving through rush hour with the semi's on both sides. I believe this is because the mic hole is place on the bottom of the unit, closest to you if clipped on your visor, which clearly was the best spot for it.
One last thing I have found it useful for is conference calls or speakerphone at home.
Battery life is fantastic as a full charge lasts me over a week or about 15 hours on road. I have never run it down until it wouldn't power up so thats the best estimate I can give on real world testing.
It has the little Motorola "M" on the front and it indicates much by its color. Blue means its syncing (or synced) with a bluetooth device (clever guys at motorola). Green means it's fully charged. I think Red means it's low on power or something but I've never got that low.
Overall, the Motorola T505 has been a great solution for me. Here are some Pro's and Con's for you that may be considering something similar.
Single charging cord if your using a mini-usb device
- Small enough to be unobtrusive on your visor or could fit in a shirt pocket.
- Big enough to not constantly be hiding somewhere when you need it.
- Sound quality is solid on both ends
- FM transmitter is nice feature to have if you are in a noisy enviroment and need a little extra volume.
- Price is right. This can be found for $70-$100 about anywhere.
- Doesn't need constant battery charging. Once a week for most commuters seems likely.
Don't expect stereo or CD quality from your phone or music when using
the transmitter. This is likely typical for most FM tranmitters,
especially in moving vehicles.
- I didn't find it before I tried an ear piece bluetooth solution.
Cost/Value - 4/5 stars
Ease of use - 5/5 stars (even a caveman could do it ;-)
Performance/Quality - 4/5 stars
Styling/Cool factor - 4/5 stars
Hope you all enjoy the review. Feel free to shoot me a PM if your considering this product and have any questions. And for more info check out the ShopCrackBerry link below.