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If you've caught any of my other Bluetooth device reviews (even back to my very first CrackBerry Idol review), you know that I have a certain... dislike of wires. They tangle. They limit and tether your device. Any technological thingamajig that can take the place of those wires is a good one in my book, and the MOTOROKR T505 is a welcome addition to my car.
Motorola MOTOROKR T505 is, for whatever reason, difficult for me to say, the words don't trip lightly from the tongue. The device itself though couldn't be easier to use. After a simple and standard pairing with my BlackBerry, music; podcasts; and phone calls come over the speakers of my car.
Like many newer cars, I can now stream music from my phone - even web services like Pandora - over the speakers in my car, free from the tyranny of wires.
The T505 works like any standard Bluetooth speaker phone. The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth and indeed has a speaker within the unit. It's not a great speaker, but it does the job. That speaker is really not meant to be used that often. After all, the T505 has a much better feature up its sleeve.
Connecting the device to your car's stereo is done by using the device's short-range FM transmitter. The transmitter uses a good bit of power to function, so it's turned off by default. A quick press of the button in the back changes that, and the device announces the FM radio station it will use.
The T505 is sometimes good at picking a good radio station to use, and sometimes it is not. You need a frequency that doesn't already have a radio station using it. Even weak signals can cause static and hissing in your speakers as two transmitters (one nearby and the other far away) battle for the frequency. A touch of the button on the back of the T505 changes the frequency in use. Longer car rides will require more frequent adjustment. I wonder if the unit would be better suited with a more powerful transmitter, but I imagine that the relatively weaker signal makes for better battery life.
Like all of my favorite Bluetooth devices, this one supports A2DP. This Bluetooth profile allows the T505 to control media functions on your smartphone. Using the controls of the device clipped to your sun visor, you can play; pause, and skip tracks forward and back. The buttons are large enough and well placed to be used in the dark and without taking your eyes from the road.
Phone features are, of course, a big part of what the device can do. A simple press of the large button on the left starts the phone's voice commands (and answers incoming calls). Voice commands have been a part of BlackBerry smartphones for a long while now; chances are, your phone supports it. Through the built in voice recognition in your phone, you can make any number of calls completely hands free.
Incoming audio from your call is piped through the car's speakers, letting you hear your caller in exquisite detail. The audio pickup for your voice is through a tiny port at the top of the T505's enclosure. Listening to the audio of a test call, the microphone seems to pick up audio from a limited area, acting like a condensing microphone. This is a very good thing in the noisy environment of a car.
What was once possible only through expensive receiver units and professional installation, I can now achieve with this small box, the Motorola MOTOROKR T505, clipped to my sun visor. With the press of a few buttons on the device, I get streaming stereo sound beamed out from my BlackBerry to the T505 which then plays it on my car's audio system. Phone calls are routed to the car's audio as well. All in all, the T505 allows your phone to integrate with your car. All without a single wire in sight.
Contest: Want to get one of these for free from ShopCrackBerry.com? Just leave a comment to this review and tell us how you would use the MOTOROKR T505 in your life. Contest ends this Sunday at midnight PST. Please only leave a single comment. One lucky winner will have this device shipped directly from ShopCrackBerry.com.