Motorola Roadster Review
Upon turning it on for the very first time, it automatically places itself into pairing mode, and we quickly connected it to an iPhone 4. Moreover, we also connected it simultaneously with a Samsung Intercept since it employs Multipoint technology. Somewhat surprising, the Motorola Roadster lacks any voice activated functions and relies on your phone’s built-in one for specific functionality – such as voice dialing or playing songs. Regardless, it downloaded our address book which allows it to announce callers by name.
Since it lacks any voice guidance functionality, it only announces its battery level upon start-up – with no other way to access it. And even though you can still do voice dialing through your phone’s native application, it doesn’t make for the best hands-free experience for handsets that lack any app. However, for those donning Android 2.2 devices, the Motorola Roadster can be supplemented with the MotoSpeak app which allows it to read out text message and reply back by speaking. In our testing, it managed to work almost flawlessly in announcing messages, but requires sharp annunciation to properly recognize words.
If there is something that the Motorola Roaster does extremely well, it has to be none other than emitting some boisterous and sharp tones. Even in combating the myriad of background noise experienced while driving, we were able to fully comprehend every single word to the teeth. However, adjusting the volume via the physical buttons on the Roadster requires a solid press in order to register; which can be rather distracting.
Meanwhile, the FM transmitter works exceptionally well as we easily got it to connect with our car’s stereo system. After finding an unused radio station, music played smoothly with little to no distortion while driving along in the car. Additionally, it’s able to maintain a reasonable level of output without much evidence of degradation.
As we mentioned already, the near deafening tones that the Roadster is capable of achieving makes every word uttered by our callers more than audible, but the same cannot be said at the other end of the line. It’s hard to believe that it packs dual-microphones for noise cancellation because our callers had an extreme amount of difficulty in hearing us. Specifically, they mentioned that we sounded as if we were far away from the device – plus, it picked up an abundant amount of background noise. Sadly, we’re rather perplexed by its quality in this particular category; especially when everything else seems to work out well.
For more than 2 weeks of normal usage, we’re content finding the Motorola Roadster still kicking along in the battery department at medium capacity. The manufacturer has it rated for 20 hours of talk and 3 weeks of standby time. Not only does the car charger allow you to keep the device tucked away in your car, but its battery savings mode kicks in after some period of inactivity.
Just when we were digging everything we’ve seen with the Motorola Roadster, its less than enticing calling quality with our callers actually made the experience with it very painful. More than that, it doesn’t quite embody some of the additional features gracing other models – like built-in voice control. And even though we enjoyed its tertiary feature of being an FM transmitter, it doesn’t necessarily make itself the most presentable hands-free tool out there in the market. At $99.99, it borders at the upper end of the spectrum, which should seriously make you think before considering its purchase..
- Strong sounding speaker
- Great battery life
- FM transmitter functionality
- Picks up too much background noise
- No built-in voice control function
1. Delguy (unregistered)
Bought one of these last January and it worked fine for about two months. Now, although the battery is fully charged, it refuses to even turn on. I threw it in the trash in disgust, because it was a distraction to try to get it to work while trying to drive.
Motorola undoubtedly uses the same firmware in other bluetooth devices, so my advice is to stay away from Motorola altogether.
2. Motorola Guy (unregistered)
I have had a T505 Motorola for the past 2 years. It works great. I bought the Roadster and was going to pass on the T505 to my wife. But I changed my mind. The older T505 performs significantly better than the Roadster. I had challenges with voice recognition with the Roadster and the performance of the FM transmitter pales in comparison with the T505. I have decided to keep the T505, return the Roadster and purchase the now discounted T505 for my wife instead..
3. lwpglp (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)
Own one now and would not recommend. At first, it always said it was pairing and then provided battery level. Last two months after it connects it asks "What would you like to do?" I reply "cancel" and most times, it accepts the cancellation. However, on more than occassion, it continues to ask the same question even after accepting the cancellation command. Often repeats 4-5 times a minute until I turn it off and allow it to reset. Not recommended.