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For most people, using a speakerphone in your car isn't something you'll think you need until you've tried it. Even if you, like this reviewer, only drive your car for short distances every day and only sometimes break the law by answering your phone while driving, a speakerphone will not only keep you from the long arm of the law but also make speaking and driving so much easier.
If this introduction to speakerphones has piqued your interest then we suggest you check out the Jabra Freeway. In this niche segment of consumer technology there are only a few key players, and Jabra is on top of its game. The Freeway has most of the features you could ask for in a device like this, and its performance is first-class.
The Freeway has an attractive look with a soft-touch plastic finish in black. There's six buttons on the top of the unit, one for making and ending calls, volume controls plus a dedicated mute key, a button to switch on the FM transmitter and another for activating voice control. A power switch and a USB port are located on the right hand side (once mounted on a sun visor) though this is obviously designed for European cars as the USB cable hangs over the unit and across your vision when charging in a right-hand drive car.
Features and performance
Voice control and feedback are key parts of this proposition; you can request information like remaining battery life using specific voice commands, and by using the Bluetooth Phone Book Profile the Freeway can read out the names of contacts when you receive an incoming call. This is a great feature, though we have had great difficulty having the Freeway understand our broad Australian accents. We've yet to place a successful phone call using voice, and it only recognises a request for battery life if we use our best "learned from TV" American accents.
Like the Motorola T325 we reviewed last year, the Freeway has a very handy auto on-and-off function, though unlike Motorola, Jabra uses a motion sensor rather than the microphone to make this detection. This feature has worked flawlessly. Though it doesn't tell you it is switching off, every time we've jumped back into the car the Freeway automatically repairs with our phone and lets us know. With this system in place Jabra estimates you should get 14 hours talktime and 20 days standby time out of this speakerphone.