Motorola TZ700 in-car speakerphone review: Motorola TZ700 in-car speakerphone

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable

The Good MotoSpeak speech-to-text. Auto On-Off feature. Multipoint pairing.

The Bad Speaker is loud but produces hollow-sounding audio.

The Bottom Line Motorola's latest speakerphone offers a good range of features, but the quality of the speaker itself is disappointing.

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With our long stretches of land between cities, and our national love of automotive transport, Australia is a country to be driven across. We also love our phones; there are more active mobile phone subscriptions in Australia than people, and that includes infants. These two notions together offer a third: if we love cars and phones so much, we should probably consider buying a car speakerphone.

Features-wise, the TZ700 has everything that you'd expect. It pairs with devices using Bluetooth 2.1, it feature multipoint connectivity supporting two phones simultaneously and it sports an FM transmitter for streaming audio through your car's stereo. It also includes one of the key features that we loved in last year's T325: an auto-off function that puts the speakerphone into standby whenever it hears your car door open and close, and resumes its activity when it hears the same thing again.

One noticeable difference between last year's T325 and the TZ700 is the absence of the Bluetooth Phone Book Access Profile in the newer model's list of specs. This profile allows devices to access a phone's address book database, a feature that speakerphones use to speak the names and numbers of incoming calls. Motorola has changed its approach this year, moving away from having the speech-to-text feature built into the speakerphone, and instead using your smartphone's ability to do the same thing. Users of Android smartphones (version 2.2+) and BlackBerrys can download the MotoSpeak app from their respective app stores and have the TZ700 use the phone's speech-to-text functionality to read out SMS messages and allow you to respond by voice, as well.

This is a great idea and a very handy feature to have, with one small, quirky exception. You can use voice commands to initiate and receive phone calls and to reply to text messages, but you can't use it to compose a new message. If your mum sends you a message asking what you'd like for dinner, you can respond with, "Hi Mum, I want pizza", but you can't activate voice commands and say, "Message Mum, I want pizza".

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Where to Buy

Motorola TZ700 in-car speakerphone

Part Number: CNETMotorola TZ700 in-car speakerphone

Typical Price: $129.95

See manufacturer website for availability.