Motorola Roadster review: Motorola Roadster

The Roadster mounts on your car's sun visor with a wire clip that is removable with some effort. We've previously criticized this sort of attachment as feeling flimsy, but we've never had one give out on us during normal use. The Roadster held fast during spirited driving, its clamp providing more grip than its 3-ounce chassis required. Still, we'd be careful placing the Roadster in, for example, a backpack with heavy books, as sufficient weight could easily flatten the wire clip.

Upon being powered up, the Roadster immediately entered a pairing mode, verbally giving us basic and generic instructions for initializing pairing with our handset with a four-digit PIN. Thanks to its quick pairing function, we didn't even have to do that much. Multipoint Bluetooth connectivity allows the Roadster to pair with two phones simultaneously, although it can only receive one call at a time.

Once successfully paired, the Roadster downloaded our phone's address book using Bluetooth PBAP. However, considering that the Roadster doesn't seem to feature a dialer of its own, we're not entirely sure why it would need to complete such a sync.

Earlier, we mentioned that the Roadster features A2DP audio streaming, which is great for using the hands-free device for listening to music or podcasts (the enjoyment of which is enhanced further when you use the device as a Bluetooth-to-FM bridge to send the audio to your car's speaker). However, the main reason Motorola included this function is for use with its MotoSpeak app for Android and BlackBerry devices. MotoSpeak is a text-to-speech hands-free texting app that reads incoming SMS messages aloud and allows you to set an auto-response that lets your friends know that you're driving. Android 2.2 users can even speak responses that are translated into text messages.

The Motorola Roadster does a fine job as a replacement for the Motorola Motorokr T505 , our 2008 Editors' Choice-winning Bluetooth speakerphone. The newer model is lighter, more attractive, and--thanks to a heavily revised button layout--easier to use. The addition of compatibility with MotoSpeak further enhances the device's functionality, particularly for users of Android version 2.2 or greater.

In fact, the only thing that's keeping the Motorola Roadster from reclaiming our Editors' Choice Award is that its voice controls are lacking compared with those of, for example, the BlueAnt S4 with its truly hands-free interface. That said, the Roadster is still a well-designed and well-made contender that's definitely worth your consideration.

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  • CE Product Type Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone
About The Author

Antuan Goodwin gained most of his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and performance to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable. Email Antuan, follow him on Twitter, or like him on Facebook. Antuan