The Good The Motorola Roadster combines Bluetooth connectivity and FM transmission to create a device that's useful for much more than phone calls. Audio streaming lets you to listen to music, as well as take advantage of Motorola's MotoSpeak Android and BlackBerry apps for the reading aloud of text messages. The Roadster's speaker is loud and clear enough to be heard over road noise.
The Bad The Roadster relies on your handset's voice dialer, lacking a voice command system of its own. The wire-loop visor mount could easily be smashed if handled roughly.
The Bottom Line Motorola's latest Bluetooth speakerphone comes highly recommended. However, competing models have an advantage in the voice command department.
Motorola's latest foray into the in-car Bluetooth speakerphone doesn't seem much different from its last, at least not on paper. Replacing the still-great-for-its-age, the Motorola Roadster still pairs via Bluetooth and still features the FM transmission mode that won us over the first time. So what's new? Aside from a lighter chassis and an updated aesthetic, the Roadster gains compatibility with the MotoSpeak application for Android and BlackBerry devices, which is designed to keep people from texting while driving, or, at the very least, make it safer.
Along the right side of the Roadster, one will find the power switch and the Micro-USB charging point. The Roadster ships with a coiled 12-volt power cable that charges its internal battery. Unplugged, the Roadster has an estimated 20-hour talk time and a standby time of about three weeks. This standby time is greatly extended thanks to a power-saving mode that automatically powers down the Roadster after a period of disuse.
Controls are broken into two groups, separated by the Roadster's approximately 2-inch loudspeaker, which is covered by a fabric panel. Audio output from this speaker is loud and clear--almost too loud for indoor environments. You won't want to go playing with this speakerphone at your desk, but in a moving vehicle with road, engine, and wind noise, it's just loud enough. Also hidden somewhere beneath the fabric panel are the Roadster dual noise-canceling microphones.