Motorola T505 Bluetooth In-Car Speaker and Digital FM Transmitter

So you want it all: music and phone calls, wirelessly, in your car. Well, Motorola thinks it has the answer with the MOTOROKR T505. But does this just complicate the issue? We get driving to find out.

The MOTOROKR T505 Bluetooth In-Car Speaker and Digital FM Transmitter, is, as the overly-long name suggests, a device to connect your phone to your car. It combines a number of common features and conveniently so.

The first, and fairly common feature, is the Bluetooth connection. Rather than providing a headset, it features a microphone and speaker to enable you to make and receive calls. The second feature, also fairly common, is the FM transmitter, to broadcast those calls over your car’s speakers.

But it doesn’t end there. The T505 supports A2DP so it can stream stereo music, in this case, from your mobile phone, over to your car speakers. This gives you the advantage of cutting the music when a call comes in, meaning you don’t have to be turning down the volume or anything else. You can also use the play/pause button on the T505 to again save yourself from having to fiddle with your phone.

With all FM transmitters, the problem is finding a suitable free station, which is why the T505 also features StationFinder to locate a free frequency and let you know, so you can tune accordingly. We found the system was actually very good at doing this, however, as you travel around, you may find interference starts to appear, so regular retuning might be needed if you cover a wide distance. If you are mostly based around one region this may be unnecessary, but cunningly the T505 will allow you to nominate good stations and set them to memory through a magic combination of button presses.

From a design point a view the palm-sized device looks pretty cool without being too distracting. In the box you get a sunvisor clip, 12v power lead, and a universal suction mount for your phone. The 12v lead is standard Motorola, so mini USB, which will also power your Motorola phone; this also means that out of the car you can charge the T505 with a normal Moto charger or USB cable from your computer.

Calling functions are controlled via a multitude of button presses and those who use the device on a regular basis will presumably get the hang of it. In reality, many people will use the most simple function which is receiving calls, or rejecting them.

The T505 will read out the number to you when you receive a call, so common numbers you’ll recognise, but abstract ones you might not: if it could give you the name of the caller from your contacts it would be an absolute cracker, but alas, it cannot.

Using the T505 whilst driving actually very simple, answering a call means reaching up to the visor to press the accept button but unless you are using more advanced functions it pretty much looks after itself.

Once the call is directed through to the car’s speakers you can easily adjust the volume to make calls louder, but this very much depends on the cabin noise of the car you are driving: a Toyota Yaris on the motorway is a bit of a fight, but a VW Passat is no problem at all. You do get noise reduction technology and callers are becoming more accustomed to this, especially with in-car kits and we experienced no problems when making calls.

Satnav users are probably familiar with these functions as they have been around on for a while, for example on TomTom devices, but the real difference here is price. The RRP of £80, but an internet price more like £60, makes this a real bargain. The advantage that satnav devices have is the screen, giving you access to contact list, but really – should you be actively fiddling with the screen whilst driving? No, not if you want to reach your destination.

Verdict

Small enough to take with you on your travels, the Motorola MOTOROKR T505 is an ideal companion to keep you connected to callers and music on the road and off.

It does take some time to get a hang of the button presses and to understand the beeps and light flashes that relay information too you, but regular users will get the hang of it.

For the occasional user, receiving the phone calls and streaming music from your mobile to your car is now a breeze and a lot more comfortable than the earpiece option.

We are often critical of Motorola’s phones, but credit where credit is due, the MOTOROKR T505 is a great little device.