With the law in the UK meaning you can't pick up a mobile phone in the car while you’re driving, you've got two choices if you want to chatter on the move. The first is a Bluetooth headset, the second is a handsfree kit. So can this one from Bury Technologies be the answer? We get in the car and start calling people to find out.
The CV 9040 costs the price of a cheap satnav (£139.99) and promises to give you the chance to connect your mobile phone via Bluetooth to the device that sits on your dashboard or your sunvisor.
The small, pocketable, device comes with a 2.5-inch colour touchscreen for navigating the menus and icons are big enough to press with your finger rather than having to search around for a pen to act as a stylus.
The screen itself can be angled and in the box you get a dashboard, rather than windscreen mount, and a sunvisor clip to position it where you want in the car for the best performance.
While the touchscreen offers easy input and navigation, the unit also comes with voice commands, both for you to give and it to relay back to you.
Although you have to press a button to activate the service, from there on in you can simply tell it what you want to do after it prompts you with a beep.
Options include dialling a number, accessing your phone's phonebook, redialling a number and viewing call lists and 90% of the time it worked out what we were saying (you can train it to get even better results).
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Beyond requesting that you make a call from your phonebook, which is automatically sync'd from your phone via the Bluetooth connection, the CV 9040 allows you to fast search alphabetically and like satnav models with addresses, if you don't have a contact beginning with the letter Z, for example, it won't show that letter.
It is here the only real annoyance comes. For some reason the software insists on reading out (via the unit’s two stereo speakers tucked behind the screen) the first number or name in the phonebook to you every time. Something that slows you down if you are in a rush.
That said, we especially liked the fact that it recognised that we had more than one number for some of our contacts and therefore gave us a choice rather than dialling the first option. Also, that each name on the screen is given a number so you can use that number, rather than having to get the unit to recognise something long-winded.
At any point you can simply say Help and it will give you possible voice commands.
As for performance, in tests we had mixed results with the call quality with most people we called saying that we were very quiet even though we had the settings turned up.
The voice dialling option was excellent and the unit's ability to react to voice commands very good. Our only concern is the voice quality at the other end. Of the 20 people we called, 13 complained we were very quiet or standing a long way away, even though we had the device right next to us on the dashboard (mounting it on the visor helped slightly).
From our end we could hear people perfectly with good levels of noise cancellation working to filter out the background chatter.
As a standalone device the CV 9040 works well and will allow you to make calls in the car without having to fiddle with a phone for the number, and the voice element works brilliantly.
But, and it's a big "but", there are simply better options out there to give you voice calling on the move.
Most top of the range satnav units offer handsfree telephony, as well as the added bonus of maps, while a decent Bluetooth headset like the Jawbone is almost a third of the price making the CV 9040 a good but very niche offering.