Throughout the dozens of Android phones over many moons, there has been but one accessory that has stood by me -- my Motorola MOTOROKR T505 Bluetooth speakerphone with digital FM transmitter. First and foremost, it's a hands-free device, meaning I can legally -- and safely -- make and receive phone calls from my car.
But the Moto T505 is much more than that. We'll dive into it after the break.
Look, small speakers are for wimps. The T505 has a built-in speaker, sure. But it also has an FM transmitter, meaning it can pipe audio -- phone calls and music -- to your car's stereo. And while you might not want every phone call blasted over a pair of 15-inch subwoofers, it's a great option to have.
The T505 has just a few buttons you'll need to work with. On the front of the device there's a phone call/end button and play/pause button. To use the latter, your phone will need to support the AVRCP Bluetooth protocol. (If it's a newer phone, you should be OK.) The volume up button is on the right, volume down is on the left. The power button is on the back right, and the FM transmitter is on the back right. (When the T505 is facing you.) There's a miniUSB (not the newer microUSB) to charge it.
Setup is a breeze. The T505 clips onto your sun visor. Power it up for the first time, and a friendly female voice walks you through setup. Syncing with the phone takes just a few seconds. Press the FM transmitter button and the T505 searches for available FM frequencies and announces it via the aforementioned female voice. Tune your car radio to the proper frequency, and you're in business.
Call quality is decent enough while you're driving. It's not perfect, but the person on the other end should be able to understand you OK.
(Voicemail mp3 recorded by Google Voice at a paltry 16kbps bit rate)
A full charge lasts for days and days, but that obviously will vary depending on how often you use it, whether you're using the FM transmitter, etc. For a short commute, you'll almost never have to think about it. The only real negative I've found in my months and months of use is that it can be a bit finicky in cold weather. Below 60 degrees or so, it might not want to turn on at first, or the FM transmitter might not take. Simple solution for that, though: Just take it inside. It slips easily off the sun visor clip.
It says a lot that I've had the T505 for years. It's lasted through more phones than I can remember, and it shows no signs of quitting on me any time soon. You can get the Motorola MOTOROKR T505 Bluetooth speakerphone with digital FM transmitter for $89.85 from the Android Central Store.