Review: Motorola MOTOROKR T505 Bluetooth speakerphone with digital FM transmitter

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.

YouTube link for mobile viewing

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.

  • I got one of these as an xmas gift a while back and i couldn't agree with you more! This has worked flawlessly with every Blackberry i have ever had and even better on my EVO! The battery life is incredible..if i have to charge it once a month then thats pushing it and this is with an hour a day commute using the FM modulator. Highly recommended!!!
  • Give one away!
  • Thanks for the review, Phil! I'll definitely get one of these!
  • I've had my Motorola H500 bluetooth earpiece for years and it's served me well.
  • I've two of these for a couple of years, one for my wife and one for me. I use it with my EVo and my wife with her Droid X. Her call quality is poor and mine doesn't always pair. We've swapped them and get the same results. I used it with my Blackberry Tour and it worked fine but not with the EVO. Maybe I've just bad luck with them.
  • i have owned one for a about a year now. pretty nice product but unfortunately the fm reception isn't the best. lots of static living in the city and sometimes it's hard to find a clear station to use especially with no ability to manually set one.
  • I have the T505, and I think it's great. Minor correction: the power button is on the back left (as you look at the front of the device), not the back right. Also, I've never had a problem with the unit in cold weather. Lastly, it seems to take 2 tries every time I want to connect it to my Epic. Annoying, but not a huge problem. I think the Epic's bluetooth implementation is a little wonky because my old Pre connected just fine.
  • The power button position that you described is incorrect. When looking at the front of the unit, the power botton is in the back of the unit, on the RIGHT side, not the back left as you mention in this article.
  • I would probably get one of these if it had an option to plug into an aux port. I don't mind my music (and other sound generating apps) broadcasting over FM. But I don't like the idea of my phone calls being picked up by cars passing by. Even if it's only the voice of the caller that they'd hear. OTOH how loud is the speaker if I don't pass phone calls through FM? Maybe that's good enough.
  • Speaker is definitely good enough without using FM, good sound quality even with windows down!
  • Love mine!!
  • The only thing i really dislike about mine is that it takes too Long to turn it on and off. I HATE that you have to hold down the power button to turn it off. I'd really have liked to have it turn on when my car does.
  • Thanks Phil Nickinson for the nice review and great video that shows how easy it works. Well done.
  • I was looking at getting this, but then Motorola announced the Roadster. I'm waiting to hear about the reviews on that device. John
  • Works great on my Epic and my Pre (yeah, I'm one of those guys) and the best feature is how it autoscans FM and tells u channel is good. Great for long trips, cuz as signal changes, u don't have to fuss with the dial and find station without much signal then manually program the speaker. Its auto-magical. Btw, got mine on new egg for 50 bones
  • its not super important but i have a T501 which is the European model number. And something i like is that when you use the FM transmitter the volume up/down buttons turn into next and back buttons for the media players so you can skip to the next some without having to unlock your phone.