december 2, 2006

Now that the Solara is with my parents, I am using the RX350 as a daily driver. The Bleutooth Phone Link system in the car works really well -- if you have the right phone. I tested the system barely with my Motorola RAZR and it works fine. Then I tried my Nokia 6682 and it didn't work so well. The Nokia did not send any "extra" information over to the car, so I never go to see the battery-level and signal-level on the car display. And there was that problem with the "buzz". Everytime I called Eileen using the Phone Link system paired with the Nokia, she would complain that there was a "buzz" on her end. Also, when the phone rings it does not tell the car that the phone is ringing -- meaning that I can't answer the phone using the steering wheel mounted controls. I tried my Sony Ericsson K510i next and it worked beautifully with the car. The K510i sent all phone related info over to the car so that the battery-level and signal-level were displayed correctly. The call was crystal clear on both ends when I was talking with my wife. When the phone rang, the car would turn down the radio and start to ring (very neat). And there is the extra benefit that with the K510i, I could send my whole phone book over to the car in one command -- with the Nokia and Motorola, I had to send phone book entries one at a time. The other cool thing about the Phone Link system is the dial-by-voice feature. I haven't programmed in any voice-tags for phone book entries, but that is OK. I can tell the system that I want to dial-by-number. It will ask me what number I want to call, I tell the car what number to dial and the voice recognition software will go ahead and dial the number for me. Very cool. Bluetooth is such cool technology.  I don't need a Bluetooth headset now that the car can do that duty -- I never walk around like a geek out of a Star Trek movie with a BT headset strapped to my ear.  The only time that I need a BT headset is when I am in the car.  At home, I use Bluetooth to sync my phones with my Powerbook.  And also to transfer files to and from my Powerbook and my phones.  Very neat technology.

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