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Old 10th December 2011, 18:01   #1
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Thumbs up In-Car Bluetooth Speakerphone/Car Kit Reviews (Jabra FreeWay, Parrot, etc.)

Picked up the Jabra Freeway Handsfree Car Kit (Jabra) two days ago from Infibeam.com (Jabra JBRA2018 0GB Price India, Jabra JBRA2018 Review, Jabra Accessories India - Infibeam.com).

Surprising buying experience: I landed up at Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, depending on a couple of shopkeepers I knew to supply genuine mobile phones & accessories, in the hope of buying the Jabra Freeway for a price lower than that quoted on the net. Could ultimately locate just one shop with this in stock, and the asking price was Rs.7000. I showed him the Infibeam price, and his response was, Phir aap wahin se le lo; hamara toh aath so ka margin hi nahin hain (Suggest you buy from them (Infibeam); we don't even have a profit margin of Rs.800). This is contrary to my previous experiences of buying mobile phones from this market, when the prices have been consistently cheaper than the prices I have got through various websites.

The buying experience from Infibeam was excellent (I am a first-time buyer at this site) - time taken was 36 hours from placing order to the time of delivery, though the promised time was 7-10 days. Cash paid on delivery.

The instrument comes with a 5V 700mA output car charger and cable (USB-micro USB, similar to the x10i and Blackberry charger/data cables) in the box - since my wall charger (220V) is rated for 5V 750mA output, both the car charger and wall charger work fine for both the Freeway and my phone. Great - no need to carry around 2 chargers!

Yet to explore the full potential of the little instrument, but on a preliminary try-out, I tested out the following features:
  1. The Freeway reads out the incoming phone number (but not the name of the person in the phonebook);
  2. Once I installed a little app called SMS Reader (https://market.android.com/details?i...roid.smsreader), my x10i read out the caller ID also - the same caller ID is also voiced out by the speakerphone, but not every time (it jsut reads out the number then). Anyway, with the phone itself identifying the caller, it does the job, and I don't need to look up who the caller is (though I could do without the hyper-anglicization of Indian names! );
  3. The call can be taken by just saying Answer, or disconnected by saying Ignore. Works great;
  4. Even better feature - hit the 'Voice' button, the Freeway says Say a command, and I can
    ** Redial the last dialled number by saying redial
    ** Return a missed call by saying call back
    ** Check battery level by saying battery;
  5. Sound quality is superlative;
  6. The Freeway has an FM transmitter and can be synced to the car's radio, but I find its own sound quality is actually as good as I'd like, to carry on a conversation;
  7. Can sync 2 phones at the same time. My daughter synced her own phone (a Nokia X2), but the phone synced later becomes the primary phone and is used by the gizmo to make calls on voice command - I needed to resync my own phone to make it the primary phone;
  8. Great A2DP playback. My daughter's stock of music is in her phone, and she thoroughly enjoyed listening to it all on the car speakers;
  9. The device turns itself off automatically (announcing power off) when the synced phones are out of range plus the car is standing still. Open a door and get in, and its sensor detects the movement and says power on, and then auto-connects to the synced phone(s) by announcing connected;
  10. A stated talktime of 14 hours and standby time of upto 40 days is very impressive, and despite using the speakerphone at random even at home over the last 2 days, I still have 10 hours of talktime remaining.
  11. Yet to figure out how to dial out a random number from my phonebook through voice command.
Here's a look at the official video as well as a few other videos... helped me make up my mind on what to buy.





All in all, I am totally smitten by this toy!

Edit - For a review on a similar product, the Parrot Minikit +, please click here.

Edit 2 - For a review on a similar product, Nokia - the HF-210, please click
Here

Last edited by Technocrat : 3rd March 2015 at 03:23. Reason: added link to the Nokia car kit product. Thanks.
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Old 10th December 2011, 18:38   #2
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Great review!
My friend bought the Jabra Cruiser II a while back, it's a bit cheaper than the one you have but I think it doesn't support voice commands.
Flipkart.com: Jabra Car Kit Car Kit Crusier 2: Car Kit


I too felt the need for one but didn't want the spend as much, finally settled for the Plantronics k100. It has basic functionality + fm transmitter(the one on the Jabra is leagues ahead). No caller ID recognition,though.
I managed a great deal through Ebay. I think it was around Rs.3600.
Plantronics k100 : Buy in India @ Flipkart.com


BTW, thanks for your mentioning Smsreader. While I don't care about messages being read out(go sms does this anyway), I do love the fact that it recognizes caller ID
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Old 10th December 2011, 20:38   #3
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Oh Thanks for the review SST. I have this thing laying around in my house all packed. Thought it was a useless gift from my MIL. But it aint so useless after all. Will install it as soon as possible.

I think you can connect all the car speakers via this thing & the HU then when you get a call the conversation will be transmitted thru the speakers!!

Thanks & regards
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Old 10th December 2011, 21:22   #4
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Oh Thanks for the review SST. I have this thing laying around in my house all packed. Thought it was a useless gift from my MIL.
Sheesh! You should've told me, and I'd have taken a run down to Jaipur to pick it up off you!
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I think you can connect all the car speakers via this thing & the HU then when you get a call the conversation will be transmitted thru the speakers!!
Yes, you press the FM button on the unit and it announces the wavelength at which you should tune the radio of the HU - you can change the wavelength at which the Freeway transmits by pressing the vol(+) / vol(-) switches, to get clearer reception. Retune the radio accordingly.
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Old 11th December 2011, 05:38   #5
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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[*]Great A2DP playback. My daughter's stock of music is in her phone, and she thoroughly enjoyed listening to it all on the car speakers;
Thank you so much, i was looking at something like this to be put in Baleno as it does not have any Bluetooth system and i do not like those small ear hanging thingys.

Now i understood the part where in you connect it to the phone and it has speakers and mic to help you make and receive calls. There are voice commands that help you do that.

I lost you on the statement above, so it connects to the in car audio system through FM and whatever you play on the phone through bluetooth it plays through Bluetooth/FM connection on the car Audio system? Now if a call comes will it play voice on its speakers or car speakers?

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 11th December 2011 at 05:41.
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Old 11th December 2011, 10:05   #6
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
...so it connects to the in car audio system through FM and whatever you play on the phone through bluetooth it plays through Bluetooth/FM connection on the car Audio system?
That's right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Now if a call comes will it play voice on its speakers or car speakers?
It pauses playing the music (phone's music player shows pause) and continues on into answer mode (speaks out the number that is calling, and asks you to say answer or ignore) through the car speakers - also the voice of the caller. Picks up your voice through its own mic. At the end of the call, you need to press the "voice" button on the device and say play to continue playing back the music (or you can continue playing by pressing the "play" button on the phone itself).
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Old 12th December 2011, 12:18   #7
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Received the following query on PM, but I think posting it here would help others too...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806
Another question,

Does this charge inside the car itself, you did mentioned that there is a car charger included so i am assuming it does, just to confirm.

Thanks
Mayank
Yes, it charges from the lighter socket through a 12/24V > 5V 700mA USB charger and a micro-USB cable - both supplied in the box. No provision for 220V home charging though. The connection for the cable is to the right of the unit as it is mounted on the sun visor, and the cable interferes with line of sight when driving - easier to remove it from the visor and keep it somewhere at seat level while charging.
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Old 16th December 2011, 10:12   #8
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Hey, thanks for these posts. Was missing a BT option in my new Swift, will look into one of these products. It's so much more convenient than the BT headset, and i have to keep remembering to charge that. Good that this can get charged in the car itself.
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Old 16th December 2011, 10:20   #9
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Good that this can get charged in the car itself.
Yes, and once charged, the standby time is phenomenal (40 days standby, 14 hours talktime) compared to a BT headset, so you can use it regularly for 2-3 weeks without bothering to charge.
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Old 16th December 2011, 11:11   #10
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Awesome review. Placed an order for one today. Hopefully should update this thread soon with my experience.
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Old 16th December 2011, 12:23   #11
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Yes, it charges from the lighter socket through a 12/24V > 5V 700mA USB charger and a micro-USB cable - both supplied in the box. No provision for 220V home charging though.
Sir, mine has a 220V home charger as well. I have started using it and the first time I charged the unit from home. So definitely there is a provision

regards
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Old 16th December 2011, 13:02   #12
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Sir, mine has a 220V home charger as well. I have started using it and the first time I charged the unit from home. So definitely there is a provision

regards
I had charged the device initially through my 220V cellphone charger, which has the same output specifications as the car charger for the Jabra. Worked fine. But the kit did not include a 220V charger in my case, nor was there mention of it being included in the contents list printed on the box.
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Old 16th December 2011, 13:15   #13
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Mine is this model, hence maybe the case. Also it was bought in the US so the vendor might have been throwing a few extra things or you never know maybe my MIL was feeling benevolent and bought the home charger as extra.

I shall go home and take a pic of everything that came along and post it here later.

Btw, I have removed this from my car as I feel its not usefull for me as I get to answer a maximum of 5 calls on an average per day. I found it usefull only to stream in the music on my phone thru this on to the car speakers.

Regards
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Old 16th December 2011, 14:00   #14
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I had charged the device initially through my 220V cellphone charger, which has the same output specifications as the car charger for the Jabra. Worked fine. But the kit did not include a 220V charger in my case, nor was there mention of it being included in the contents list printed on the box.
Hi, great review, after going through the thread, even i am thinking to get one, i love gadgets a lot and this will be a lovely one, just like you even i have a X10i and a freeway will gel with it,
can you please tell me that have you compared freeway with other jabra in car set and is it the best and secondly how to connect it to the car speaker phones
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Old 16th December 2011, 14:26   #15
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Default Re: Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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Originally Posted by ruchirtnt View Post
can you please tell me that have you compared freeway with other jabra in car set and is it the best...
Well, between the ones available on the market (Jabra Freeway, Jabra Cruiser 2, Plantronics K100 and a Samsung model that I don't remember the model number of), only the Jabra models offered voice command to answer and reject calls. The Cruiser 2 has pretty much the same features as the Freeway, but sound quality was reported to be better on the Freeway, and the user reviews here weren't inspiring as compared to the ones for the Freeway.

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Originally Posted by ruchirtnt View Post
...how to connect it to the car speaker phones
I explained that already...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
... you press the FM button on the unit and it announces the wavelength at which you should tune the radio of the HU - you can change the wavelength at which the Freeway transmits by pressing the vol(+) / vol(-) switches, to get clearer reception. Retune the radio accordingly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
It pauses playing the music (phone's music player shows pause) and continues on into answer mode (speaks out the number that is calling, and asks you to say answer or ignore) through the car speakers - also the voice of the caller. Picks up your voice through its own mic. At the end of the call, you need to press the "voice" button on the device and say play to continue playing back the music (or you can continue playing by pressing the "play" button on the phone itself).
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