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BlueAnt Commute Handsfree Car Kit CMT-USEN E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Phones | Handheld
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
BlueAnt Commute Handsfree Car Kit CMT-USEN
Closer Look: BlueAnt Commute
Handsfree Car Kit Test Results
BlueAnt Commute Conclusion

Handsfree Car Kit Test Results

Life with the BlueAnt Commute begins with pairing and connecting the device to a Bluetooth compatible mobile phone. All of my testing was conducted using the BlueAnt Commute paired and connected to a Samsung Nexus S smartphone with the BlueAnt Commute app installed. This particular phone paired to the BlueAnt Commute hands-free device without any security code required, although the default pairing code '0000' is rather easy to remember. The first time I powered-up Commute it walked me through language selection and pairing. After Commute talks you through the setup and pairing process, there are a few commands to know and memorize.

Commute arrives charged with a lithium-ion battery, which is good for an estimated 20-hours of talk time or up to 700-hours/29-days of standby time. If Commute is powered-on into 'handsfree trigger' mode, the phone is always prepared to receive a voice command. If set to the central power position known as 'battery saving mode', Commute will only listen for commands two-minutes after an action. This mode is ideal for most situations, but handsfree trigger mode offers enough power to maintain charge for weeks and make or receive up to 20 hours of calls.

Everything begins with the trigger phrase "BlueAnt speak to me". Once the BlueAnt Commute is triggered by the catchphrase, it will expect a follow-up command to execute a function. Once you can memorize the trigger phrase, the next easiest phrase to remember should be "What Can I Say?" so the handsfree device will read you a list of available options. Simple commands such as "Call back" and "Redial" are supported by all phones whenever another caller has contacted you or the number is stored in call history. The voice phrase "Phone commands" is priceless, as it transfers control over to your telephone. Other commands are more for utility purposes and are used far less frequently, such as "Am I connected?", "Check battery", "Pair me", and "Update phonebook".

BlueAnt-Commute-Voice-Activated-Handsfree-Car-Kit-Installed.jpg

On the Samsung Nexus S smartphone, which was introduced December 2010 and tested using both Google Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), there were only a few voice commands available. On this phone, after saying the trigger phrase "Phone commands" your options will include "Call John Doe" to dial a contact by name at their default telephone number, or "Dial John Doe Office" to communicate the desire to reach a named contact's secondary phone number. Unfortunately, there's no way to stop dialing if an incorrect number/contact is fetched, or quickly end a call without having to press the 'Command Button' touch symbol.

Older Android-based smartphones like the Nexus S will require the free BlueAnt Commute application to be installed for handsfree text messaging to work, and some will be limited to receiving messages as the phone may not accept dictation. Newer-model smartphones, such as Apple's iPhone with Siri or Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III that include Google Voice Search (formerly Voice Actions), will offer far more comprehensive voice commands and interaction than older models without them. These newer devices will offer full texting functionality, as well as potentially supporting email alerts or interaction with other programs.

Testing with the Apple iPhone 4S that launched October 2011, BlueAnt's Commute handsfree worked seamlessly with Seri to do far more than older phones without the voice-command assistant. After switching from Commute to Seri using the "Phone commands" trigger, I was able to schedule calendar events, complete web or phone searches, operate other apps such as GPS navigation, and send or receive messages. In theory, Google Voice Search is intended to offer the same features. Ultimately the BlueAnt Commute handsfree device will scale with a phone's own technology level, making it as feature rich as the host device it interacts with.

Performance was very similar with the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone. Once Bluetooth was enabled on the phone, I needed to make the phone visible to other devices by checking the option. The BlueAnt Commute initially showed as a numerical device, and not by the product name, but changed to "BlueAnt Commute" once paired. Like Siri, the Galaxy S III offered several interactive functions relayed through Commute.



 

Comments 

 
# Just ordered!Alan 2012-11-20 13:10
I knew this was coming. Just ordered from myblueant.com.
Supposed to ship today.

Looking forward to receiving.

Thanks for an excellent review!

Alan
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# This handsfree rocksSimon 2012-11-27 02:12
Received mine a few weeks ago. The voice dial functions work fantasic with my iPhone 5.. Read, and create text messages, dial numbers... all without having to touch the car kit.
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# Just checkingRobbin 2013-02-06 12:15
Simon,

Have you had any issues with this product with your iPhone 5? I just got the iPhone 5 and it wont' work with my current bluetooth speaker.
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# RE: Just checkingOlin Coles 2013-02-06 12:21
It could be your Bluetooth speaker causing issues. Connect only the BlueAnt Commute to your Apple iPhone 5 and pair. That should solve the problem.
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# RE: RE: Just checkingRobbin 2013-02-06 12:27
Thank you. I currently have a Jabra Journey and the simplest of things that worked with my iPhone 4 like volume, don't work at all since I got the iPhone 5. It connects but because I can't turn down the volume on the unit itself or my phone, it is so loud, people are "screaming" so I just turn it off and use the speaker on the phone. Will try again but I really like the features of the Commute. I just wanted to make sure it works well with the iPhone 5 before making the purchase.
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# Jabra Journey Firmware UpdateJason 2013-03-14 18:52
I saw on some Amazon reveiws that the Journey worked better with an iPhone 5 if you went to Jabra's website and installed the firmware update for it.

BTW how do other's say you sound on the Journey, especially when diriving on busier roads, etc. It is one of the units I am considering.
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# Blueant Commute/Samsang galaxy note2Careyp 2013-02-13 00:03
I have a problem with my new Blueant Commute as it is not activating my phone book when I call out a name to ring .
It just simple redials the last number that I have made with my Samsung galaxy note 2 even though they set it up for me including the phone book.
The tech guys that set it up for me said it could be an issue with the two devices and told me there should be an update coming out soon.
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# Dial by nameNo More Wires Support Dept. 2013-03-11 10:09
Dialing by name is a feature handled by your phone, not the Commute. Once you say "Launch Voice Control" or "Phone Commands," then Commute tells your phone to start it's default voice search application. When the is ready for your voice, then you can ask it to dial so-and-so.

For a list of things you can ask your Commute to do, Say "BlueAnt, speak to me" or touch the middle icon. When the Commute asks you to "Say a command," say "What can I say." This should give you a clear understanding of what the Commute can and cannot do.
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# FeaturesNot Happy 2013-06-13 16:15
I was under the false impression the top of the line Commute would stream music and calls to my car radio like my 3 year old Motorola T505. Instead the best you get is the tinny sounding onboard speaker.
As pointed out by others it actually uses the phone for all voice dialling features, leaving you at the mercy of Siri and making it a waste of time transferring your phone book to the Commute.
The voice commands work ok in the office, but on the road, and my car isn't noisy, I'm lucky to get a 50% success rate on voice activation by using the "Blue Ant Speak To Me" command.
Charging doesn't work off my powered USB hub that I plug every other device into. It has to go straight into the laptop.
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# RE: FeaturesOlin Coles 2013-06-13 16:35
It sounds like you should have read this review first, because almost all of those things were mentioned in it. Also, USB ports/hubs are all rated for different power output. Some are 500 mAH, while others are 2500 mAH. That makes a big difference.
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# MrJoseph Hnatiuk 2013-07-22 07:48
I sent CMT-USEN Commute Voice Activated Handsfree Car Kit on June 06 2013 to the California office for repair/replacement and have heard nothing. What gives?????????????? Purchased February 04 2013.
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