|BlueAnt Commute Handsfree Car Kit CMT-USEN|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Phones | Handheld|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 20 November 2012|
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BlueAnt Commute Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions of the same product. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
There's a lot to like about the BlueAnt Commute. First, it's not just for cars and trucks. With a Bluetooth range over 30 feet this handsfree device can be used in larger vehicles, making it possible to mount Commute near the driver in an RV or at the helm of a long boat while the paired phone is safely stored elsewhere. Next, Apple Seri and Google Voice Search have given Commute the ability to replicate voice controls on recent smartphone devices and enables to operate in a completely handsfree environment. Then there's the ability for Commute to read text messages aloud without taking your eyes away to look at a phone. Finally, interaction with GPS navigation tools and searches can now be made without distraction to the driver.
Overall I was pleased with performance, and the BlueAnt Commute voice-activated handsfree car kit exceeded my expectations. It worked incredibly well with Apple's Siri assistance, and may offer similar functionality for users with the Google Voice Search feature tuned and operating properly on their smartphone. Google Voice Search can also be triggered by saying "Google" if you install the Google Now application in conjunction with Voice Search. I can't fault Commute for not adding features that don't already exist on older phones, however basic functions were still available despite this.
As mentioned in the article, Commute shares the same look, size, and weight as Samsung's Nexus-series phones. This means that the handsfree device looks modern, and although Commute is no bigger than the average smartphone it still has some size to it. The glossy surface will show fingerprints, but with the device tucked away on the visor it's not going to attract any attention.
BlueAnt Wireless has built Commute to be a solid handsfree car kit with plenty of durability. This device is mostly battery, so there's little risk in breaking something internally if it fall or slips off the visor. The touch-sensitive buttons are nice, but real-time feedback would help avoid impatient double-presses. The included 12V DC 'cigarette lighter' to USB power adapter micro-USB cable keep the handsfree device charged, and will work with most smartphones as well.
As of late November 2012, the BlueAnt Commute CMT-USEN voice-activated handsfree car kit was available online for $99.99 (Amazon / PriceGrabber). This is roughly the same pricing you'll find for higher-end Bluetooth headsets, which all lack the battery life and handsfree functionality. At the time of this writing there were no similar products on the market to compare against.
Users with recently made smartphones will be extremely pleased with the BlueAnt Commute, as it worked incredibly well with Apple's Seri assistant and extended the handsfree functionality beyond all expectations. The Samsung Galaxy S III also had a large command list, thanks to the built-in voice assistant. Older phones will still make and receive calls, receive and read text messages, and in most cases hear GPS directions through Commute. Adding apps like Google Now and Voice Search/Actions will help further increase functionality. If you drive in one of the many places that restricts telephone use while operating a vehicle, then BlueAnt Commute is definitely for you.
+ Incredible performance with Apple Siri assistant
- Not all phone support handsfree call cancel
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
Comment Question: Would the BlueAnt Commute meet your handsfree needs?