Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit (In-car BT speakerphone) : User Review

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

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 (, 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.

Jabra FREEWAY Bluetooth® in-car speakerphone - crystal clear hands-free calls and music in the car - YouTube
Jabra Freeway Bluetooth Car Kit - YouTube
Jabra FREEWAY sound quality demonstration (Part 1: virtual surround) // - YouTube
Jabra Freeway BT and FM Transmitter - YouTube
All in all, I am totally smitten by this toy!

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