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    Default [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    This is my in-depth review for the Belkin Aircast auto.

    Product page on amazon :

    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Bluetoo...idcentral00-20

    Now, where should I start....

    I own a 2010 Toyota Camry, with no bluetooth capability, only an aux port. In light of no good car docks being made available to us CDMA Gnex users to utilize the 3 pins on our phone, I set out searching for accessories to make my Gnex wire-free and hands-free in my car. It was really dangerous for me to keep switching my phone on while in the dock to have to change songs, or do whatever. I do own the Verizon car dock, but honestly it is a piece of crap and not worth the 40 bucks I paid for it. It is only going to be there temporarily until I recieve my proclip car mount that I just ordered, which covers charging for the phone when inserted.

    Installation was really simple. Take out everything from the box, plug it into my aux port, plug it into my car cigarette port. Toggled bluetooth on Gnex, started my car. The bluetooth menu on my phone immediately showed the belkin device and paired effortlessly.

    The button on the belkin can do many things with only 1 or 2 presses.

    1 press = start music , 1 press while music is playing = pause music
    1 press = answer call, 1 press while in call = end call
    2 presses = skip to next song
    1 long press = power off or power on the belkin device.

    I also really like the color borders on the Belkin. It has a bright orange or bright blue light to indicate what mode its in. Orange = unpaired. Blue = paired. Looks sick at night while driving!

    So basically all I have to do now when I get into my car is press the button one time to pair, then press once more to start music where it last left off. Takes like 3 seconds total.

    So now after my first day of using it, for the few short car rides that I drove. I wouldnt even take my phone out of my pocket when I got in the car. I just get in, press the button, music starts and go.

    The music quality over A2DP on the Belkin is fantastic, I cant stress this enough. I'm REALLY picky about sound quality and I cannot hear or notice any type of signal loss or quality degration over using a hard wired aux cable into the phone. I don't hear any type of interference or signal hiss whatsoever, and I'm the type to bump stereo LOUD!

    I have made a few voice calls over the Belkin, and it does work well. The mic is built into the button, and my girlfriend told me that while I do sound different over the Belkin, there is no confusion while communicating. So she can still hear me fine.

    The belkin also has a built in usb port that u can charge your phone from it. I have not used it yet, but i bet it will only charge my phone in USB mode. But I cant knock the belkin for that, seeing as how I didnt buy it for that function. There is no documentation about what kind of Amps the usb port puts out. But i will plug a use into it later and report back what happens.

    The only thing that is kind of bothering me at the moment, and I dont know if its a problem with android 4.0 or the belkin is while paired through bluetooth. System sounds (notification sounds / Ringtone etc) will come through my car speakers, as well as the phone speakerphone. I have tried rebooting, power cycling the belkin and nothing has helped. If anyone has any info on this that would be great. But its a really small problem that i can deal with.

    So in conclusion. Im totally happy with the Belkin, it makes my car dash clean and wire free, while giving me the ability to drive safely. Was totally worth the money for me. I picked it up 69.99 @ fry's electronics. I wish i bought it back when they had it on sale for 29.99$ but for the price, I would still give this Belkin product a solid 9 / 10. If i ever figure out the notification / ringer problem, i would def give it 10/10
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    bespinct's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Thanks for the review! Reading through the reviews at Amazon it looks like folks are generally happy with the Autocast. Are you still happy after more than four months?

    Steve in CT
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    So I suppose I'll respond to my own post...

    The auto cast is a great little device and works just as advertised. Simple setup and I was even able to hide the cables.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2
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    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    @bespinct: Thanks for the follow up post. I'm considering getting this for a future Samsung Galaxy S3 purchase and just wanted to know if the power charging via USB feature works properly?
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    Yup, works perfectly. I like that I can use a straight micro usb cable rather than a coiled car charger. Make it easier to hide the cable.

    Here's a picture of it mounted:



    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway-uploadfromtaptalk1340190343416.jpg  
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  6. #6  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Thanks a lot for your answer and photo, I really appreciate it. It looks great. I've gone ahead and ordered it from Amazon, now I just need Samsung to release the Pebble Blue S3 hehe
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    You are welcome!

    I must say I'm pleased with the $60 solution for something that would have been a much more expensive option added to my vehicle purchase.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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    Has anyone had issues with this randomly disconnecting our having trouble reconnecting? I've been seeing issues like that recently and have had to mess with airplane mode to fix them.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Android Central Forums
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    I haven't had any problems with disconnecting randomly, but I have had to initiate connection from my phone instead of pressing the autocast button. In my case, I think it's because the disconnect has been too brief and the autocast was confused.

    I think its only happened twice, but I'll pay more attention to see whether it happens more often.

    Steve

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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  10. #10  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Does the manual state the temp. range this can handle? I need something that can handle really high temps. The inside of my car in the sun gets over 130 degrees easy.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Quote Originally Posted by bespinct View Post
    I haven't had any problems with disconnecting randomly, but I have had to initiate connection from my phone instead of pressing the autocast button. In my case, I think it's because the disconnect has been too brief and the autocast was confused.

    I think its only happened twice, but I'll pay more attention to see whether it happens more often.

    Steve

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    Thanks for the tip. Downloaded a widget for making it easier to jump to the bluetooth settings, but it looks like that may have fixed things (at least for a day). Tried it two or three times today and didn't have any problems with the random disconnects. Hopefully that success continues. I'd rather not have to move to the 3-pin dock if I can avoid it. I've read mixed things about it.
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    I didn't see any operating conditions listed in the manual. I know that my car has been greater than 100 and there have been no obvious issues.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Quote Originally Posted by rockets95 View Post
    Thanks for the tip. Downloaded a widget for making it easier to jump to the bluetooth settings, but it looks like that may have fixed things (at least for a day). Tried it two or three times today and didn't have any problems with the random disconnects. Hopefully that success continues. I'd rather not have to move to the 3-pin dock if I can avoid it. I've read mixed things about it.
    Random disconnects were back today during one of my trips in my vehicle. This is even with connecting via the bluetooth settings menu. I guess I'll need to do some more testing here, but this is becoming annoying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockets95 View Post
    Random disconnects were back today during one of my trips in my vehicle. This is even with connecting via the bluetooth settings menu. I guess I'll need to do some more testing here, but this is becoming annoying.
    I did another test tonight (instead of during the day) and it worked perfectly fine on my 20 minute test drive. Now I'm starting to think it has something to do with the weather or the heat. I didn't really start seeing these issues until the heat of summer in the last few weeks. I'm puzzled.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Android Central Forums
  15. #15  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    I finally got mine a couple of days ago and I must say I'm quite pleased with it. The sound & volume are amazingly loud & clear and even the handsfree feature is usable. Only thing I haven't found a quicker/easier solution to is having to turn off my bluetooth headset before connecting with the Belkin every time I get in the car as my S3 is constantly connected to my headset. Besides that, I'd say it's a great product at such an affordable price. The length of the cables is pretty good as well which is something I was worried about as my AUX and power outlet are in the center console in my car. It even comes with an AUX extension cable which I didn't need to use. The built-in USB power outlet is a great feature too as it makes for less cable clutter. As for temperature/disconnection problems I haven't experienced any yet in the previous week of use and it's currently 43+C here (109 F) outside but I do notice that the Belkin controller button tends to get extremely hot on it's own even when in the shade.
  16. #16  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    I wonder how the Belkin stacks up to

    Amazon.com: GOgroove FlexSMART X2 ADVANCED Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter with Charging, Music Control and Hands-Free Calling for ANDROID, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Smartphones: Car Electronics

    I like how it can be completely wireless and it is cheaper. Just wonder if it is a complete piece of junk. The reviews seem good at amazon.
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    While seemingly doing similar things, the Belkin uses Bluetooth instead of FM. The Belkin is also much more compact with only the small puck to take up space.

    Steve

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2
  18. #18  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Although I haven't tried the Gogroove personally, no matter how good an FM transmitter is you'll still get some background noise which is always noticeable especially with the talk show podcasts that I listen to and it drives me crazy. The audio quality of the Belkin actually sounds as good if not better (I don't know how but it does) than plugging my phone directly into the AUX port on my car stereo. I was honestly surprised how great the sound quality is on this device. I've used way too many FM transmitters previously on my iPhone and will never try one again if I can avoid it but that's just me
  19. #19  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Quote Originally Posted by bespinct View Post
    While seemingly doing similar things, the Belkin uses Bluetooth instead of FM. The Belkin is also much more compact with only the small puck to take up space.

    Steve

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2
    It does use bluetooth and FM. Bluetooth for the phone and FM for the radio or AUX input. For me I don't want something stuck to or attached to my dashboard. I also kind of like all the functional buttons on it. It also detaches so you don't have to leave it in the car all the time to get stolen.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...idcentral00-20
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  20. #20  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Ah I missed the AUX out port on it, that makes it a lot more versatile than the Belkin then. Sadly for me though my power outlet is way too far down (almost at the floor level, really bad design in my opinion) so it wouldn't of much use to me as I wouldn't be able to reach it. For others with a better designed car console like in the product photos it would be great though.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    I am just hoping someone that owns one will chime in about how good the quality is.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    deleted
    Last edited by tonymil; 07-23-2012 at 06:07 PM.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Is it possible to access S-Voice on Galaxy S3 via Belkin Aircast.
  24. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bingo.blr View Post
    Is it possible to access S-Voice on Galaxy S3 via Belkin Aircast.
    I can't speak for S-Voice, but Google Now works just fine.

    Steve

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
  25. #25  

    Default Re: [Review] Belkin Aircast Auto bluetooth car gateway

    Quote Originally Posted by bespinct View Post
    I can't speak for S-Voice, but Google Now works just fine.
    Is it possible to start Google Now from Aircast (say, by a long button press) or are you required to tap the phone for activating Google Now?
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