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REVIEW: ORA Original Car Kit for Orange SPV
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 14.05.03 - 17:33:05 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 12193x
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The Ora Original Car Cit for Orange's SPV is a complete car kit which allows hands free talking.

It contains a control box, the cradle for the phone, an external speaker, a uni-directive microphone, an external magnet antenna as well as several cables, fuses, fixing screws and a user guide.

To see the full package and detailed information about the Car Kit, see also my preview here.

Installation
To keep the warranty alive, Ora recommends an installation by a professional and authorized garage. Also, because my car is still pretty new and full of Airbags, I've decided to get it installed by my Audi garage instead of doing it myself.

Before the Ora SPV Car Kit was installed, my previous car kit had to be removed. However, because the microphone and external speaker was already installed, we've decided to use that one instead of the original Ora micro and speaker. This required some modifications on the connectors because the Nokia car cit uses different connectors then the Ora kit but wasn't as hard to change. However, this prevented us to remove and repass all cables again.

The Cradle
Also, because the Airbag functionalities and a smoother look, I've decided not to use the included dash mount, attached to the cradle, but mounted the cradle directly on the bracket.


The Microphone and Speaker
The micro is installed in the middle, between the driver's and co-driver's seat while the speaker is installed in the footwell.

The Antenna
As with the microphone and the speaker I've also decided not to use the magnet antenna but the one which was already installed for the previous car kit.

The ORA Car Kit compared with a Nokia Car Kit
Both car kits has the same size

Usage
The car kit work as you can expect that a car kit works. As soon as you plug-in the Smartphone into the cradle, it is recharged by the battery as well as it gets connected to the external antenna. From now also the external microphone and speaker are activated and used.

The SPV recognizes the car kit and switches automatically form any used profile to the car profile.

Unfortunately the SPV, or better the Smartphone platform in general, seems not to be designed to be used in conjunction with a car kit. So the screen turns off after the general predefined time as well as all lights switches off. This means in the darkness that you have first to press a key to get the phone switched on again. The SPV doesn't support different profiles, for instance one for battery and one for external power usage, like even Pocket PCs supports. Therefore you are not able define different backlight and screensaver settings if the SPV is used with a car kit.

Final Conclusion

The Ora Car Kit for the Orange SPV is a fine piece of work which stores the SPV perfect. It's easy to use and both, the Orange SPV (HTC Canary) and HTC Tanager (Smart Amazing Phone) fit proper into the cradle. The speaker volume is amazing loud. You are even able to understand your partner if you drive the highway with 180 KM/h but it doesn't distort the voice of your counterpart. You can pump up or reduce the loudspeaker volume by using the two volume buttons on the side of the phone. The external loudspeaker is also used to notify you about incoming calls and SMS and MMS messages.
The only disappointment might be the missing "Radio Mute" feature. This means that the car kit doesn't turns off your radio; if you get or establish a call and requires you to turn off the volume of the radio by hand.

Overall the car kit can be really recommended, not only because of most laws in the world requires the use of a car kit now but also because it's more convenient to make calls without any headset wires and also because your Smartphone is charged during your ride.

A little bit more disappointing is that the Smartphone platform doesn't seem to support car kits in a proper manner. That the display and key backlight switches off after some seconds and anytime later the display completely disappears is a great feature to save battery while the Smartphone is used without any external power. However, that this happens also if the phone is connected to an external power source, doesn't matter if it is your cradle on your desk or a car kit is out of all reason and I hope Microsoft will fix this with a later version anyhow. However, right now I'm talking with some developers to get this fixed.

Anyway, I truly enjoy the Ora Car Kit. I'm using car kits for my mobile phones since 1993 now and I missed this feature during the past months, when I used the SPV only. Now, with the Ora car kit, I'm back with an always charged battery as well as making phone calls becomes more convenient again. It's simply working great and you will not see a real difference to other car kits from Nokia and other old fashion cell phone makers.

And last but not least, this car kit looks really good, I don't wanted to waste the look and feel of my car and I haven't since it looks like a car kit should looks like: serious and solid!

The Original SPV Car Kit is available exclusive from Ora UK for £149.99. International delivery is possible but you might ask Ora first at the PPCW.Net Support Forum.

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [More Information] [Buy Here] [Ora Forum @ PPCW.Net]