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THOUGHT: Bluetooth Car Kits which works with your Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 26.11.04 - 20:12:16 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 17092x
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For a customer project, which includes o2 Xda II Pocket PC Phone Editions, where I'm the technical project manager, I've tested several Bluetooth car kits during the past 2 weeks and the experiences might be something you are interested in.

In more and more countries it's forbidden now to make phone calls while driving and the penalties can be pretty expensive. Therefore a car kit is always a good idea for several reasons:

  • Penalty-free phone calls
  • Convenient use

However, there is a downside with device-specific car kits: if you change the device your current car kit isn't working (in most cases) with your new device, at least not without changing the holder. Therefore Bluetooth car kits might be an interesting alternative solution.

While I will follow with some detailed reviews, here the first experiences I've collected. All the car kits we've tested should be used with an O2 Xda II. For testing we've used:

  • Motorola HFW8000 Bluetooth Car Kit
  • Parrot CK3000
  • Parrot CK3100
  • Sony Ericsson HCB-300 Bluetooth Car Kit

From left to right: Motorola HFW8000, Parrot CK3000, Parrot CK3100, Sony Ericsson HCB-300

These car kits are selected for a simple reason: they support the Bluetooth headset profile. While the typical Bluetooth profile for car kits is the hands-free profile, the Xda II (and all other HTC Himalayas) doesn't supports this profile. Therefore you will not get the full features some of the car kits above might support with hands-free profile but at least the basic functionalities are supported with the Xda II:

  • Accept an incoming call
  • Hang up
  • Reject incoming calls
  • Support for up to four different Bluetooth mobile phones (not at the same time)
  • Radio mute
  • Volume adjustment on the car kit (Parrot CK3100, Sony Ericsson HCB-300 Bluetooth Car Kit, Motorola HFW8000 Bluetooth Car Kit only)
  • Use of car Hi-Fi speakers instead of a separate car kit speaker (Parrot CK3000, Parrot CK3100)

As mentioned above, all these car kits support the headset profile and therefore they work fine with the Xda II. However, what I've noticed during the tests is that you should have the latest ROM version for your HTC Himalaya (version which should be released by most carriers and OEMs now).

Also the Motorola MPx220 and the Orange C500/T-Mobile SDA worked fine with all the car kits above.

More about every car kit with the separate reviews.

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [More Info Motorola] [More Info Parrot CK3000] [More Info Parrot CK3100] [More Info SonyEricsson]


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Posted by Richard Kingsley on 26.11.04 - 20:47:29

Has anybody used these products with "blue angel" devices?

Posted by Arne Hess on 26.11.04 - 20:49:58

[1] I've used (not really tested) the CK31000 only with the Blue Angel and that one worked also.
I need to test that more detailed.

Posted by Oliver on 27.11.04 - 01:03:47

What I miss with these BT car kits is the possibility to get the antenna signals out of the car.

Posted by Arne Hess on 27.11.04 - 15:39:56

[3] True, that's the trade-off but if you see how many people still/was before using the mobile in the car without an external antenna this is the better way.
The only alternative is a mobile phone with support of SAP (SIM Access Profile) or a "real" car phone with a second SIM card.

Posted by Filip Norrgård on 27.11.04 - 20:27:30

As usual, you've written a very interesting article Arne! smile

Do you perhaps know of any Pocket PC that does support the handsfree Bluetooth profile? My Loox only seems to have the headset profile supported as with the XDA 2.

As in my review of a Nokia bluetooth headset over at PDAGold, I noticed that many of the advanced features of the headset did not work with my Loox which I suspect might be caused by the Loox not having the handsfree profile. Since many people have asked for some sort of support for Microsoft Voice Command, shouldn't the handsfree profile be added to support third party applications running? It would be nice and very "Star Trekish" to be able to command one's Pocket PC to change track and such... wink

Posted by Arne Hess on 28.11.04 - 17:16:12

[5] Thanks Filip! As far as I know, today no Pocket PC is supporting the hands-free profile. Not sure about the Blue Angel or Alpine but I have the fear that even this devices doesn't support it or at least doesn't support it 100 %. Also the Motorola MPx220, which was announced to support the hands-free car kit profile isn't supporting it 100 %.
On the other hand Motorola knows how this profile should work: I have recently tested the Motorola V3 Razr with the Parrot CK3100 and all the tones are transfered to the car kit, even key clicks!  8O Also it automatically synchronize it with the car kit and gives me access to it's pone book, right from the car kit control unit as well as it displays the operator name, signal strength and battery.
That's what I expect from a hands-free profile... I have the fear it's still a long, long way to get this support on Windows Mobile devices, doesn't matter if it is a Pocket PC Phone Edition or Smartphone...  :cry:

Posted by palmsolo on 29.11.04 - 15:43:12

I believe the Dell Axim X30 and X50 devices support the hands-free profile since you can use a Bluetooth headset to hear every sound that you would normally hear out of the speaker and the Bluetooth Manager states hands-free. Too bad they don't have a Phone Edition or Smartphone yet.

Posted by jayson on 02.12.04 - 04:51:20

[7] Being able to hear through a BT headset does not mean it's handsfree eventhough the device say it does.  That's a "headset" function.  True handsfree function allows you to use voice command.  Did you test that in your Axim?

Posted by Kristof Pelckmans on 12.12.04 - 19:30:04

I've been talking to a friend about the parrot car kit, and he told me about this great fm transmitter idea. Instead of wiring your bluetooth receiver in the car audio system, one could use an fm transmitter (with tp functionality so it would interrupt your regular audio stream). So the bluetooth part would resemble the parrot and the fm part would be like a Belkin TuneCast II Mobile FM Transmitter.

Has anyone ever seen such a device ?

When I would go for the parrot, would it be possible to send over regular audio (from mp3s or navigation software) on a pocket pc phone ? What bluetooth profile would you have to use ?

Ciaos, Kristof

Posted by Jesse Arnold on 16.12.04 - 06:37:56

Now if only there were a way to stream the audio from my smartphone to my car stereo through bluetooth.  Now that would be the ultimate.  I cannot use my Tunecast II, as there are no open frequencies in my area especially during my 30 mile commute.  Does the parrot kit playback the key clicks while not in a call?  If it did, there may be an idea brewing here!

Posted by Peter Hofstetter on 12.01.05 - 22:28:50

Hi Arne,

have you tested your XDA II with the Nokia CK-1W car kit?
It seems like the Nokia car kit only supports the hands-free profile. Any ideas on how to resolve that issue, e.g. download the profile from somewhere?

Any help is much appreciated,


Posted by Paul T on 23.01.05 - 23:59:57

I have been able to get the car kit to work with incoming calls ok But it will not work with outgoing calls. I have also not been able to source any software to assist rectify the position.... HELP !!


Posted by kevin on 02.02.05 - 20:57:36


Why doesnt the MPX220 work with the Motorola HFW 8000 Voice Recognition? Any potential patches?

I was told by my installer that Lexus does not have the radio mute function. Is that true? Is there any way to change that? Thanks

Posted by Singh on 09.02.05 - 01:15:35

I have an O2 XDA II.  I've just fitted a Becker traffic pro bluetooth satnav mp3 player into my car.  MY wife can use her motorola bluetooth fine with it but the XDA will not connect handsfree using bluetooth to the Becker.  IS this is "feature" of the pocket pcs?  If so, i may have to reluctantly move away from pocket pc phone to "normal" phone! 


Posted by Greg Hay on 24.02.05 - 20:04:22

i have an i-mate pda2k with a nokia car kit. bluetooth hands free works fine. voice commands with ms voice command do not work.

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