Most helpful critical review
59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
A lot to improve
on August 31, 2013
I got this as a replacement for the Jabra Tour that was not compatible with my Nexus 4 phone. Since Motorola mobile is a Google company I thought that the Sonic Rider would pair nicely to my Google Nexus 4.
The Sonic Rider is a very basic speakerphone. It is not going to read your text messages, stream to your FM radio, or turn on automatically when it senses your presence. It has an on/off switch, buttons to mute, increase/decrease volume, and a button to activate phone calls. That's it. I knew this was a very basic speakerphone when I purchased it. What is most important is the device's performance. Lets see how it stacks up:
* Battery life - Motorola claims 45 hours of usage and 5 months standby time. I have used the device almost daily for 2 months and the battery is still going strong.
* Car charger - you get a simple but nice Motorola car charger. It's the same model as the #1 best seller in Amazon car chargers listed as "Motorola Vehicle Power Adapter micro-USB Rapid Rate Charger".
... and that concludes the pros.
Things that are "OK" - neither pros or cons
* Reconnecting to phone - to reconnect you must push the "receiver" button twice. As I had mentioned, the Sonic Rider will not automatically sense when you have entered the car and reconnect. You must do this manually. Every time. It doesn't bother me as my Jabra Tour had the auto-reconnect feature but it didn't work 50% of the time.
* Speaker audio quality - spoken words are a bit muffled and there is definitely a lack of audio range. Similar to listening to a Skype call on tiny laptop speakers with the treble turned down. The speaker distorts when the volume is set high.
* Microphone performance - In my opinion this is the most important. What use is a speakerphone if the party you are talking to cannot understand you? The microphone is useless when traveling over 35 mile per hour. On the receiving end people complain of muffled and clipped words and high amounts of background noise. I have a hard time getting voice commands to work due to the poor microphone. I have tested in a Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Rav4. Unless you have a very quiet vehicle or only talk while driving really slow, the microphone is a dud and completely ruins the device for me.
* Buttons - the four primary buttons all feel the same. This forces me to take my eyes of the road and look at the buttons to use them. Dangerous! Motorola needs to brush up on ergonomics.
* Power-off ping - when sliding the on/off switch to "off" the Sonic Rider emits a very loud "ping!" chime. The chime volume is not adjustable. The first time I powered down the unit I discovered the chime is loud enough to wake sleeping children in the car.
* Voice prompts - The audio for the digitized voice prompts are low resolution which makes the prompts sound fuzzy. This is more of an annoyance than anything. It makes the device sound cheap.
* No support - The Sonic Rider is not listed on Motorola's support website.
Overall the Sonic Rider is a disappointment and I would not recommended it. I think Motorola has the ability to create great devices but with the Sonic Rider they really dropped the ball.
(Tested with an LG Google Nexus 4 running Android 4.3)