Anker Roav SmartCharge Car Kit F2 Review
You can easily add Bluetooth to your car without buying a whole new ride! The Road SmartCharge Car Kit not only charges your devices, but it can add Bluetooth through your existing car radio.
Just slightly larger than a standard car charger, the Roav SmartCharge packs in both Bluetooth connectivity to your phone and an FM radio transmitter to your car’s stereo. By simply plugging the device in, and using the Roav app to tune in an empty FM station, you can add Bluetooth music streaming and phone calls without wires.
However, if your car has an Aux input, you can connect the Roav SmartCharge directly to it instead of relying on the FM tuner. This also results in clearer calls and less static when listening to music.
To setup the device, plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter port and start your car. When the device flashes “bt”, select the “Roav F2” item in your phone’s Bluetooth settings. Find an empty station on your car’s radio, then press and hold the arrow buttons to change the Roav SmartCharge unit to that station. The current transmitting frequency will display on the Roav’s LCD screen, making it easy to match up to your car’s radio display.
When a call comes in, the unit will light up “C IN” and you can press the the phone button to answer it. Press the phone button for 1 second to hang up.
Call quality is OK and is heavily dependent on the clarity of the FM signal and the placement of the Roav charger (and hence, the microphone). If the Roav unit is plugged in a fair distance from the user or in a console, the caller will likely remark that you sound “far away”. Call quality can be improved by using an AUX connection if possible. I would have preferred if Roav also offered a “remote microphone” that could be placed closer to the user’s mouth, such as on the dashboard.
In addition to Bluetooth, the SmartCharge can play songs stored on a USB flash drive. Simply plug the drive into the second USB port and the Roav will play the MP3, WMA, FLAC and WAV files stored on the flash drive. Press the phone button to play and pause the music, and use the arrow buttons to navigate the tracks.
The two USB ports on the unit can be used to charge your devices. The first port is a dedicated IQ port that can detect different devices — such as tablets — and provide a 2.4 amp charge as needed. The second port can provide up to 1.5 amps of power, which is enough to charge a tablet, just not at full speed. Either port can charge a smartphone. The second port also serves as a data port for USB flash drive music playback.
The Roav SmartCharge F2 adds Bluetooth functionality to older cars with only an FM radio. The SmartCharge can also play MP3 music directly from a flash drive plugged into the unit. Calls are very good if you can place the unit in a location in front of you.
- Add Bluetooth to older cars
- Stream music from your phone or a USB flash drive
- Available AUX connection (if your car supports it)
- Call quality is dependent on the FM frequency and placement of the charger
- FM quality can diminish when you drive to a new location