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JVC KW-NT1 review... hands free fatally flawed

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Raylo, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Jul 20, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Raylo [OP] Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    MD, USA
    2009 4x4 Access Cab, TRD Sport
    Call it 2 out of 5 stars

    Pros: Good A/V and Nav performance, fast route calc, detachable face
    Cons: Hands-free calling capability is useless due to illogical firmware; Nav POI database a little skimpy

    I won't dwell on the basic A/V and Nav performance. Other reviews here have gone into enough detail there. Plenty of power/flexibility, good connections and intuitive controls. Suffice it to say that it is as I expected and I am happy with the KW-NT1 in that regard.

    However, and this is a BIG however.... the bluetooth hands free calling capability is fatally flawed to the extent that is is ALMOST USELESS. The hardware works fine... voice is clear and connection is stable. BUT YOU CAN NOT ACCESS YOUR SAVED CONTACTS/PHONE NUMBERS WHILE DRIVING! The KW-NT1 uses its GPS to provide vehicle speed sense and locks out VITAL hands free calling controls when moving greater than 6 mph! To make matters worse this is totally unadvertised. The user manual says that "When driving at speeds greater than 6mph some screens on the navigation menus are not available". No mention of restricting hands free dialing.

    It is totally illogical. In the main dialing menu you can access "received numbers", "dialed numbers" and "phonebook". Each menu choice displays 5 numbers from which to choose. You can go back and forth between these menus as many times as you want and dial any of the numbers displayed with the press of the appropriate soft button. But you CAN NOT access subsequent screens of 5 phonebook entries. So unless the number you want to call is one of the first 5 in your phonebook you are OUT OF LUCK. Unless you stop, that is... in which case you could just as well use your handset. So why did we pay for hands free capabilty??

    You can also scroll an infinite number of times between radio bands, each presenting 6 soft buttons for station choices. No restriction there, either.
    So here is the logical disconnect: You are allowed to dial certain numbers while the vehicle is moving. So, apparently JVC doesn't think one button dialing of a saved number per se is a problem. And you are allowed to scroll infinitely through certain menus of choices (like any and all radio bands and stations or between "dialed", "received" and "phonebook" top level screens), and make selections. So this doesn't seem to be an issue for JVC either. But you CAN NOT scroll to subsequent phonebook screens of 5 entries and then dial them?? So dialing is OK... scrolling/selecting is OK, but scrolling to dial is not OK?? Huh?? All this does is pretty much guarantee that you can not access and dial the number you actually want.

    And to further highlight the ridiculousness, the phonebook entries are likely to have actual names by them and thus more easy to select than the numbers that appear in "called" and "received" menus that can appear without any identifying information.

    Another example of quirky nonsensical firmware: in the Nav screen you can hit the button for menu->functions->vehicle info which displays the satellite constellation along with color coded signal strengths. BUT the "back" button is non functional so you can't even back out of a screen that they let you into in the first place!! WTF??

    Anyway, there are probably better choices out there, especially if hands free calling is important to you. Good luck.

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