Kink in HandsFree Link - 2010 Honda Insight EX Long-Term Road Test
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2010 Honda Insight Long Term Road Test

2010 Honda Insight EX: Kink in HandsFree Link

May 06, 2010

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I jumped into the Honda Insight EX last week for a trip from LA to Palm Spring, thinking I'd have time to catch up on a few phone calls on the two-hour-plus freeway drive. Before taking off I hit the Bluetooth HandsFree Link/Voice Command button on the bottom-left quadrant of the steering wheel, also thinking that pairing my iPhone 3GS would be a snap.

But it wasn't. And I'm familiar with the HFL system and know its quirks since I compared the vehicle's tech against a Prius for an Edmunds.com feature story. The system kept looking for a previously paired phone, and I got trapped in a loop until I realized I needed to delete a previously paired phone before I could pair mine.

Before you start bitching that this is a minor car journalist gripe -- and you'd be partially correct, since if you drive the car on a daily basis this probably wouldn't happen -- I have to point out that one of the pitfalls of the HFL system is that it only allows pairing a phone via the Voice Command system, and not using the touchscreen. If I could have seen that the system's phone capacity was full I could have saved myself a lot of frustration. Otherwise there's no way to know.

So HandsFree Link in the Honda Insight didn't pass my litmus test on how easy it is to pair a phone with a Bluetooth system, which is to ask: Would my mom be able to use this system?

Or your mama.

Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology, Edmunds.com


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