Just got back from the dealer. I went there because I've been debating whether to pick up a 2011 with the tech package, or if I should go for the 2012 with UVO.
I told the salesman what I wanted to do, and he was happy to leave me in the 2012 for about 45 minutes so I could play with the technology. I read the UVO manual beforehand, plus I had a printout along with me so I could quickly test everything out. I also put some MP3s on a USB stick, plus burned an MP3 CD and brought my smartphone (Droid Incredible) to test the Bluetooth.
After spending some quality time with UVO, I wasn't too impressed.
(Admittedly I didn't have that much time to learn all the ins and outs of the system, and maybe it would work better if I synchronized it to my voice, as others have pointed out in the Sorrento discussions about UVO. But I claim English as my first and only language, and I'm from the supposedly-accent-less Midwest -- so if it the voice recognition was going to work well for someone out of the box, I was hoping I would have been a good candidate.)
A feature-by-feature rundown:
1. Display quality:
Pretty nice. Bright display, responsive touch screen. Backup camera looked good in there too. Menus were mostly intuitive, but I kept expecting a manual "back" button instead of the one that came up on the display. Maybe I'm too accustomed to having that on my current car's navi, as well as my phone.
2. MP3 CD:
Worked great. Song came up on the display, only took about 10 seconds to load.
3. USB music:
Also great. Same as MP3. Quick response.
4. Voice recognition to choose a song from MP3 CD or USB:
Mostly a failure. I had all the voice commands in front of me and I was reading straight from the manual. I tried a number of different artists and songs, and the system rarely understood what I meant. Before I put the songs onto the USB drive, I purposely put in a variety of different filenames (some starting with numbers, for example...others with parentheses in the title, some with weird artist names), and UVO's voice recognition struggled with all the tricky ones as well as many of the easy ones too.
5. Pairing with Bluetooth:
Took a little longer than expected, but got it working within a few minutes.
6. Bluetooth phone:
Voice dialing by reading a 10-digit phone number worked flawlessly. Voice dialing by name was a little trickier. At first I really struggled, but then I went into the address book and realized it imported some of the names as Lastname, Firstname and others as Firstname Lastname. Once I figured that out, voice dialing worked mostly well.
7. Bluetooth audio streaming:
I was hoping this feature would work well. I've recently gotten hooked on Spotify, and I've been a Pandora user on and off for the past year. I was hoping that if I could get UVO to stream audio from my phone via Bluetooth, that might be my new #1 way to listen to music (and would justify a $9.99/mo unlimited Spotify subscription). Unfortunately it was a nearly complete failure for UVO. My phone was showing it was connected, and UVO brought the play/pause icon onto the display like the streaming audio feature was working. But the audio kept coming from my phone's speaker, and I got nothing over the car's speakers. I even tried running an app I have called BTmono, which I sometimes use to listen to music through a monaural Bluetooth headset when I'm riding my bike. No luck. Keep in mind the failure to connect might have just as much to do with my phone as the UVO system...so test it on your phone before you bank on this feature. Although on the UVO phone compatibility sheet
, it shows my phone should work.
This was another killer feature I was really hoping would work well. But I couldn't get it to work. I was sending myself text messages by sending emails to Verizon's @vtext.com email address. My phone would beep and the text messages would show up on my phone, but UVO didn't do anything. I tried everything I could think of and re-read the instructions several times, but the system never responded to my "Read SMS" voice command. This makes sense, since the UVO phone compatibility sheet dated 8/26/11 says my phone doesn't support SMS. But I was still hoping it might work!
Didn't care enough to test this. If I have a USB stick full of MP3s, what difference does it make if the car has a hard drive?
A few questions to throw out there:
- Since I wasn't that impressed by UVO, I'm now leaning toward picking up a 2011 with the tech package instead. (This also might be a good idea since I really want Corsa Blue, and it's listed as "late availability" for the 2012.) But the difference in the seat comfort between the 2011 and 2012 is significant. The 2012 feels soft and comfortable, but the 2011 is much more firm. Thoughts? Worth worrying about?
- I noticed the UVO system has an Infinity audio system logo near the CD slot, just like the 2011 with tech package does. Does anyone know if the Infinity system in the UVO is different than the Infinity that comes with the tech package? If so, what are the differences?