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#1 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 09:18 PM
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Default my take on 2012 with UVO

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.

8. SMS: 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!

9. Jukebox: 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?
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 09:54 PM
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Slightly off topic but I'm glad you love Spotify. :-)

Also, I have a 2011 and I stream Spotify through Bluetooth every day and it works flawlessly.
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 10:15 PM
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Does the streaming Bluetooth come with the tech package on the 2011? Or is it on all SX models?

Also, can you control anything other than play/pause on Spotify through your car? Can you advance tracks using the steering wheel controls?
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 10:45 PM
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It comes on all models as part of Bluetooth. Unfortunately you would still have to control through the phone and not with the audio controls.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 11:52 PM
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Default Wow, great review

Thanks for this. BTW, where did you read that Corsa blue would be available later in 2012?

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 08:51 AM
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Great review! That is what I usually do when testing cars AND find understanding dealer.
Everything below #3 does not concern me; I do NOT want to talk to the car nor I find that a way to go to in the future. Forget stupid star trek movies. Verbal communication takes a lot of energy and concentration. You claim you speak perfect English and it does not work? Well, what about people with the accent? People who talk slang instead of English? People with speech disorder?
SMS does not work? I would be surprised if it does. You are suppose to drive and not read and answer e-mails, texting, etc. Similar idea when people want to watch movies on navi screen during ride...
Did you test random MP3 play? That is an issue with 2011 when Optima decided on its own 5-10 favorites and cycle them all the time no matter how many songs you have.
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:03 AM
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hey, i just got my new optima with the tech package.
IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!
the nav is the most responsive/fastest i have ever used, the integration
of everything thru the big screen is incredible. i am so happy i got the tech
package, and the infinity sound is absolutely great, i love it. i would
advise anyone to get the tech package, it is really awesome.
i have never used the "uvo", but it seems to me that "voice command"
is it's big draw, i think you would like the full tech package much better.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 09:56 AM
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+1 buckeye! I looked at the UVO units and the NAV package and, IMPO, the NAV package was the way to go so no reason to wait for the UVO as I feel it's an inferior product.

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#9 (permalink) Old 10-04-2011, 10:22 AM
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Re: SMS

In order for this to work (granted, I haven't looked at the UVO manual) the phone will probably need to support MAP (Bluetooth Message Access Protocol). Virtually NO modern smartphones support this. It's most often found on old fashioned dumb phones.

Ford has the same issue with their Sync system (also developed by Microsoft). Ironically, so far as I know, Windows Phone 7 does NOT support MAP. I could be wrong, but from what I've seen, that appears to be the case.
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Thanks for this. BTW, where did you read that Corsa blue would be available later in 2012?
First I did a search on AutoTrader, followed by a search on Cars.com. My search on AutoTrader was for 2012s any distance from me, in blue. Then just to make sure I wasn't missing anything, I broadened the search to be 2012s of any color...and everything that came up was red, black, white, or titanium silver. That raised my eyebrows. So then I went to TrueCar and entered my info, and tried to select blue as a color. I saw a message saying limited availability (see attached screenshot).

But good news...this afternoon I got a call from the salesman I talked to on Monday. He said his manager called their factory representative in Georgia to ask my question about Corsa Blue's availability, and that gentleman claimed the Corsa Blue cars were a little slow to get started, but they've "started coming off the line" and they are "starting to make their way to Ohio now." We'll see...

Quote:
Did you test random MP3 play?
Unfortunately I didn't. I didn't realize this was an issue until I saw that thread on Monday night, after I had already visited the dealership.

Quote:
hey, i just got my new optima with the tech package.
IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!
Buckeye, did you get a 2012? What navigation systems have you used in the past?
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