A blatantly partisan review of the Navi unit (with Bluetooth)
I had one of these units installed by the folks over at Round Rock, and our experience with the unit is (considering everything about it) generally a positive one.
We have zero complaints about the installation itself. We showed up with no appointment, and four hours later left with the unit installed without a problem. Very responsive service people at Round Rock.
As for the unit itself, here are the plusses and minuses:
While there are some quirks about the method that the unit presents your route and guides, this unit will get you there without too many problems. The entry method is a bit involved (and we have had trouble finding "features" by name (like parks and suchlike), but once you work through it a few times, you will manage.
We found the female voice provided by the unit to be almost unintelligible; stick with the male voice supplied.
One very annoying "feature" is the zooming in and out that the unit does automatically. (There is a way to disable this, but we have never had the manual (a poor bit of writing if ever there was one) in the car with enough time to do this.
As a result, when changing radio stations (more about this below), you sometimes end up zooming the navigation so tight as to make it useless. There is a way to zoom in and out, but it is (due to the smart's short wheelbase and bumpy ride) all too often hard to activate.
The screen is smaller than our other unit (a Toyota supplied one in our Scion), but it's still clear enough - as long as it doesn't get zoomed in too far.
Moving the map around is almost impossible when a smart is in motion. You have an annoying on-screen "thing" to do this with, and it's hard to get your finger presses recognized by same.
(To get rid of this control, you touch elsewhere on the screen. However, that finger press sets a "cursor" (small red circle with cross hairs) that "freezes" the map in place while your vehicle travels on. To get rid of the cursor, you hit the map button, although we have yet to see a reference to this in the manual.)
All in all, we far prefer our navigation system in the Scion.
The Sound System
The head unit comes with connections built in for XM and Sirius Radio - we wanted XM. It receives just fine in almost every situation. Sound quality is adequate, but not superb. You lose the smart 10 woofer, and we have yet to find a replacement for that.
It also came with a direct connection for an iPod, built into the wall of the glovebox. I have nine zillion albums on an iPod that I leave in the glovebox. Fans of other technology will find an SD card slot in the front of the unit; it will play music from there as well (and it allows for updates of the system software, though we have not yet discovered how to do this).
Tuning is by on-screen buttons, not by hard wired ones. As a result, the lurching smart ride makes it a bit difficult to hit the small on screen buttons. You can set legions of presets, and this helps a bit.
And then there's the friggin' knob, the worst aspect of the whole unit.
It is an exceedingly thin metallized plastic disk that both turns and "clicks" in five different ways, straight in and to the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock directions. As it is so thin, it is hard to grasp and turn without activating one of the five click modes. Perversely, it is also hard to engage any of the o'clock "clicks" without hitting the straight in one.
Push straight in and you go into "voice mode" (see below). Push to 3 or 9 o'clock, and you advance or retard to a different track on a CD or MP3 on the SD card, or a different radio station on the pre-set list. Push to 12 or 6 o'clock and you (in theory) move to a higher or lower perspective on the map.
With the smart's ride, trying to do any of these moves with accuracy is a crapshoot. Very irritating.
I plan to glue up an extension to the knob, one that will stick out an inch or so. It should take out many of the errors - we'll see.
This works reasonably well. It helps to speak slowly and very clearly, but you can navigate through the various sound system sources. You cannot, however, change the volume level or (incredibly) turn the unit off (i.e., "change sound source to off"). There also does not appear to be a way to mute the sound other than to turn it off (which involves two different screens on the unit). If anyone knows how to do this in a simple fashion, please enlighten me.)
If you have gone to the trouble to enter names in the unit's address book, you can call by name. However, a simple upload of your Bluetooth capable phone address book may not be the way to do this. I tried, and found that my address book was both too large (only up to J fit) and was not properly arranged (one phone number per name seems to be the way to go).
Phone quality with a linked phone (we use iPhones and they work well) is quite adequate, although the sound level starts out very high - when it rings, it scares the living hell out of you in the tight smart cabin.
I've not figured out a way to link the music on an iPhone to the unit through the Bluetooth.
The unit looks pretty good, but it still appears slightly out of place in the smart dash. It's a "fits all" design, so you have to expect that, but it's not a "Radio 11".
You can also upload (through the SD card slot) your own "splash screen" onto the unit. Our's features a photo of my lovely wife.
All in all, we prefer (for the greatest part) the unit in our Scion over this one in the smart.