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Logitech ZeroTouch review: This Android smartphone hilt puts Amazon’s Alexa in your car

Logitech’s ZeroTouch smartphone hilt has been on a marketplace for roughly a year, though I’ve abandoned it since my kick doesn’t embody mobile devices. That altered about a month ago when Logitech integrated Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service into a ZeroTouch app. Now we can use voice commands to control my intelligent home while I’m in a vehicle and my smartphone is connected to a ZeroTouch.

I’ve encountered a few bumps in a highway during my month-long examination (pun intended), though I’ve resolved that a air-vent chronicle of this hilt entirely justifies a lofty $60 cost tab (simpler phone holders cost about 10 bucks.)  The dashboard chronicle has all a same features, though I’m not as smitten with it since it contingency be glued to your dashboard and it costs $80. Apple iPhone users, meanwhile, competence wish to stop reading now: a ZeroTouch is an Android-only device for a time being.

The hiccups we encountered incited out to be not a error of a product, though there is one other reduction (beyond being Android-only) that you’ll wish to know about right adult front. It’s not a bug, as a observant goes, it’s a feature: If we wish a ZeroTouch’s (and Alexa’s) voice responses played by your car’s speakers, you’ll need to set your conduct section to work in media mode. That’s an Android requirement, though it creates it scarcely unfit to listen to human radio on a conduct section and correlate with a ZeroTouch—or Alexa—at a same time.

Logitech ZeroTouch content message Michael Brown

Icons and content are prominently displayed, though we roughly never need to demeanour during a phone since a voice reads all to you.

Fortunately, this doesn’t impact regulating Bluetooth to make and accept calls around your conduct unit. I’m accustomed to listening to NPR news broadcasts when I’m in a car, however, so we attempted regulating a ZeroTouch exclusively of a conduct section for a while. we don’t suggest it since it’s too distracting: The conduct unit’s radio will cut out when your phone rings, so we can answer a call, though it won’t do that for a ZeroTouch’s voice prompts. Those are played on a phone’s orator while a conduct section is personification a radio. we found myself constantly reaching for a conduct unit’s volume control possibly since a ZeroTouch was alerting me to an incoming summary or since we wanted to use a ZeroTouch.

If we wish to listen to song on your vehicle stereo, it’s distant improved to span a ZeroTouch with your conduct section and tide song from your phone over Bluetooth. The ZeroTouch supports Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, or Google Play Music. To do that, however, your car’s Bluetooth complement contingency be able of ancillary both phone calls and media streaming. That wasn’t an emanate with a new Kenwood KMM-BT515HD conduct section we recently commissioned in my truck, though a Bluetooth in my 2010 VW Golf usually authorised me to make and accept phone calls. The usually approach we could tide media and hear a ZeroTouch’s voice prompts on my phone in a vehicle was to physically bond a phone’s headphone jack to a car’s aux input.

I’ll dive deeper into this and a ZeroTouch’s other facilities later; for now, we wish to concentration on Logitech’s Alexa integration.

Logitech ZeroTouch dashboard Michael Brown

This indication of a Logitech ZeroTouch is designed to be glued to your dashboard. Make certain it doesn’t hinder your perspective by a windshield, or we could be ticketed in some jurisdictions. (It’s apparently not henceforth mounted in this photo.)

Alexa and a ZeroTouch

In my home, we have several Amazon Echo inclination connected to a Vivint intelligent home complement that monitors my home’s confidence and controls scarcely all a interior and extraneous lighting, entrance locks, thermostat, garage-door opener, and confidence cameras. we roughly never strech out for a light switch, adjust a heat during a thermostat, or even reason a Vivint Sky control row (other than to lame a complement in a morning). Instead we tell Alexa to spin lights on and off, adjust a temperature, tighten an extraneous door, or arm a alarm system.

Logitech ZeroTouch Logitech

Logitech’s ZeroTouch vehicle smartphone mountain has a battery-powered Bluetooth radio onboard. This indication attaches to one of your car’s atmosphere vents.

Before a ZeroTouch, we had to lift out my phone and launch a Vivint app if we indispensable to do any of those things from a car. And with 25 inclination usually for lighting control, it took a lot of scrolling to find a one we wanted to use. Now we usually wharf my phone to a ZeroTouch, quickly put my palm in front of a vicinity detector (Logitech calls this gesticulate a “high five”), and serve Alexa.

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