This box is absolutely new. Not so much, however, because it is the first to achieve the goal of making Android Auto wireless, but because it is the first (and only) certified and has now also arrived in Italy. However, we have already tested and talked about similar products, which we will discuss in this review.
Motorola MA1 it looks like a small box connected to a soldered cable that cannot be removed. The connection is the classic USB-A and the cable is a bit stiff and not too long. This means that the dongle it will necessarily have to remain close to the car’s USB port, unless you want to go into using USB extension cables (which we do not recommend, considering the “fragility” inherent in the Android Auto connection).
The box has a side button for reset, and therefore coupling to another smartphone and a front status LED. In the package there is also a small rubber rectangle if we want to ensure that the box cannot slip while driving.
An appreciated attention.
Setting up the Motorola MA1 for the first time is extremely simple. With the car on (or powered) you just need to connect it to the USB port which is usually dedicated to Android Auto in your car. After a few seconds the LED starts flashing and from your smartphone you will have to choose to connect to its Bluetooth. In a few moments on the car you will have to accept the Android Auto connection. From here on the connection will be in 5 GHz Wi-Fi Direct (because that’s how Android Auto Wireless works) and the Bluetooth will remain connected to your car instead, just like with wired Android Auto. These are extremely simple steps to follow and for the following times all you have to do is turn on the car and have your smartphone with you.
The connection between the smartphone and Android Auto Wireless it is lightning fast, faster than the AAWireless counterpart that we had already reviewed. During our test we encountered a disconnection while driving.
After a few moments, however, the smartphone reconnected to the car, restarting with navigation and music exactly where it left off. A defect that has never recurred and that unfortunately we have also seen with other adapters and also simply with the cable.
The compatibility of Motorola MA1 is guaranteed (at least in theory) by Google certification of this product. For this to work, all you need is that your car (or your car stereo) has support for wired Android Auto. It is not enough instead that you have a generic version of Android in your car stereo. In our case it worked right away and without waiting even on the Mazda, where AAWireless had requested the activation of a particular option through its app. Obviously we cannot guarantee for all car models in circulation, but the certification bodes well.
As we have mentioned, AAWireless had an app available that allowed it to change some settings and above all to update its firmware to ensure compatibility with car/Android Auto variants that may come out in the future.
Motorola offers nothing like this. Maybe because being Google certified it will automatically always be compatible with Android Auto? Possible, but difficult to confirm.
Motorola MA1 is for sale on Amazon a 89€, a price not for everyone. You will obviously have to evaluate whether the convenience of no longer having to connect the cable in the car is worth the outlay. Obviously take into account the fact that if the cable kept your smartphone powered, on the contrary Android Auto Wireless will increase the battery consumption of your smartphone during the journey.