I’d like to start off by apologizing for my long absence… new parenthood has been keeping us quite busy since last year.
With that out of the way, on to what you clicked the thread for - this is my review of the Roav Bolt.
The Bolt comes packaged in a signature orange box. It’s of nice quality, nothing flimsy, and in line with the high standards of quality that we have known Anker to hold itself to.
- Roav Bolt
- 3.5mm AUX cable
- User Manual
My set up
I had set it up on my 2015 Honda CR-V, using a Google Pixel 3.
The car (like most late model vehicles) supports Bluetooth, and I won’t be reviewing the AUX cable functionalities. It is safe to assume that it will be no worse that the performance when connected via Bluetooth. Also my experience is it with Android, while I have been a long time iOS user, I presently don’t have an iOS device to use for the review - your experience with iOS might vary.
Setting up the Bolt
Set up was a breeze. I was able to get going in under 5 minutes, of which most were spent on updating the firmware.
Set up involved plugging the Bolt to the power outlet and pairing to it via the phone. Google Assistant pops open just as soon as you’re paired, and asks to confirm whether the BT connection is to your car, and offers to use it for audio playback. 1-2 standard Google disclaimers later, the device did a quick firmware download, installed it, and the Bolt rebooted - Ready to use.
As a charger + comparison to PowerDrive 2
The Bolt is replacing my Anker PowerDrive 2, which essentially the exact same charging capability. As with most Anker car chargers, both of them are based on Anker’s PowerIQ spec. You might think that this is out-dated tech with PowerIQ 3.0 being out, but in real life usage two 12W ports are sufficient for most phones and tablets. No complaints from me there.
(Consider that Apple still ships its flagship phones with just a 5W charger.)
The Bolt is quite a bit larger that the PowerDrive 2, however.
Considering that it’s housing a Google Assistant, 4 LED lights and a button (to summon Google Assistant), this is to be expected. It’s still quite a compact unit which you don’t notice once it’s installed - just be sure that your vehicle has enough room for it’s mushroom-shaped head.
The materials used for the bolt are also different, with a soft matte finish, which I like.
No complaints here - Google Assistant is by far the best virtual assistant out there, and the application via Bolt doesn’t disappoint. It responds to ‘Hey Google’/‘Ok Google’ instantly and the microphone picked up my instructions without any errors. I asked for the current weather, to play some music, for directions to work, and it handled it all. I even asked for it to turn off the living room lights at home, and it did, just like it would when I ask my Lenovo Smart Display to do so. Same with turning off the thermostat. I can certainly see myself using this feature during the more warmer or colder months to get our home comfortable while on the ride home.
I have two small gripes which I hope will be fixed via software/firmware updates in the future -
- I wish I had the option to turn off the audio cue, and for the assistant to only work when I push the button.
- I made a phone call by asking for it, but while it rang, I was unable to hang up using the button on the Bolt. The only way I could hang up was via my phone.
The Bolt is my very first Roav device, and I see myself using it during every commute. It’s also a good value - for the retail price of $49.99, it is on par with the Google Home, plus it charges two devices.
I give it my stamp of approval!
Happy to answer any questions the community might have for me.