One would think that if you happen to have or are looking at a new phone with Bluetooth capabilities it should work with the Bluetooth system within a BMW; this is not the case. Due to the differences in wireless manufacturers use of specific protocols under the larger umbrella of Bluetooth a specific phone may not be compatible or only partially compatible.
BMW had joined forces with Auto Wireless Solutions to help keep up with testing phones for compatibility. The company is also in the business of selling phones so things on the Wireless4BMW.com site are not always updated as they should be even though it is directly linked from BMWUSA.com.
So what are you to do if you are in the market for a new car or new phone if the official lists are not accurate?
Simple, our good friend Jonathan Spira, the technology guru for the BMWCCA, actively tests new phones and maintains a list of phones with ratings for compatibility and the phone itself. His list is extensive and accurate. He and his colleagues painstakingly test the phones in a variety of situations in the real world, not in a contrived lab situation.
In short the phones that seem to perform the best with a BMW are from, BlackBerry, Apple (iPhone), most Sony Ericsson and Motorolla phones. What usually will not work are phones from Samsung, Palm and LG.
For the reviews and list please see here for Jonathan ‘s most recent review which also links to past reviews and the complete list of phones he has tested.
We appreciate his efforts and glad someone is on top of the Bluetooth issues so we can have both the latest and greatest phone and car working together!