Motorola MA1, the super compact Wireless Android Auto adapter | Review

Motorola MA1, the super compact Wireless Android Auto adapter | Review

Motorola MA1

In recent years, car manufacturers have integrated functions increasingly focused on on-board comfort such as, for example, heated and cooled seats, driving assistants, more valuable audio systems and functions in general which, in the past, they were reserved exclusively (or almost) for the more premium proposals. Spending time by car to cover short or long distances is no longer the same. The on-board entertainment systems have consequently evolved even if, unfortunately, not to the same extent as the remaining functions; Android Auto, for example, has been available as on-board equipment for several years now but only the wired variant is the most common.

To obtain the most premium Wireless connectivity it is often necessary to purchase an additional optional, assuming and granted that it is available; how to solve then? Simple, by installing one of the various dongles available on the market capable of transforming Android Auto into the more practical Wireless variant. AAWireless and Carlinkit were the first companies to offer accessories of this type and now we had the opportunity to try Motorola's proposal known as the MA1.

--> Let's make a premise: Motorola MA1 has been available in America for several months and has only now arrived on Amazon Italy. To carry out this test we purchased the unit which ships from a third party seller and not directly from Amazon or Motorola. We therefore do not know if Motorola MA1 will ever arrive in Italy in the official sales channels.

How it is made

It is a small box, with a glossy black finish, measuring 50 x 50 x 10 millimeters and weighing just over 30 grams . The ultra-compact size allows you to easily hide it inside a compartment or in the armrest, provided that the cable is long enough. Motorola MA1, in fact, integrates a cable of about 15 centimeters with USB-A header. If you have USB-C ports on board your car, you will need to equip yourself with an adapter.

How it works

--> No special configuration is required to use the Motorola MA1. Very few minutes are needed to put the system into operation; in fact, you will have to connect the dongle to your car, activate the wireless on your smartphone and follow the instructions on the screen. This is no different than setting up any device that requires wireless pairing.

Is my car compatible? And the smartphone instead? Compatibility is generally guaranteed at 360 degrees with all cars that already have Android Auto on board; it is possible that in the event of particular combinations the system may not work or operate inconsistently. For our test we relied on a Samsung Galaxy S21 5G with Android 13 and a Mazda MX-5 ND .

Field test

--> Using Motorola MA1 is easier than you might think; the configuration the first time can take a few moments (mostly technical) but after this small obstacle, the system works flawlessly. Only on the occasion of continuous disconnections did we detect some small jamming that we expect will be resolved with future firmware.

As with all dongles of this type, it is possible to run into some incompatibility perhaps not strictly linked to the adapter but more to the numerous parts involved (infotainment, cable, smartphone, ROM etc). In any case, with the Motorola MA1 you no longer have to take your smartphone out of your pocket to start Android Auto and benefit from all the on-board functions.

For long journeys, of course, thanks to higher battery consumption, we recommend keeping monitored the autonomy of your smartphone; some cars, although it may seem paradoxical, are equipped with a wireless charging system which is a valid help on these occasions.

The only aspect that we did not appreciate about the Motorola MA1 is the presence of the fixed cable which, in addition to being objectively short, does not allow the accessory to be connected to all those cars equipped with a USB-C port. Net of this detail, Motorola MA1 is a great product, fast and easy to use. Our field trial was limited to just a couple of days; we reserve the right to update the article should any long-term problems appear.

As anticipated, Motorola MA1 is available on Amazon Italy at a price of around 90 euros and is positioned practically in the same range as AAWireless, its direct competitor.

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