If you iPod turns itself off after a period of inactivity, the BluEye will disconnect from your phone. Wake up your iPod and after a few moments it will reconnect with your phone – on my Sony Ericsson K800i the Bluetooth icon would indicate a connection and then change into a headset icon.
Pressing the button the side of the BluEye switches it to FM radio. The frequency appears on the display and when you hold it to the right or left it locks onto the next strongest frequency. Hold down the side button and it saves your channel as a favourite, up to a total of 15 and you scroll through them with the Skip buttons. Pressing Play/Pause when the radio is on will mute it.
I was quite impressed with the radio, with it picking up some stations even inside the office, as most FM tuners I’ve tried fail to pick up anything at all. However, you’re unlikely to be able to pick up that favourite pirate station you love unless you’re standing next to the mast.
A downside is that only the frequency is shown on the screen – not the station name. This is because the tuner lacks RDS, a feature that is offered by Apple’s official FM remote. Also the Apple one can tune with the scroll wheel, which is more elegant. Similarly, when you get a call, only the phone number is displayed – it doesn’t pull any contact information from the phone, so you have to recognise the number for the call list to be useful. And who knows people’s actual numbers these days? It could be an issue.
Furthermore, the numbers and station frequency are displayed too small on my full size iPod screen – though that really is nit-picking.
Finally, if you aren’t answering calls or listening to the radio, you can use the remote to just listen to music on your iPod! Who’d have thunk it? The remote lets you skip tracks, pause and control the volume and after years of not using one I’d forgotten how useful that can be.
The only real negative to the BluEye I was sent for review was that is was in white, while my iPod is black. Luckily, those geniuses at Gear4 have thought of everything and you can get the BlueEye in black too – but not in blue.
The BluEye is a triple success and can be picked up to £39.99 online – a bargain when you consider that Apple’s FM remote, sans Bluetooth, will set you back £35.
Gear4 gives the iPod just what it needs – Bluetooth for answering and making calls, an FM radio and a remote. It’s easy to set up, works superbly and is reasonably priced. An essential iPod accessory.
Score in detail