Moving to the front fascia there’s an adequately sized OLED screen. Viewing angles are excellent and as a consequence the screen can be viewed easily from almost anywhere in the car. Above the screen are shortcut buttons to activate Music and Phone functionality, while below is a very handy scroll wheel that helps to make navigating the menus blissfully easy.
Just below this is the integrated noise cancelling microphone, with two further buttons below doubling as both Play/Pause and Stop buttons for audio control and Accept and Decline buttons when in phone mode. All the buttons are also backlit, making them easy to locate in the dark. On either edge there are further shortcut buttons, with the right hand button launching the Settings Menu and the left the Tuning Settings, with the ability to save up to four frequency settings. A little further down on the left edge are two audio jacks: one an input and one an output for direct wired connection to the audio system.
Setting up the Venturi Mini, as already alluded to, is incredibly simple. Once plugged in you’re immediately prompted to set a frequency for the FM Transmitter, which is as simple a process as you’d imagine it to be. From here you’re ready to use it as you please, either pairing a phone via Bluetooth or connecting an MP3 player using the audio input, and as you use the Venturi Mini, it reveals a few more features.
First among them is support for RDS, which enables information to be shown on the car audio system display. This includes caller information, showing you who is calling and also, if using Bluetooth audio, track information – a neat addition if ever there was one.
Another important feature is support for phonebook download. This enables you to download contacts from your phone onto the Venturi Mini, which should make dialling numbers while on the move a good deal easier. It’s a very useful feature, but here there are a couple of caveats.
For starters you’re restricted to 100 contacts and, though many people don’t have that many on their phones, others – myself included – do and use Outlook to sync all their contact information onto a phone. To add insult to injury there’s no way of cherry picking contacts, so it’ll simply download the first 100 contacts regardless. It’s a small issue but one that could affect some users.