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Old 12-06-2012, 10:21 AM
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Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

Just thought I'd post up my thoughts/impressions with the new RA radio & vehicle telematics in my 13 Ram. I'll also go over the Unconnect Connect part. This will be the same setup used in the 14 WKs, albeit with a few minor cosmetic differences. Since the truck is otu there for people to go see I'm not going to post any pics initially, but if someone wants to see something in particular let me know and I'll throw a few up.

Ok so as everyone knows the only difference between the 3 & 4 is the 4 come from the factory with nav and the 3 requires you to visit the dealership and pay ~$600 to activate. Both run the same garmin nav and both have all the other same features(auto temp equipped is slightly different as I'll explain later). No CD player, though you can buy one through mopar accessories that goes under the seat. No price on that yet.

Now for my general thoughts(ill break it down further down). Overall I'm pretty impressed with the improvements vs. the original 8.4 in the 300s. Namely a little better menu layout, they brought back the browse by playlist option, and of course the biggy the addition of the Apps button. I'm still not very happy with the EQ options. Id expect by this point to have a little more adjustability, but I've yet to see a "middle-class priced" vehicle with anything significantly better so I guess its really a moot point. Overall I'm very impressed and gotta say its really does make the vehicle interior wise.


Radio/Ipod:

Well to me not really any noticeable upgrades or changes to the actual sound. You'll still have your base and upgraded audio speaker systems to pick from. I wish somebody in the oem world would realize we'd like a little more adjustability in the EQs besides 3 bars and a fade/balance option. For the Ipod they brought back the playlist option, the original 8.4s didn't have play-from-playlist unless you got the software upgrade. The bluetooth feature for audio works great. Sometimes a little too great, I ran into an issue where everytime I get in the truck it automatically starts playing the ring tones from my blackberry as soon as it makes the phone connection. I'm betting this may just be the stupid blackberry as it doesn't do it with my wife's Galaxy. Ipod bluetooth is slick and picks it up even if its in the back. On the radio side of the house I love the way favorites and score alerts work now. For both, you now have the options to set the driver alert type independently and can choose from none, audio, or audio/visual. The added bonus is instead of putting a big box in the middle of the screen its just a small emblem in the top left corner. So now you aren't forced to make a decision to goto station or cancel just to get ride of the notification. If you touch it it will open up a list and show you ALL the songs and/or scores currently going on. Kinda nice for those of us with multiple teams or if a song comes on at the same time. If you don't do anything the emblem just stays lit and it will ding again when there is another score or another fav. song. Back to the ipod part the only thing that bothers me in the lag between the steering wheel controls and the desired action. If I click the change song toggle it takes between 3-4 seconds for the change over to happen. Again not a huge deal but an annoying lag if you're trying to go multiple songs forward and have to wait for it to catch up.

Uconnect Access Apps:
This is definitely a slick little addition. You'll need to register in order to use it, which also requires a moparowners.com account. You should have one of these anyways so not a big deal. The basic gist is you'll input your email address, it sends you an email with a link to activate. I was able to access the link on my ipad, so you don't need to be on a computer to do it. You'll go through the registration which asks to for your owner login or forces you to create an account. Finally you'll be able to pick from the available apps to install. Right now you only have Wifi Hotspot or the Access Preferred App package. The Access Preferred is free for 6 months and gives you remote commands(anything you can do on your key fob), theft tracking, consierge/assistance, and a few other minor things. It will ask you for some credit card info if you want to setup an account for future app purchases, but you can just skip this if you're concerned about it renewing on its own for now. There was no price available when I signed up. The Wifi Hotspot was $14.99 a day and had some other options as well. Just another tidbit, its going to ask you for a pin, do NOT do 1234 or anything stupidly easy, as this is what it will ask for to authenticate purchases. It doesn't tell you this when you originally set up the pin, but later on lol. So now you're all set for access. You can login to your moparowner account to do all the remote unlock and such OR you can download the app from intunes or android. The App is called Uconnect Access. The link to download from the email notification didn't work for me. Both ways(app vs. website) worked fine for me. Was about a 3-5 minute delay from when I clicked the button to when my doors locked. If you happen to be in another state it will also let you know the status(sending or sent). I couldn't get it to error out even in the garage so not sure what the status message would be for that.

Controls:
So nothing really new vs. the previous 8.4 to report here. My only beef and/or suggestion is get the auto temp package for 2 reasons.
1. In the manual controls they split up the warm/cold buttons. The cold is on the driver side of the fan speed knob, the warm is on the passenger side. Sounds silly but wait till you're driving and don't want to have to look down to find the warm button. Aesthetically it makes sense(balances out the panel layout), but functionally they should of put the buttons together.
2. The manual control gets a very tiny red/blue bar in the top left corner for your temperature visual. Like in the 4.3" base screens in the LXs. PITA to see or tell if you're actually moving the temp.

The camera is much better, especially at night, vs. my wife's 13 WK AND now has turning bars to indicate where you'll end up with the wheel turned in a certain position.

**Update 12/7** Phone:
They've added text to speech which allows you to listen to messages(even while moving) and respond via voice(only if stopped). It works great and even picks up on most of the slang words like LOL. Only annoying thing is if you're on nav it will auto switch you to the text options screen and you'll have to cancel/ignore or listen to it to get back to nav. Very annoying if you're lost and trying to follow the purple line! Also if you tell your friends it reads them out loud expect 2 days worth of dirty text messages.

Ok well I've only be messing with everything for about 2 weeks now, so I'll update the post if I have any new insights or come across new functions/apps.

Updates:
Remote CD player is $120.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:31 PM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

Do these RA3/4 radios have the built in hard drive like previous nav radios?
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:06 PM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

Check out the radio section on the WK2Jeeps site. It should have all the information on there.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:15 PM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

Does the remote app work with Blackberry??
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:43 AM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

Nice write up...Thanks!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:43 PM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

I could not get it to work with my curve, couldnt even get it to download. Seems it will only work on apples and newer androids.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:15 PM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

That figures! I will have to text my wife to have her remote start my ride with her iPhone. :-) Just another reason for her to tell me how much an iPhone is better than a BB...
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: Review of the NEW RA3/4 Radio - 14WK Pees

well I just got an email that says the app will soon be available onthe blackberry market place. I'm betting that it will only work with the new BB they're about to release.
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WKs:1(05 Hemi - currently in driveway)

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