What has your phone mount done for you lately? Sure, it may be great at simply holding your phone in place while driving but can it control your email, calendar, music, messaging apps, or communicate with Amazon Alexa all without picking up your phone? Thankfully, the ZeroTouch mount and mobile application from Logitech aim to increase your connection to technology, while still remaining hands-free on the road. We took some time to review the Logitech ZeroTouch system to see if this is the smart mount that your smartphone needs.
The mounting system that is key to integrating the ZeroTouch with your smartphone comes in two forms. You can purchase a cylindrical dash mount that angles to display your phone for $54 or the standard vent mount that attaches to your vehicle’s air vents for $50. The standard vent mount is black in color but red and white are also available for around $58. Each mount is made of durable rubber with a textured magnetic mounting point to adhere to your phone.
Our test model was a red air vent mount and the kit also includes two metal mounting plates, one smaller brushed metal plate emblazoned with “logi” and a larger black circular plate. You will need to mount one of the plates to the back of your smartphone, or inside of a thin phone case, in order to adhere to the magnetic base. The Nexus 6 that was used for our testing features wireless charging and the instructions had us place the plate near the top of the phone to avoid issues.
The $50 price may seem like quite a premium for an air vent mount, but the magic lies within the Bluetooth smart technology inside. “Bluetooth smart technology” is marketing speak for Bluetooth Low Energy technology and it allows the Logitech air vent mount to trigger the ZeroTouch mobile application on your Android phone when it detects a magnetic connection.
All of the voice-control features of the Logitech ZeroTouch mount are powered by the ZeroTouch mobile application. The application is free but will only work once connected with the Logitech mount and cannot be used otherwise. The ZeroTouch app is only available for Android as the iOS system does not give the permissions needed for an application to wake a phone and begin controlling other apps.
Various Amazon Alexa skills became increasingly useful when able to be accessed on the road through the ZeroTouch mount.
Prior to connecting the mount, you will be walked through how to attach the mounting plate and pair your phone’s Bluetooth to the system. You will then be asked to connect all your various music, email, and navigation accounts to the ZeroTouch system. The system supports a wide range of integrated services including Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, and even Amazon’s Alexa.
The ZeroTouch mount clipped onto the air vents in several test vehicles without issue. The magnetic mount holds strong, even with our heavier Nexus 6 test phone weighing in at 6.5oz. Upon connecting, an animation featuring the “logi” logo will flash across the screen and a notification will display to let you know you are now connected. We did have a few issues throughout our tests where the Bluetooth would disconnect at random. We would then have to unmount and mount the phone several times to try and get the connection back. When the device is connected, giving commands to the system is as easy as simply “high-fiving” your phone. Yes, you read that correctly, the system is triggered with a high-five.
The default method to wake the system is truly a high-five gesture where you hold your palm within 1-inch of the earpiece for half a second. This triggers a chime by default or can be customized with a custom greeting to let you know when it is ready for a command. Regardless of what app you may be running, the system wakes with this motion and is ready for your command. The system can even be used to open applications if you need to get a quick look at your calendar without touching your phone. Of course, you can also simply ask the ZeroTouch “what is on my schedule for today?” to get a vocal rundown of your day.
The basic commands break out into text, call, play, or navigate. With text, you are able to send a message via your voice through popular messaging apps such as Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, or even Facebook Messenger. The app was easily able to detect our messages and the name of our contacts within the various messaging systems. It will even display a contact photo along with a vocal confirmation of the message you would like to send. The call function is as straightforward as you will find with any modern in-vehicle voice command for Bluetooth calls. Play allows you to play albums, artists, or even playlists from your favorite music applications. The ZeroTouch had no issues taking our requests in Google Play Music, Pandora, and Spotify. Navigation can be setup to know both your home and work addresses and can bring up Google Maps in an instant to help find your way. Logitech has built in a Yelp search function so you can say things like “navigate to pizza” and it will list the top three local results and then navigate to your choice, all without having to touch your phone.
Vocal commands are nice, but the ZeroTouch also excels at allowing you to hear and respond to notifications. Your messaging apps and email accounts can be connected so that the app will open and ask to read incoming notifications. This was extremely useful to respond to text and email messages on the go. The system function as good as, if not better than, most modern vehicle integrated solutions. However, there isn’t a way to filter out which emails pop up and it did get rather tiring to have every promotional email in our Gmail account trigger a notification.
Amazon Alexa integration
When the device is connected, giving commands to the system is as easy as simply high-fiving your phone.
Thankfully, the Logitech ZeroTouch app has been updated to support talking to Alexa. This is a handy feature for those who may have smart home devices integrated with Alexa or are familiar with the system. We were able to turn on the lights on the drive home simply by waking the app, saying “Alexa, turn on living room lights,” and getting a vocal confirmation.
We also found that various Alexa skills became increasingly useful when able to be accessed on the road. You can place your favorite Starbucks order and have it ready by the time you arrive or order takeout from GrubHub and have a hot meal shortly after you arrive home, all from behind the wheel. The Amazon Music system is also built in and can play through your car speakers when connected to an AUX input or with the Bluetooth audio setting set up in the ZeroTouch settings.Our Take
The Logitech ZeroTouch may be expensive, but it delivers some voice control features that are difficult to find any other market. While the system had a few connection issues, when working, it functioned as well as any modern in-vehicle system to read your emails, text messages and give you complete control over your phone on the road.
Is there a better alternative?
The only other alternative exists in newer vehicle systems that will let you read and respond to messages or do things like play music or navigate via your voice. No other mounting system or aftermarket accessory accomplishes this.
How long will it last?
The update to include Amazon Alexa support came out nearly 6 months after the product was released. This shows that the company is likely to continue improving and keep the ZeroTouch relevant for some time.
Should you buy it?
Do buy this product if you are heavily integrated into the Amazon Alexa system to control your smart home devices or if you use Alexa Skills regularly. Don’t buy this product if you wouldn’t use any of the voice controls that Google Assistant couldn’t already handle for you.