I am in the market for a new phone but I need one that supports the RSAP bluetooth profile so that it integrates with the premium car phone kit in my VW Passat. I had this problem last time around and opted for the Nokia E71, which integrates seamlessly.
This time around though I want a smart phone, but I still need the compatibility with my car kit. It seems that RSAP (Remote SIM Access Profile) is a technology that Nokia created, so other manufacturers have to license it in order to use it. This means there are very few phones that support it, other than Nokia of course.
However, I checked out the reviews for the new Nokia N8 but it doesn’t really float my boat and there’s nothing else in the Nokia range that appeals to me. I’d quite like an iPhone 4, but doing a load of googling reveals that this doesn’t support RSAP either. Windows Phone 7 also does not support RSAP. Blackberry apparently does support RSAP, and the Blackberry Torch looks like a contender, but then reading the reviews reveals that it’s a bit glitchy, slow and few applications are available for it.
So then I started to look at Android phones. I’m struggling to find any definitive answers but it seems that Android 2.2 does NOT support RSAP natively. I confirmed this by trying one of my colleagues phones (an HTC Desire HD running Android 2.2). My car kit sees the phone but when I try and connect to the it the car kit says it’s not compatible.
Digging deeper, it seems that the Samsung Galaxy S, does support RSAP, even though it’s running Android 2.2. It sounds like Samsung have licensed the RSAP technology from Nokia and implemented it themselves, but I have not been able to confirm this first hand (only by doing lots of googling). It also appears that Samsung are releasing an Android 2.3 update for the Galaxy S in March, and again, it appears that 2.3 “might” have RSAP support built-in (so maybe Samsung will drop their own bit of code – who knows?).
Now trying to confirm whether Android 2.3 includes native RSAP support or not is proving quite difficult – I have not found a definitive statement yet. But if it does, then that would open up my phone choice to any decent handset that is upgradeable to Android 2.3 (e.g. the HTC Desire HD I tried earlier). The Samsung Galaxy S gets knocked for it’s build quality and plasticky feel, but there’s a new Samsung Galaxy S “2″ coming out soon (it’s already on the Vodafone web site) with a better screen and a bunch of new features. So if that runs Android 2.3 and supports RSAP, maybe I should wait until that is out.
I’ll post back here when I have reached further conclusions. RSAP is used extensively by VW, Audi and Skoda so RSAP compatibility is important to a lot of people.