R-Link Multimedia System (Image: Renault)

R-Link Experimentation

I’m still finding my way with the ZOE’s R-Link multimedia system. Since getting the ZOE I have mostly just used it as a conventional satnav and not much else, so this weekend I decided to experiment a bit further with it.

First of all I tried out the multimedia functions. R-Link has a nice radio that is straightforward to use – it can be a nuisance to scroll through all the different stations but there is a ‘favourites’ option so you can get to your regular stations quickly.

I plugged in a USB drive containing various MP3 albums and videos. By default it starts playing the MP3 tracks as soon as you insert the drive but it does so in alphabetical order, which seems pretty daft. However, you can select music by album instead and then you get a more logical ordering.

It played a couple of MP4 music videos fine, though it wouldn’t play some large MP4 TV programmes, nor a video in MOV format.

I haven’t yet used the satnav (provided by TomTom) very much yet. However, I did experiment with putting in a couple of addresses via the voice recognition system (activated by a button the steering wheel). After a shaky start, and once I realised you need to listen for a prompt beep before speaking, I found it worked pretty well (albeit rather slowly) and surprisingly effectively.

Finally I tried changing the system units from miles to kilometres as I want to do some energy consumption testing to compare with other data reported in kilometres. I was surprised to see that this changed the units used for distances in the satnav to km and km/h but had no effect on the main driver’s dashboard which continued to use miles and miles per hour. This odd result, the fact that the ZE Voice pedestrian alarm sound can’t be set via R-Link, and the very limited control of the car’s main systems that you get through it (e.g. power levels, regeneration control, etc.) lead me to conclude that the R-Link is pretty much just a glorified satnav with some multimedia functions and is not at all tightly integrated to the vehicle’s core systems. This is perhaps not a great surprise since it was developed by TomTom.

In fact while the R-Link has some neat functions it is considerably more limited than I had hoped. Given it is an Android system permanently connected by GPRS to the ‘cloud’, where are the functions you expect to find on even the most basic Android tablet? I was expecting to be able to download music, audiobooks, games, utility apps and so on – and ideally also be able to browse the Internet.

While R-Link theoretically has the capability to download apps from the R-Link store – Renault’s version of the Google Play store – the current range of apps is pathetically poor with just a few forgettable options. There is just a single game available to buy – and that’s just Soduku (never mind Angry Birds or anything advanced).

I will continue to explore R-Link’s capabilities, but it will have to improve significantly over time through updates and upgrades before it can become a serious rival to some of the more sophisticated ‘infomedia’ systems being developed by Renault’s competitors.

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    Trevor Larkum

    I’m still finding my way with the ZOE’s R-Link multimedia system. Since getting the ZOE I have mostly just used it as a conventional satnav and not mu[See the full post at: R-Link Experimentation]



    Couple of my own observation / tips:

    – You can change the car symbol to a Zoe
    – You can deselect the gas stations in the POI’s (settings > navigation), but it won’t remember this setting in my case
    – In setting > navigation you can change route preference to always ask for route type, which triggers a question every time if you want fastest, shortest or “eco route” (faster without freeway). It won’t remember this setting in my case either.
    – Chargepoint database must be years old
    – iPhone won’t charge properly on USB (on and off all the time), the 12V (with plug) works fine.
    – Bluetooth streaming of music from iPhone works great and sounds really good (intens version with the upgraded audio system).



    Bluetooth keeps disconnecting and reconnecting on My HTC phone.

    Music files are not found on the HTC (even when the Bluetooth is connected).

    I use a USB memory stick for my music files. I was glad to find that R-Link is happy with .wma files.

    When inputting an address using the on-screen keyboard, attempting to enter a house number above 100 causes a message “Please enter a number between 0 – 100”. If I use the verbal input, it is OK with bigger numbers.



    BT connection is perfect on my iphone, streaming music is faultless all the time and gives great quality.


    Trevor Larkum

    I can play music and audiobooks over Bluetooth from my Nexus 7 tablet – but often have to select it as the Bluetooth source device twice.



    Until recently I’ve had no problem playing music via Bluetooth phone (galaxy nexus) as well as making calls etc. But now the connection for music is lost whilst the phone still works fine.
    When I check the connection settings I can see rlink tries to connect for music for a while and then gives up. I know I can use a USB stick instead, but ….
    Anyone any ideas how to fix? Big rest with secondary battery disconnection perhaps?



    I have the same problem with my HTC Wildfire.



    I had a bluetooth problem (I was getting stuttering music) over the xmas period and I wasn’t sure if it was due to other problems with my r-link. I noticed my wife’s phone didn’t have the same problem but I did notice that I sometimes had the same thing with USB (when usb worked, that is).

    Last week after having tried all sorts including restarting my phone and re-pairing to the r-link I thought I’d just start totally from scratch. I deleted all (not just my) phones from the r-link and then disabled bluetooth. I removed the pairing for the r-link from my phone and disabled bluetooth then I left everything for a day before re-enabling everything.

    This seems to have fixed the problem.

    My suspicion is that the r-link keeps a local db of all the media on your device and if it gets corrupted it gets stuck and spends a lot of resource trying to rebuild it (and failing). I suspect this is what caused a slowdown of my satnav which I notice has also stopped happening.

    As the db is used for both bluetooth and usb this would explain my symptoms.

    Anyhow, deleting everything and waiting for caches and stuff to clear appears to have done it for me 🙂



    Sorry to jump in on this. Does anyone have an issue with bluetooth only streaming music if it’s started on the phone? I get unknown showing (like it can’t find music) but if I start it though an app on the phone it works. The play (puause), forward and back buttons let me move around but only the album I’ve selected is available.

    I should point out all my music is on a micro-SD card in a Samsung Galaxy s3. Could be it can’t see the card I suppose.



    i had to get renault to update my r-link. bluetooth stopped working and even if the music was playing on the phone nothing would play via r-link. (renault called my update an update to an update).

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