While a review of the Blackberry Mini Stereo Speaker may sound like it's better suited for our friends over at Crackberry.com, the tiny Bluetooth speaker works rather well with our Windows Phones.
The Mini Stereo Speaker is compact, has very good audio quality and has decent battery life. While the mini speaker works great as a external speaker for listening to music, it may not be very practical as a hands-free solution for your Windows Phone.
The Blackberry Mini Stereo Speaker measures 3.5" x 2.28" x 1.08" and only weighs 98 grams, about the size of two decks of playing cards. The Mini Speaker comes packaged with a micro-USB charging cable, 3.5mm stereo auxiliary cable and various translations of the user guide.
Working around the speaker you have the power switch and the charging port/headphone jack on opposite ends of the speaker. The power button has a led light that serves as an indicator/confirmation/alert for pairing, incoming calls, mute status and low battery.
Volume and play/call function buttons are on the side/bottom of the speaker (where it opens up). The volume buttons double as directional controls for advancing/repeating songs (just press and hold).
The design is somewhat interesting with the speakers "U" shape which allows the speaker to be attached to a backpack shoulder strap. The design won't allow the speaker to fit on a car visor though. The ends and opening of the speaker are squared off to allow the Mini Speaker to be stood up easily.
Battery life is rated at up to 16 hours for talk time and up to 14 hours for streaming time. In using the speaker over the past few days these estimates are close to the mark.
As a Bluetooth speaker to listen to music and other audio files, the Blackberry Mini Stereo Speaker performs admirably. It's a nice option to consider if you need to belt your tunes across the room.
As a Bluetooth speakerphone, the Mini Speaker also does fairly well. The echo and noise cancelation feature does a nice job of filtering out background noise and caller volume is very ample.
The calling features are respectful and include:
- Answer/end calls
- Mute calls
- Last number redial
- Call waiting
- Conference calls
- Call Ignore
The Blackberry Mini Speaker doesn't have voice command support.
While the build quality, audio performance and battery life is really good on the Mini Speaker, it won't appeal to everyone. It will be difficult to use the Blackberry Mini Speaker in the car unless you attach it to your seat belt (which isn't very safe) or cut the padding out of your car visor (which is rather destructive). I also don't see the Mini Speaker being used as a hands-free solution while attached to a backpack strap (who wants their conversation broadcast to the world) but maybe as a speakerphone for the office?
I think the Blackberry Mini Stereo Speaker shines the most as a portable Bluetooth speaker for listening to music with. The call features are just an added bonus should you get a call while listening to your favorite album or audio book. I just really wish the design allowed it to fit on a car visor. The audio quality is really good and would make for a great car speakerphone.
The Blackberry Mini Stereo Speaker is currently running $99.95 and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.
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