Some people just really don't like wearing Bluetooth headsets. There are numerous reasons for this; long hair getting tangled, small ears making wear uncomfortable, or just not liking the way they look. The solution for these folks is some type of speakerphone, whether built in to your car or as an additional purchase.
Parrot is one of those manufacturers that I always keep an eye on to see what they're releasing. If you read the review of the Parrot MINIKIT, you know what there were some shortcomings in the design and execution of that particular model. If you're on the lookout for a Bluetooth speakerphone, don't go anywhere. This could be the one for you.
The first thing you notice about the MINIKIT Slim, is how thin it is. Shocking right? But seriously, there is no comparison between the Slim and the original MINIKIT. Parrot again uses a rubberized knob to control volume and to navigate through the devices menu. A large vibrating panel replaces the typical speaker ports.
Button placement is also improved. The squarish shape of the MINIKIT Slim (as opposed to the teardrop shape of the original) allows for easy button use. With the original, I was never sure which way to push the button. With the Slim it is quite intuitive.
A wire visor clip is included with this model instead of the solid clip, I personally prefer the wire version as this makes it much easier to place on your visor than the full metal version that always seemed too strong to me.
As with the original model, the MINIKIT Slim uses a standard micro usb port for charging. An LED placed by the charging port shows you your battery status during the charge.
Basic functionality requires the Bluetooth speakerphone to be paired to your phone. The MINIKIT Slim supports the Object Push Profile and the Phone Book Access Profile in addition to the Hands Free Profile that is commonly found in Bluetooth Headsets. These additional profiles are used to transfer your contacts from your phone (assuming it is compatible with these profiles as well) to the Speakerphone.
The first time that you pair your OPP/PBAP compatible Bluetooth phone, you may get a message (as I did) that your MINIKIT is attempting to access your contact list. This was both surprising and impressive the first time I saw this happen.
The big seller with this product, as with its predecessor, is the voice functionality. The ability to transfer your contacts is a massive improvement in this product line. With the old MINIKIT, you would have to transfer individual contacts, and create voiceprints (the sounds you make when you speak the person's name for example) for each and every contact. It you had more than a few contacts, this turned into a major ordeal. The MINIKIT Slim simply reads in your contacts and attempts to match your voice to the contact automatically. Voiceprints can be created in order to fine tune the experience. The other huge benefit that this brings about is that the speakerphone can now be used by multiple people. With the previous version this could become an issue because of different peoples voices not matching very well.
Actually using the voice functionality is as simple as pushing a button and saying a persons name and phone type (Home, Work or Mobile). This activates the phone and places your call.
The vibrating panel gives off fairly decent sound. The size allows for considerable volume without bringing in too much distortion. I personally wouldn't want to listen to music through the thing but it does an admirable job handling voice conversations.
Parrot has hit this one out of the park. My biggest issues with the original MINIKIT were the painful process of importing contacts, the visor clip that was difficult to use, and the sheer size of the device. With the MINIKIT Slim, all of these things have been fixed or even turned into one of the device's strengths. If I had to find something to complain about with this device it would have to be the fact that it's priced at a rather hefty $109.95. In my opinion though, it’s worth every penny.
|Ratings (out of 5)Design: 5Usability: 5Sound Quality: 4Overall:
|ProsVery easy to useSimple, compact designConsRather expensive
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