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Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit - Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit

Summary

Our Score:

8

The first time the Minikit Slim is paired with a handset it automatically grabs the phonebook, which it then keeps synced with the phone. There's space for 1,000 contacts per connected phone (up to a maximum 2,500), which should be enough even for the most sociable of socialites, or business types. Placing a call to one of these contacts couldn't be simpler: just press the green call button and announce your intended recipient when asked.

That request is responded with a either quick confirmation, for example "calling River Tam cellular" (for some reason despite knowing a 'Z' is pronounced 'zed' a mobile is still a cellphone) or, if you have more than one number stored for that one contact, being prompted as to which of these you wish to use.

Alternatively, to bypass this stage, you can use commands like "call Dad, mobile", just "Dad, mobile" or even "Rachel Bilson, mobile". Unfortunately the latter didn't seem to work for me, as I don't have a single member of The OC cast's phone number but there's no harm in trying, right?

According to the manual, if the voice recognition doesn't work, then you can navigate to the Voice Tag menu item and tie a custom recording to one or more contact. The problem with this is that on the model I had, there was inexplicably no such menu item initially, although bizarrely resetting (pressing and holding the call and hang-up buttons to clear the device's memory) and re-syncing with my phone fixed that. Incidentally, does anyone really think having a password of 1234 (or 0000, 1111, etc) is helpful or, indeed, necessary on a Bluetooth handset?

The final way to call a contact is to use the central wheel to navigate alphabetically through the stored list, with each name being read out as you scroll through. It's at this point that it becomes very obvious that the speech synthesis engine still needs just a bit more work. I'm pretty sure, for example, that Ascot isn't pronounced "azzz-coat".

Sound quality when you finally manage to make a call is acceptable, but not excellent. It's entirely possible to hold a decent conversation, concentrating your full attention on the road while doing so, of course, but both parties will be aware that the conversation is taking place via a hands-free kit. Overall, though, the Minikit Slim again shows itself up as an entirely competent piece of kit.

Verdict

If you're attracted by the idea of a hands-free kit, but don't want a headset, Parrot has the solution for you. Parrot's Minikit Slim is well designed, easy to use and is reasonable value for money, too.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8

Mikko Lahti

August 23, 2008, 3:23 pm

I always keep my car's sunvisors "flipped over" the sun-blocking position, so that they're touching the windshield. Of course this depends a lot on the car, the windshield needs to be in a steep angle, which it isn't in older cars or any car with more "boxy" features. But I figure that this product was actually meant to be used like this in new cars, always on the "wrong side", at least for me that would be the best way in my car. Just my two cents ;)

Mikko Lahti

August 24, 2008, 11:25 pm

Ah let me correct myself, always on the RIGHT side, I meant of course.

Frankf9d

August 30, 2008, 2:25 am

This could prove a good alternative for those of us who don't want too look 'secret service'in our cars and it has the advantage over in - built car systems in that you can upgrade your phone without needing to spend 𧷤 getting the car kit also into synch.


I like the idea that contacts are uploaded to the device and wonder if the reverse is possible, ie new phone and even different operating system, can you use it to transfer previously WM contact info straight to a Nokia/Symbian phone ?


WARNING! SOUR GRAPES POINT COMING UP.


One major problem still, is that Bluetooth (while on the go) is still rubbish, or in more technically restrained language, not there yet, something clearly not understood by THE LAW, I have been imformed that transgression now merits six points, but have not verified this.


Until call quality gets to "excellent" or they repeal the law, I will continue to ignore calls while I am driving and get back to people later, when there is more chance of an understood conversation, not a dangerously distracting and frustrating one.

MikeH

April 16, 2009, 6:01 am

Having just shifted from a BMW 3 with built-in bluetooth to a Ford with no bluetooth option (shame on you Ford), I got one of these. It's ok, but doesn't really compare with a built-in system like the BMW. For starters, you have to remember to turn it on and turn it off. Secondly, it has to be charged up about once a week. Next, it doesn't auto-mute the stereo system when a call comes in. And lastly, the quality doesn't compare. It works and it is useable and it's better than a headset but just barely. Oh, one good thing: it is actually a pretty good speakerphone if you take it inside and put it on the table. Oh, and one more good thing: you can take it with you when you travel. One funny thing: I put it in my checked luggage on a recent flight and somehow it got powered on in my suitcase. When I got in the plane my iPhone indicated that I was connected to the speakerphone. It was reassuring to know that my luggage was on the plane ;-)

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