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.
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.