BlueAnt, makers of the super tough T1 bluetooth headset and the super cool Q2 bluetooth headset have leapt from your ear to your car dashboard with the S3 Compact Bluetooth Car Speakerphone.
About the same size as a BlackBerry Bold with a big fat clip at the back, the S3 is a multipoint speakerphone that – in a similar fashion to it’s in-ear cousins – will talk you through set up from the moment you turn it on. Installation is a case of finding somewhere to attach the big fat clip – generally your car sun visor.
If you’re popular enough to get calls the S3 will announce the caller’s name or number (which is handy if you have more important things to be looking at … like the road) and you have to reply with “Answer” or “Ignore” for action. I did a non-scientific mumble test and the S3 seemed to demand a reasonable level of clarity – it couldn’t decipher my teenage boy level of mumbles but was fine with slightly rushed or slurred speech.
There is a pretty cool vibration sensor that can detect when you get back into the car and then automatically reconnects your phone. The sound quality is good – with wind, noise and echo cancellation technologies all combining to provide what BlueAnt refer to as “loud, booming” audio. You can also use it as a multipoint device, connecting passenger and driver devices. You could technically listen to music or a podcast through the S3, but you’d have to have a pretty rubbish built-in car stereo system for this to be an option. More realistically, you can listen back to turn-by-turn GPS apps guide you safely from A-to-B.
BlueAnt claim you can get 20 hours talk time and 600 hours standby off a 3 hour charge, and testing seemed to bear this out.
The BlueAnt S3 is out now. www.blueant.co.uk