Parrot, well known for producing a range of useful handsfree kits, have announced a new unit. This will attach to the windscreen, and hold the phone (it can be positioned vertically or horizontally to match the phone; especially useful for using the SatNav feature of many phones), and then connects to the phone via Bluetooth to provide the Handsfree kit. Most phones should fit (it adjusts between 56 and 70mm wide), and it has a 2W amplified speaker system for both the Handsfree and the SatNav information.
As well as being able to be plugged into the car, it has a secondary socket which allows you to plug in a charging cable to charge the phone directly from the unit (it comes with mini-USB, micro-USB and Apple cables); if the Handsfree is just running itself, the battery should support up to 10 hours talk time (and about a week on standby).
Many of these kits benefit from a microphone positioned closer to the driver, and the Parrot Minikit Smart has a built in retractable microphone. As with many previous Parrot kits, it will store up to 2000 contacts per smartphone in it’s own addressbook, and can store the records of 10 phones (although this is not a multipoint car kit, so it can only be connected to one phone at a time); it can use these records to allow (with no training) to hit the green button and say the name, and it will attempt to work out who to call, without needing voice activated dialling enabled within the phone either.
I would like to see Parrot adopting multipoint technology, as it does seem the one area where other manufacturers are starting to have a lead over Parrot, but in all other respects, this is a nice looking car kit, and especially good that it can charge the phone too.
This new unit should be available from good Parrot stockists this month (ie in time for Christmas) at £99.