Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Parrot MINIKIT Slim
Hands-free calling with flat panel technology.
- Slim design, lightweight build, voice recognition, text-to-speech
- Controls take a while to grasp, questionable build quality, no power light, volume could be louder
Parrot’s MINIKIT Slim is competent but not outstanding. Voice recognition and text-to-speech are excellent inclusions but build quality and controls aren’t the best.
Price$ 119.00 (AUD)
Featuring NXT flat panel technology, the Parrot MINIKIT Slim definitely lives up to its name. While the performance of this speakerphone is reasonable, a questionable control system and mediocre build quality may turn some potential buyers away.
In terms of design, the MINIKIT Slim is definitely appealing. Like most in-car speakerphones, it relies on a metal clip that is attached to your sun visor. Build quality is an issue, however: the clip never felt sturdy and didn’t stay firmly in place. The MINIKIT Slim uses NXT flat panel technology, which is commonly associated with TDK mini hi-fi systems. This allows the unit to retain a thin and stylish build with sleek curves and a lightweight frame.
The minimalist control system is a hit and miss affair. The MINIKIT Slim’s user guide is definitely a valuable resource given the device's learning curve. While the controls themselves — a power key, jog dial and green function button — sound fairly straightforward, grasping each of their functions does require some patience. A particular annoyance is the fact that the MINIKIT Slim’s LED doesn’t denote when it is powered on or off. It only lights up when the unit is being charged.
Once paired, the green button answers incoming calls, activates the voice recognition function and calls the last dialled number. The unit can pair and remember up to five separate phones. The end call key rejects an incoming call or ends a current call, while the dial adjusts volume and also allows users to navigate through automated switchboards. Conveniently, when your phone is paired with the unit for the first time it automatically synchronises your phonebook, allowing it to announce caller’s names using text-to-speech technology. If the synchronisation doesn’t work automatically, you can send your contacts to the unit manually.
To make a call without using your phone, simply tap the call button and say the name of the contact you wish to call, as per your phonebook. The MINIKIT Slim does a reasonable job but can struggle with some names, especially long ones. In most instances it’s pretty accurate and this is a convenient way to quickly dial a phone number without reaching for your handset. If you struggle with voice dialling you can use the dial to select your phone book and navigate through your contacts alphabetically. Navigate to the starting letter and the MINIKIT Slim reads out all contacts beginning with that letter. A simple press of the dial then makes the call.
Voice quality is excellent, though it is not as crisp or loud as the Supertooth 3. Incoming audio could have been a lot louder; however, our callers had little complaints with outgoing audio, even with the windows down and some wind noise. In noisy traffic we would have appreciated more punch in the volume.
Included in the sales package are an in-car charger and a standard mini-USB cable. The latter allows charging as well as future software upgrades via your PC.
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