Parrot Minikit+ review: Parrot Minikit+

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Parrot Minikit+

(Part #: CNETPARROTMINIKIT+)
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Parrot Minikit+ offers hands-free calling and A2DP audio streaming. It automatically downloads the phone book off a paired phone, enabling voice dialing of any stored contact. The noise- and echo-reducing microphone ensures clear calls.

The Bad Speaker quality is passably good, but could stand a bit of improvement.

The Bottom Line The Parrot Minikit+ makes good use of its voice controls and excellent microphone to deliver clear calls and a safer driving experience.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 5.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 9.0

If the product above looks familiar, don't be surprised. The Parrot Minikit+ shares not only a design but also its name with the previously reviewed Parrot Minikit Slim . I was a bit nonplussed about what the suffix change from Slim to + meant, but it turns out that Parrot has made incremental changes across the board to the Minikit's already great performance.

Design
Where design is concerned, the Minikit+ doesn't differ considerably from the original Minikit Slim. Its dimensions are roughly the same: 2.4 inches wide, 4.3 inches long, and about 1.1 inches deep at its thickest end. The device is now all black, versus black and silver, but the business end of the unit is still home to the same control knob flanked by call accept and end buttons.

The rest of the unit's user-facing surface is dominated by a flat panel speaker, which is loud and clear for the portion of the audible spectrum that the average human voice lives in, but is probably too tinny and distorted to be called "enjoyable." Then again, just because the Minikit+ can play music doesn't mean that it was designed for or should be used for such a thing.

The unit attaches to a vehicle with a thin, wire hanger that sits flush with the device's chassis when not in use and stretches to accommodate most sun visors. In the event that your vehicle's sun visor is simply too thick, Parrot also includes an elastic band that wraps around the visor, giving the Minikit+ something to grip.

The Minikit+ also ships with a 12-volt-to-USB power adapter and a length of USB cable for charging the speakerphone via its Mini-USB port (located on the unit's edge). The Minikit+ can be used with or without the power adapter in place thanks to its internal battery, which gets up to 12 hours of talk time, 15 days of standby, or some combination thereof with a 3.5-hour charge. The device accomplishes this extremely long standby time by shutting almost complete down when not in use or when out of range of a paired phone and reactivating when its internal motion sensor notices that you've re-entered the vehicle, jostling the chassis with your body weight.

Features
The Bluetooth-powered Parrot Minikit+ really only does two things: functions as a speakerphone with hands-free profile-enabled devices and streams audio from A2DP-enabled devices. The latter function is more of a bonus than an actual selling point, but we'll come back to that momentarily.

After pairing with a Bluetooth-enabled phone via a four-digit PIN, the Minikit+ will automatically attempt to download the user's address book. An option to manually trigger an address book sync is also present in the device's menus. There's room in the internal memory for a claimed 2,000 contacts per paired phone, and since the Minikit+ can remember pairing data for up to 10 phones, that brings the maximum number of saved contacts to 20,000.

Not only can this speakerphone remember the last 10 phones it's connected to, but it can also pair with up to two of them simultaneously thanks to its implementation of multipoint technology. Now that doesn't mean that you'll be able carry on two simultaneous conversations, but the device will assign a unique ringtone to each of the two currently paired phone so that you'll know which line you're answering.

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