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Your mobile phone is a smarter, more capable -- not to mention cheaper -- entertainment and information device than any gadget you'll find in your car, so its about time we all got with the programme and mounted our mobiles in our motors.
One excellent way of achieving this is using gaffer tape and a healthy squirt of No More Nails, and another is to use the Parrot Minikit Smart -- a Bluetooth-equipped suction mount that clamps your mobile to the windscreen of your car.
Stick it to the van
The Minikit Smart consists of two parts. The first section attaches to your windscreen via a suction mount, with a clip creating the necessary vacuum so you don't have to lick the base. The second section, a spring-loaded clamp, holds your mobile in place. This is lined with a soft foamy material that prevents your precious handheld from being scratched, and is mounted on a ball hinge, so it is possible to twist your phone into portrait or landscape orientations, or to angle it up or down as you see fit.
The clamp held onto our test mobile like a vice, with absolutely no danger of it slipping away -- even when tested with 'enthusiastic' driving. This means the Minikit Smart can also be used on a motorbike, or, if you're interested in recording your journey, as a camera mount.
One of the Parrot Minikit Smart's primary functions is to help users make hands-free calls. To help facilitate this, the device comes with integrated Bluetooth and a 2-watt speaker that is noticeably louder than the speakers on most mobiles. Any calls routed through the Minikit Smart sound a lot better than they would coming out of your mobile, and it's possible to play any music stored on your mobile via the Minikit Smart's speakers, which could come in handy if your car stereo is broken.
Call it off
Placing calls via the Minikit Smart is simple. Push the button with the green LED on the front, and the device verbally asks "who do you want to call?", which you may answer with a name. The device will then ask whether you want to call the home, cell phone or office numbers for that contact, before putting you through.