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Novero Victoria Bluetooth headset early review: Ringa bling bling

Nokia-offshoot Novero gets out its glue gun and a handful of diamonds to bedazzle us with Bluetooth headsets like we've never seen before

Flora Graham
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If you're a Russian oligarch who's already bought his ladyfriend an art gallery, an editorship of a magazine and a hundred acres on the Moon, what's next? Perhaps a £100,000 Bluetooth headset, madame?

Novero, a company formed by ex-Nokia managers keen to express their stylish sides, today showed off a range of Bluetooth gadgets that target the fashion-conscious who still want to yell into empty space.

The Victoria range -- there's also a Victor, for the blokes -- starts at €200 and peaks at "six-digit" prices for a specially commissioned version that sports a 2-carat diamond and natural pearl chain, pictured above.

We took the less-expensive version of the headset for a test run and found it comfortable to wear, as long as no one was looking our way. A single button controls the volume, which means you have to cycle all the way through the settings to get to the one you want -- not ideal if you can't hear, or if you have a loud talker on the line. Another button allows you to answer calls and redial.

The headsets support Bluetooth 2.1 and hands-free profile 1.5 for voice calling, and include software processing to reduce background noise and echoes. Lack of A2DP means you won't be rocking out to music, though.

Novero says the Victoria range is just the start of its blingathon of fashion-led technology products, which will eventually include mobile phones. The Victoria Bluetooth headsets should be available in UK department stores and lifestyle shops in the autumn this year.

We all know Bluetooth headsets make most people look a bit of a prat -- the question is, does a Bluetooth necklace tone down the geekitude or kick it up to a new level of lame? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Click 'Continue' to see how the beautiful people chat. 

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The Victoria headsets feature a microphone, USB port and buttons in the pendant, and a single earpiece that clings to the necklace with a magnet. The necklace opens at the pendant with a magnetic clasp, allowing a complete circuit around the back of the neck to the ear piece. This photo shows the mass-market version of the diamond-and-pearl headset, which has gold plating and artificial pearls.
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There's also an open 'choker' design, which hangs around the neck without connecting at the front. Because the wire is stiff, we found the necklace felt secure, even though it didn't close at the front.
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A white Apple iMac-inspired design and a longer chain with lapis beads also aim to strike the ladies' fancy.

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