Scosche SolChat solar-powered Bluetooth speakerphone review:

Scosche SolChat solar-powered Bluetooth speakerphone

If you don't have the caller stored in your SolChat, a recorded female voice will simply say, "Incoming call," and start saying the incoming number when your cell phone rings in the car (you touch the main button on the speakerphone to accept the call or hold it down for three seconds to reject it). This model also supports voice dialing so long as your mobile phone supports it (and you have it set up with the contacts on your phone). To voice dial, you tap the speakerphone button once and say a contact's name to have your phone dial the number.

We also like that once you set up a pairing between your cell phone and SolChat, they automatically connect when you enter your car and turn on the speakerphone. SolChat automatically turns off once the pairing is broken and that same female voice tells you the pairing has been broken and that the unit is shutting down.

In terms of performance, we didn't have any major complaints. The speakerphone was definitely loud enough on our end. In our test calls in the car, most callers said they could hear us "pretty well," though there was some slight echoing (on their end) and occasionally we were asked to repeat something we'd just said.

Scosche isn't the only manufacturer making solar-charging Bluetooth speakerphones. To name a few competitors, you have Iqua's Vizor SUN Solar Powered Bluetooth Car Kit, Anycom's SCK-200 Hands-Free Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakerphone, and LG's HFB-500. They all retail in the $60 to $100 range, fit in a pocket, and have similar features, though not necessarily voice announce.

Of those competitors, we've only reviewed the LG and the SCK-200's predecessor, the Anycom SCK-1. We give the edge to the LG because of its capability to connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. But if that's not a concern--and if you can get it for 20 percent to 25 percent off its list price of $100--the Scosche SolChat is certainly worthy of consideration.

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