Harman Kardon's Esquire Mini is one of those products you'd love to receive as a gift, but you might hesitate to acquire on your own for $150 (£124.95 UK, $229 AU). It's part Bluetooth speaker, part high-quality portable speakerphone and part external battery charger. It's also one slick-looking product, with a slim unibody design (238 grams or 8.1 ounces) and retractable kickstand.
So why the hesitation?
Well, while it performs very well as a speakerphone -- it's got dual microphones and built-in echo and noise cancellation technology -- it doesn't produce much bass and sounds pretty mediocre as a music speaker. It plays louder and produces better sound than your typical smartphone, but you can get speakers that sound significantly better for the money, including Harman's own, which only costs $100.
The Esquire Mini, which comes in a few different color options, has an audio input, as well a USB output so you can connect a Micro-USB (included) or Lightning cable and charge your smartphone. The only issue is that the speaker houses a 2,000mAh lithium battery, which is essentially the same battery you'd find in a Mophie charging case. That battery delivers 8 hours of music playback (for the speaker) and will fully charge your phone. However, doing so would completely drain the speaker's battery.