For purposes of both safety and, increasingly, compliance with hands-free device laws, having a Bluetooth speakerphone in your car is increasingly desirable -- especially if you find yourself on the road frequently (calling all sales types). What you don't want to deal with is a buggy device, a device with poor battery life, or, really, a device that is fussy in any way. These things are supposed to make your life easier, after all. Enter: The SuperTooth Crystal.
We've had our hands on the SuperTooth Crystal (about $70) for a couple weeks, and it near-seamlessly integrated itself into the daily routine. Installation is simple: Attach a clip to your visor, and the Crystal will magnetically stick to that clip. Easy to remove, easy to put back. And its ability to synch up with a phone is the easiest such unit we've ever used. That it looks cool and futuristic (sort of like a giant, flat vitamin pill) is just a bonus.
But how does it perform? Very well, in fact. Calls are easy to answer (huge, distinct buttons for calling and volume), people have indicated clear conversations on their end, and the volume and clarity is just fine on our end as well. Plus the device can stream your phone's music or directions from your phone's navigator app. The voice recognition calling works pretty well. The phone's battery, in casual use (1-2 calls plus 1-2 hours of streaming per day for two weeks), has not yet run out of juice (the company claims up to 20 hours of hands-free talk time or 40 days of stand-by time with a three-hour charge).
One neat feature we've yet to see in other units is that the speakerphone will reconnect to your phone automatically on entering your car, further mitigating the fiddling necessary with older-generation units. Bonus: Two phones can be paired at the same time, so if your work and home phones are different, both can be actively ready to access via the Crystal.
Finally, the unit comes with an in-car charger that has a mercifully small form factor and doesn't protrude very far out of the lighter outlet. Of course, this is car-dependent, but this is the first in-car charger that allows simultaneous use of my car's retractable cup-holder.
In sum: This is an affordable unit with some cool bells and whistles that, most importantly, fulfills its primary function without complication. Recommended.
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