"Very useful little gadget with only a few flaws"3.5 starson by nitsudima
Pros: Easy to set up and use. Good sound quality. Voice recognition works well. Automatically downloaded all of my Contacts during initial setup. Mounting clip holds well even to my thick sun visor.
Cons: Can't call a number that's not in your Contacts. No caller ID for callers not in your Contacts. Would prefer a small LED to let me know when it's on. Manual isn't detailed enough.
Summary: I didn't realize how useful a Bluetooth hands-free kit for my car would be until my wife got a car that had one built-in. Within the first week I was looking for aftermarket solutions for my car, and I settled on the Parrot Minikit Slim as an inexpensive alternative to modifying my existing car stereo or replacing the head unit entirely. After my first few days with the Minikit Slim I am impressed with how useful this little guy is.
Even with the inadequate manual, setup is fairly easy. Basic operations are easy enough to figure out once you're fully charged, paired with a phone, and able to tinker around. It downloaded my BlackBerry Storm2's Contacts automatically, and it's easy to use the wheel to jog through the list. Voice recognition also works pretty well with no training, although I find I have to use full names instead of just first names. For instance, I can't just say "Call Sarah" -- I have to say "Call Sarah Smith." (If there's more than one Sarah it tends to just pick one and automatically dial it without asking for confirmation!) I also can't say all of the options at once as the manual suggests (i.e. "Call Sarah Smith home"). I have to say the full name, wait until it asks me "Home, Business, or Cellular?" and then tell it "home." A minor inconvenience given how well it seems to work otherwise.
The clip on the back holds it securely to my car's sun visor, despite the fact that the visor itself is rather thick (I can't put my garage door opener on it at all). CNET remarked that the clip was cheap, but I don't think that's the case at all.
Sound quality is good. No one will think you're on a land line, but it's just about as good as using the speaker on my BlackBerry. I can talk in a normal voice and the other person can hear and understand me just fine. I haven't tried it with my windows or sunroof open, but I imagine not many devices are going to be able to filter out that kind of road noise.
My biggest complaint is the lack of dialing options for numbers not in the Contacts. If I want to order a pizza on the way home but don't have the number saved in my Contacts, the Minikit Slim has no way to call them! I think voice dialing by calling out individual numbers ("Call 5-5-5-1-2-3-4") is a basic need, and I was surprised to find that this feature is not supported at all. The manual suggests pulling the car over and using your phone to dial in this case! Of course you can do that and then transfer the call from your phone to the Minikit Slim with one button press (this also works in the other direction), but I'd rather be able to dial any number whether it's in my contacts or not.
The other feature the Minikit Slim is missing is caller ID for incoming calls not in your Contacts. The information is being passed through the phone system, so why can't this product read the numbers off? If the person calling is in your Contacts it will read their name to you, but anyone else just gets a plain ring tone. If I'm driving I'd prefer to be able to screen my calls better.
Despite these minor flaws, I'm very pleased with the Minikit Slim so far. I could have probably purchased a more expensive device and had the extra functionality (or spent an extra $1000 for the feature package that included Bluetooth when I bought my car), but given that I spent $70 I'm very pleased with the functionality this little guy offers me.