Having previously reviewed 2 other MiniKit devices from Parrot’s range of hands-free car kits, I’m sure you’re not too unfamiliar with the brand, or even the product itself. Although the device made its debut in December of 2010, it’s still one of the more popular hands-free devices Parrot has to offer. The biggest difference between this, the Parrot MiniKit Smart, and the previous devices (the MiniKit+ and MiniKit Slim) is that it can also cradle your smartphone well driving.
“Bluetooth hands-free charging holder for Smartphones. Voice recognition and speech synthesis.”
The Parrot MiniKit Smart comes standard with 2W integrated speaker, call buttons, volume control and the cradle, in which to mount your smartphone to the car’s dashboard or windscreen. Also included with the device is the USB port, which allows you to charge your smartphone as it is cradled. In terms of additions, features and functionality, there you won’t find anything more than what is available on the MiniKit+ and MiniKit Slim.
Along with the limited additional features, the MiniKit Smart is surprisingly offbeat, again compared to the previous devices. With somewhat squeaky sound, the volume has to be turned up a bit to make voice calls more audible. The biggest problem, however, lies in the cradle itself. On its own, the device is quite heavy. If you were to add your smartphone, it becomes almost silly. This makes it quite tricky to mount onto your windscreen and keep it there while driving. Since the device has to be mounted, either onto the windscreen or dashboard, it also takes more time to setup than the clip on variation of the MiniKit+ and MiniKit Slim.
It seems a bit harsh to continually compare the MiniKit Smart to the MiniKit+ and MiniKit Slim, but if you consider that the device offers the same functionality as the 2 devices, you can only focus on the difference, and whether the additional features make it of worth. At an average cost above R1000, the MiniKit Smart is quite a bit pricier as well. Since all it offers in addition is its cradling feature, you have to really weigh the pros and cons. In my opinion, the MiniKit+ and MiniKit Slim do enough as hands-free devices to make the purchase of the MiniKit Smart of much value.
One a positive note for Parrot, the original MiniKit devices are good enough as is, and don’t require any gimmicks and additions to improve the product.