QuickLook: FoneGEAR Mini Blu Bluetooth Headset

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INTRODUCTION

    So many times we buy Bluetooth headsets sight unseen and voice unheard. The problem is just because a headset looks like it is going to suit you, doesn’t mean it is going to and it definitely doesn’t mean anything about how good of an accessory that headset is going to be for your phone. Until you’ve actually used a headset, put it in your ear and powered it up – there’s just no telling if it’s going to be the one for you. So can the FoneGEAR Mini Blu really deliver sight unseen and voice unheard? Read on to find out!

SPECIFICATIONS

    The FoneGEAR Mini Blu bluetooth headset is a very small 2 inches by 3/4 inch bluetooth headset that tips the scales at an astounding 0.4 ounces. The Mini Blu even with it’s very small size still boasts 75 hours of standby time and up to 4 hours of talk time and up to 30 feet of range.

Bluetooth Headset

Our Rating
Talk Time | Standby (hours)

Street Price
Bluetrek Metal
5 | 180
$50
Jabra BT8010
10 | 300
$70
BlueAnt Z9i
5.5 | 200
$70
Aliph Jawbone 2
4 | 192
$119
iqua BHS-303
6 | 150
$35
Gennum nx6000
6 | 75
$110
10 | 300
$75
5 | 150
$80
5.5 | 200
$70
4 | 75
$50
6 | 120
$110
9 | 250
$40
12 | 360
$75
3 | 100
$120
6 | 300
$45
3.5-10 | 80
$80
7 | 180
$50
4 | 250
$40
5 | 120
$60
6 | 300
$80
6 | 300
$60
30 | 700

$40
15 | 300

$80
7 | 300
$80
6 | 300
$55
7 | 100
$115
5 | 250
$40
2 | 100
$250
8 | 1000
$25
unrated
4 | 200
$40

AT A GLANCE

(all images link to higher resolution)

   

 The FoneGEAR Mini Blu comes in some pretty standard faire packaging. You know the kind… the plastic that cuts you about 4 times before you manage to get it open. The kind that no matter how hard you try it still ends up in a bunch of pieces and looks like your dog had an hour alone with it. The kind that you hope will eventually get recycled…

 In the “box” is of course the Mini Blu as well as a few other items like the charger, a small "comfort" cover, the ear hook attachment and a small lanyard for keeping track of the Mini Blu. Oh, there’s some instructionstoo. But who needs instructions?

 

As you can see there really isn’t a whole lot to learn about the Mini Blu. The controls on the device are very simple and don’t take very long to get used to. I found the front button (P2) easy to locate when a call comes in, and the volume buttons (V1/V2) are raised to a near perfect level which kept me from having to hunt for them despite having slightly chubby fingertips.

  

    Side-by-side with the Motorola H500. As you can see the Mini Blu is quite a bit smaller than the Moto and I can tell you it weighs quite a bit less. One of the biggest differences between these two headsets is that the H500 sits outside your ear where as the Mini Blu actually sits inside your ear. Because of this difference, the call quality between these two headsets is huge. The H500 is very quiet and makes many conversations in somewhat noisy areas difficult. I found the Mini Blu to be the exact opposite and sound quality was excellent even in a moving vehicle with the windows down. The Mini Blu however does inject some background sounds during calls in noisier environments, so keep your caller in mind – just because you can hear them doesn’t mean they are going to be able to hear you!

 The range was decent although only about 8-10 feet on my Treo 750 double that on my wife’s Moto Razr. The sound quality was really good on my end and I don’t recall anytime where my caller had to ask for me to repeat myself, aside from those times when AT&T left me at 1 bar. Man I miss Cingular.


THE DRAWING BOARD

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    Alright, so what can FoneGear do better with on the Mini Blu? For starters the earpiece even with the added comfort attachment wasn’t all that comfortable. You aren’t going to want this headset in your ear for four straight hours, but for an hour drive in the car or a trip to the store it’s just fine. The other thing that really annoyed me was the brightness and repeat ion rate of the blue led that shows you’re connected. In a dark room you can use it to navigate by (no joke I did it) and it repeats so much that people can’t help but notice it when they are standing by you.

PURCHASING

   The FoneGear Mini Blu can be purchased directly from the FoneGear store for $49.99.

PROS

  • Very small in size
  • Great sound quality
  • Good talk time and standby time
  • Detachable ear loop, light enough to use without it
  • Easy to find and press buttons

CONS

  • Range less than stellar with my Treo 750
  • Earpiece could have used better rubber for more comfort
  • Blue LED bright enough to light a dark room
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?


OVERALL IMPRESSION

    At the beginning we asked a very simple question – can the FoneGear Mini Blu deliver? Simple answer is absolutely. The Mini Blu is a great headset and well worth the price of admission. You won’t find a ton of features like displays or custom rings, but you will find a solid headset with decent comfort, good range, and wonderful sound quality. If you’re sans bluetooth headset right now, I can’t think of a better place to start!




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