If you have car or van that doesn’t come with an in-built Bluetooth system the Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD makes for a very useful solution. Unlike some aftermarket Bluetooth kits, this pocket-size kit from Parrot doesn’t require any wiring or installation; it simply slides onto the edge of the sun visor.
In addition to the unit itself, Parrot also supplies a micro USB charging cable and a 12V socket charger that can fit into your vehicle. From opening the box, you can be up and running in under a minute as it doesn’t require any setup other than pairing via Bluetooth with your mobile phone. It works with the vast majority of popular handsets but if you aren’t sure as to your phone’s compatibility Parrot does provide a model list on its website. There is also a mobile app than can be downloaded and can be used for adjusting settings, remembering parking location and timer as well as checking for software updates.
Once fully charged and in place, the Minikit Neo 2 HD can be left on, and battery life is quite good. Its trick feature is that is has a sensor that detects movement, so when you get into your vehicle, it wakes from standby mode and automatically connects with your phone. Similarly, when you get out of the vehicle, it disconnects once you move out of the Bluetooth range and then goes into standby. Parrot claims up to 10 hours of continuous call use between charges and a standby mode of up to six months. When you do need to charge it up, it doesn’t take long, and there is a battery charging light beside the micro USB port. You can check the remaining battery charge at any stage by sliding the power button upwards. The unit will then announce the remaining battery percentage via the built-in speaker.
Although there isn’t a display screen on the Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD, it is easy to use the different functions and select a contact from your phone book thanks. The rotary dial, when turned, causes the Minikit Neo 2 HD to announce the different menus. Alternatively, there is also voice recognition that can be used to select contacts to dial. Either way, it saves you from having actually to touch or hold your mobile phone while driving. When a call comes in the device announces who is calling, although as with other text-to-voice technology it sometimes doesn’t pronounce it correctly. It is also possible to accept or decline an incoming call by saying the ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ command.
You can pair two phones to the Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD at the same time, which is useful if you have a personal and work phone, or there’s two of you in the car. As well as its primary use as enabling Bluetooth call connectivity, it is also possible to stream media and music from your phone to the device.
The quality of the speaker for calls is not bad and makes it easy to hold phone conversations while on the move. There were numerous times that the people I was speaking with didn’t know I was in the car such is the quality of microphone – it helps that it is also generally located close to you on the sun visor. This, combined with its ease of use and versatility, makes the Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD a worthwhile purchase.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
What’s in the box:
- 1 x Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD
- 1 x Micro USB cable
- 1 x 12V charging socket
- 1 x Quick start guide
- Length: 95mm
- Width: 54mm
- Height: 45mm
- Weight: 67g