Bluetooth wireless technology

Bluetooth wireless technology has been struggling to get airborne in the North American market since the late ’90s. Now that it’s realistically positioned — it’s really a cable replacement technology, after all — we’re starting to see realistic applications. Enter the Motorola V600 mobile phone and

accessories. A silver-and-chrome flip phone that’s a little on the large side by today’s standards, it boasts a brighter-than-most TFT colour screen with backlight, a surprisingly useful digital camera functional under a wide range of lighting conditions, a speakerphone and the usual complement of mobile phone features.

But it’s really all about the Bluetooth, so it’s the accessories that count. The review unit shipped with a wireless headset and, oddly, a wireless speaker phone unit.

Why “”oddly””? The phone has a built-in speakerphone. Where’s the utility in having a speaker/microphone unit with a theoretical wireless range of 30 feet when you can simply move the handset?

It was the headset that would have been the selling point for me. In conjunction with voice-activated dialling, a successful headset would have been an ideal on-the-road accessory. But the HS20 shipped with the phone simply didn’t cut it. Configuration was a snap, and the sound quality of the earpiece was nice and warm. But it was uncomfortable — it felt like it was on the verge of falling off constantly — and the connectivity indicator flashed blue intermittently, which can look a little sci-fi for the taste of some. Its real sin, though, is the atrocious quality of the microphone signal. On the other end, the caller sounds like he’s in a savage windstorm, with a great, shearing, distorted hiss monopolizing the conversation. For the money, it’s unforgiveable. But I’m still bullish on Bluetooth headsets. I can’t wait to use one that works well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a technology journalist with more than 15 years' experience. He has edited numerous technology publications including Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, Computing Canada and eBusiness Journal. He now runs content development shop Dweeb Media.

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