The Parrot Minikit Slim is a useful accessory for hands-free Bluetooth in the car. Its slim form factor fits on a car's visor, and we appreciated its clear quality. Just don't expect very loud volume.
The Minikit Slim is as svelte as the name suggests: At 4.3 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches, it's about the same size as a BlackBerry, and weighs a mere 2.9 ounces. It has a smooth, black, rubber coating on much of its surface, brushed accents around its border, and a knob on the front used to adjust the speakerphone's settings. Next to the knob is a green Send button and a red End button.
The back of the Minikit Slim has a small metal clip that resembles a cheap paper clip, but it served its purpose, holding onto our car's visor just fine. The unit charges using a small micro-USB cable that plug into a port on the unit's left side.
To use the Minikit Slim, press the power button, marked by a small red LED indicator light. Next, put your phone in Bluetooth pairing mode and search for devices. After typing in the confirmation code, you'll be ready to go. After pairing, the device automatically pulled in our Nokia E71's contact list.
To make a call, we pressed the green button and the Minikit Slim asked us who we'd like to call. The device picked up our voice well for names like Mike, Tom, and Christie, but it didn't understand nicknames, like Borst, very well unless we shouted. Oddly, whenever we said "Borst," it tried to call our friend Phil.
You don't have to access contacts by voice. Once you've paired your phone to the device using Bluetooth, you can use the rotary encoder to set the volume or to scroll through your phone contacts. When moving it, you'll feel a subtle click and the system will announce an available menu option. To select an option, press the knob in. The system worked very well and was easy to use.
Callers sounded clear through the Minikit Slim, thanks to NXT's flat-panel speaker technology. The unique flat panel vibrates and acts as the speaker, which helps keep the entire unit thin and free of ugly speaker mesh. Still, we wish the device got a bit louder so that we could hear it over light music or an open window. Voices sounded faint even with the volume knob turned all the way up. You'll need to turn off the heat or air conditioner in most cases just to hear the person on the line. Our friends said it was obvious we were speaking over a speakerphone and not through our regular handset.
After a full charge, we were able to make about two hours' worth of phone calls; the device also lasted an entire week on idle before its battery faded. We appreciated that the Minikit Slim came with a car-charger adapter to charge it in our cigarette-lighter outlet.
If you're tired of wearing a Bluetooth headset and want a viable option for talking during your commute, the Parrot Minikit Slim is a good choice. It's sleek and performs well. But if you want features like stereo Bluetooth streaming or an FM transmitter, look at the Motorola Motorokr T505 instead.