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  1. #1
    Noodler limesparks's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Review: BT800 Paired with PPC6600

    Ok guys, this is something I've been waiting for.

    I got my hands on a BT800 this week. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the Jabra BT800 is a new Bluetooth hands-free headset with built in caller id and other call functions. Ever since I heard about this device, I've been anxiously awaiting its release, but while waiting and investigating there was alot of evidence that pointed to the possibility that this thing would not work with my Audiovox PPC6600. There were sites with dismayed users not being able to get their PDA2k sets to work with it. There was the customer service rep at Jabra who told me if my phone is anything less than BT 1.1, the BT800 would give me nothing but headaches.

    So I was faced with a dilemma:
    Buy the BT800 online and risk it not working and then dealing with a bunch of red tape to get an RMA for it, or wait until it showed up in stores and try it then.

    Well, I didn't have to wait too long because the to my surprise the BT800 showed up at my local CompUSA this week. In spite of the $149.00 price tag , I couldn't resist. I figure, ok, this will give me a chance to try it out, I can return it within seven days and then order one for a lower price online if it works out.

    Well I am pleased to announce: SO FAR, SO GOOD

    After waiting all of 10 minutes for it to charge, I decided I couldnt wait any longer and decided to pair it with the 6600. Setup was a breeze, it paired with my 6600 in seconds. You just press the little "pairing" stylus button (using the stylus provided or a paper clip), open up bluetooth manager on the 6600 and create a new handsfree connection, click on the BT800 that shows up and punch in the security code (0000) and you're done. I don't know how well it would have done with the prior bluetooth stack available in my former PPC6601, but that issue is moot now thanks to the new update (which is the same as whats included in the 6600).

    As soon as I got it paired, I tried it on my ear, and for the life of me couldn't figure out how the heck to get it on there. Then I looked at the picture in the manual and copied the positioning of the ear hook, and figured it out. Its kinda cool how it works, you hook it on and then "clip" it down onto your ear. It took a little adjusting, but it fits fine now, it has a slight weight to it that you definitely know its there, but its really not too bad and quite comfortable at that. (Actually, I'm glad I always know its there, it looks a little geeky and I'd hate to be walking around forgetting that I look a little like a cyborg).

    The LCD screen which sits face-side is small and blue backlit when you press one of the 3 multifunction buttons. Two buttons sit on the length of the boom, while the third sits in the middle of a jog-dial on the outside of the headset.

    When the piece is charging, only the switch closest to your ear does anything, which is to light the backlight. The LCD reads "Charging" with an animated battery display showing that the juice up operation is working. Charging can be done via the AC adapter or through a usb cable connected to your pc (both are provided).

    I have been able to use the headset while it is charging, although I have noticed static when doing this, (perhaps due to grounding as the power adapter is polarized but unbalanced).

    So here's how it works:

    A call comes in. The ringer on the ppc rings, along with voice command announcing "call from so and so on mobile phone". The headset vibrates (you can also set it to play 1 of five ringtones in the earpiece instead, or in conjunction with the vibrating). The caller ID displays the incoming phone number, and the word "Yes" above the key farthest from your ear, and "No" above the closer key appear. Alot of people have been saying "what good is caller ID if its on your headset where you can't see it?" Well, for me this isn't a problem, i wear the headset like a ring on my middle finger, with my ppc in my jacket pocket inside its holster. A call comes in, I glance at the BT800, click "yes" and hold the headset up to my ear and say "hello?", once the call is established, I ask the caller to hold on while I attach the headset. The caller id actually is the thing I care about the least with this piece, although it has come in handy when i can't quite make out the name voice command is announcing, and looking at the phone number I can confirm who it is. One feature I wish it had (which future releases will probably figure out), is some sort of integration with the contacts list in the phone, with name readout instead of phone # readout, and the ability to call up anyone in your contact list.

    One great feature is the "call list" function, which allows me to call back anyone who called me, whether or not i answered the call. It will not list, however, anyone i made an outgoing call to from the ppc6600.

    The menu button on the outside of the phone allows you to enter the menu, where you use a combination of the other two buttons to confirm or exit menu items and the jog dial which selects which functions to edit. The main menu has two options, "Call List" and "Settings".

    Under "call list", two options again, "List" or "Reset List". Under "List", you use the jog dial to scroll through the last 10 incoming calls, choose the one you want and click the furthest button (now marked "call").

    The "Settings" menu has 6 sub menus, "Ring Tones", "Ring Type", "Light", "Language", "Bluetooth", and "About"

    "Ring Tones" has 6 options: "From Phone", "Blue", "Fuzz", "Oldbell", "Slick" and "Slow". All are silly little generic polyphonic ditties, except "From Phone" which allows the ringer on the phone to ring only. All other settings allow the ringer from the phone as well as the ringer in the headset to ring.

    "Ring Type" has two options, "Normal" and "Silent". "Normal" allows your Phone to ring at full volume, with the ringer in the headset ringing as well. "Silent" makes the ringer on your phone quieter, and kills the headset ring if there is one selected. Whichever option is chosen, a second choice pops up asking if you want "Vibrate Alerts" on or off. For a crazy cacophony of alerts, set the headset on normal with vibrate alerts and a ringer selected. In my case i've got the phone ringer with phone vibrate on, a message with picture displays on the phone, the voice command announces the caller, the headset rings in the earpiece with its own ringer, the caller id and blue backlight light up on the headset, and the headset itself vibrates like crazy. :p

    The "Light" menu option simply turns the dorky blue exterior light in the center of the headset on or off. I prefer off, but some may want to show off how borg-y they are.

    "Language" scrolls through 4 language choices for the menu readouts: English, Deutsch, Francais, and Espanol.

    "Bluetooth" has two options, "List" or "Add new". "List" shows all devices that you have paired. Mine shows my ppc6600, my friend's Nokia 7610 (which is a very cool, slick smartphone IMHO and also paired easily), and something that was there from the factory (perhaps from testing??) it reads: "CSR - bc2". For each one you can select it as the current connection, or delete it entirely. "Add new" simply has the same function as the pairing stylus button.

    Finally, "About" shows a readout of the model and version #'s. Mine reads: "BT800 V0021"

    BUTTONS
    The menu button also acts as the mute button while in a call; the jog dial doubles as a volume control while in a call. The "No" button is also the "back", "exit", power and backlight button, depending on the context. The "Yes"/"Select" button also functions as the call waiting "flash" button, as well as the three way calling initiator. As mentioned before, there is also a dedicated pairing button which can only be used with the provided stylus or a paper clip.

    QUALITY:

    The sound quality is not perfect, but that said, it is absolutely adequate, both from my end and the caller's end. The noice cancellation function seems to work well, people have said they can't tell I'm driving (as they always could hear the road/engine noise when I was using and other phone by itself, especially when going hands free with those devices with a speakerphone, obviously).

    REACTION TIME
    This is the area I have had a few problems with, but only rarely.
    A couple of times (out of the 50 or so calls i've had in the past few days), i was unable to answer the call via the headset. The bluetooth just didnt kick in intime. I both cases I caught the call and then it hung up, the caller called back and it worked right away. My phone was in sleep mode in one instance and awake in the other, so I don't think that was the problem. I have always been able to initiate a call via the headset without a hitch. When calling from the ppc through voice dial or speed dial or whatever, the headset kicks in right away. You always know its working, because a little "blip" sounds in the headset signifying its activation. Likewise, a "beep" sounds signifying the end of a call. The "No" button has always worked, sending the caller directly into voicemail.

    I have had some problems occasionally with the ability to click over to the other line when call waiting beeps. Sometimes it works through the headset, sometimes i have to hit the green phone button on the phone.
    :menu: UPDATE I figured out that you need to hold in the "Yes" button for call waiting. This goes the same for initiating a three way call.

    DISTANCE
    I have gotten as far as 40' from my phone with no obstacles in the way such as walls, etc., without static. The static threshold indoors with a few walls in between is limited to around 15-20'.


    BATTERY
    So far I'm impressed. I can easily get a whole work day with heavy talking done, and it only takes an hour to fully recharge. As far as standby time, I haven't put it down long enought to find out!!!



    OTHER STUFF
    One cool thing i have been messing around with is taking the ear hook off of the device. Its very easy, and is probably intentional to change/clean it. Its a very washable as its made of the same plastic as say, a star wars action figure. Kinda bendy, kinda stiff.
    Why is it cool to take the ear hook off? When only expecting incoming calls when i am on a job or out on the town, this thing looks really cool as if its the world's smallest cellphone with the earhook off. Its been a great conversation starter; at first i tell people its my cell phone and they are blown away, and after a minute of awe i reveal the brick in my pocket.

    I have not been able to figure out if the voice dial will work from the headset. This is an available function according to the paperwork, but maybe will work only with Sprint's Voice calling and not through the MS Voice Command. I will update this thread if I figure it out, it would be awesome.


    Jabra BT800:

    PROS: This is a very cool device: it has tons of features, sounds decent, has excellent battery life, and paired great with my ppc6600 and the nokia mentioned. It does seem to work with BT1.0, at least with the stack update on my ppc6600.

    CONS: The price tag. Should be no more than $99.00. It will drop in price in months I am sure. Also, its easy to see where the technology is going and what it could be capable of someday, but the reality is that this is the first generation of much more to come. So wait or don't wait? I couldn't, and I'm sure I'll get the next one when it comes out too!
    *sparks*

  2. #2
    Registered User solsavr's Avatar
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    12-27-2003
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    Very accurate review, thanks. I too have the BT800, paid 119 from Hello Direct and feel that is a fair price. I also have had the same experience as you regarding receiving incoming calls, sometimes it works well, and then i won;t be able to answer one?? Thankfully it is not the norm.

    I too hope that the 800 is "flashed" with enhancements...anyway cool that it can be!

    I wonder if they will ever update the BT on the 6600 to 1.2?

    Anyway, thanks Limes!
    "Put on God's whole armor, that you may be able successfully to stand up against the strategies and the deceits of the devil"

    Ep. 6:11

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    12-31-2003
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    Thanks for the VERY thorough review. It's EXACTLY what I needed to read.

    I've now made my decision to go with the Bluespoon AX.

    Caller ID is not the feature I thought it would be and I don't really feel I will ever need it.
    Phone: Treo 700w
    History: XV6600 -> Treo 700w -> XV6800 -> Treo 700w again.

  4. #4
    Contorted
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    I'm wonderign if any of the bluetooth headsets with caller ID LCDS display the time. I don't wear a watch and hate pulling out my 6600 just to check the time. This would be a major selling point for me. Maybe there's a way? Anybody?

    By the way...great review!

  5. #5
    Noodler limesparks's Avatar
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    Addendum:

    In additional toying with the headset, I realized that the "Call List" seems to be integrated with the actual call list in the phone, and is not independent of the phone... including outgoing and incoming calls. It lists them in a weird order, and on further investigation it seems that the list farms the "unique" phone #'s from the most recent calls that the BT800 was used for. In other words, if in the last 5 calls using the headset (dialed either via the headset OR the phone, or were incoming), 3 of them were to/from the same person, it will only list this number once. Likewise, any calls made with bluetooth off or when the headset is off or too far away (calls where you used the phone by itself), are NOT displayed in the headset's call list. Also, if the device is not paired, or is too far away from the phone, or if the phone is simply completely powered off (as in a removed or dead battery), the call list displays "Empty". Interesting....
    *sparks*

  6. #6
    Noodler limesparks's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tabbs
    I'm wonderign if any of the bluetooth headsets with caller ID LCDS display the time. I don't wear a watch and hate pulling out my 6600 just to check the time. This would be a major selling point for me. Maybe there's a way? Anybody?

    By the way...great review!
    hmm... i guess you could get one of those stick on LCD digital clocks and stick it to the headset

    Seriously though, i haven't seen it, but it makes sense... i don't need to see "Jabra BT800" on my display when the thing is idle... I think I'll remember the name ... a clock would be great. If you have voice command, you could tap your set VC button and say "What time is it" and it will read it out for you, of course, its kinda hard to check the time on the sly this way during that awkward blind date....
    *sparks*

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