I’m not generally in the business of recommending motoring products. If you want to buy the best car shampoo, dashboard wipes, etc, I think you should do your own research. But when it comes to safety gear I think it’s relevant that people in my privileged position – ie, with easy access to different stuff – give an opinion. I’m clearly not alone in needing a hands-free kit for my phone, but it’s amazing how many drivers don’t bother, and put lives at risk by illegally holding the handset to their ear. A hands-free kit is vital for me. I spend a lot of time on the road, and as a freelance journalist I get a lot of calls on my mobile. The problem is I’m rarely in one car for very long, so I prefer the highly portable ‘clip on the sunvisor’ type which I can keep in my work bag.
I’ve recently been trying the Parrot Minikit Slim and it’s by far the best I’ve ever used. The key thing is the voice-dialling; I know many kits don’t offer this, and to my mind they should be banned. If you’ve got to look at the phone to make a call, you’re not watching the road.
The Parrot syncs perfectly with my iPhone 3G and that includes all my contacts. There’s no pre-recording of voicetags or any other faffing about. Everytime I turn it on it auto-syncs to my phone, and to make a call I just reach up to the unit and press the big button with the green LED (pictured). It asked me who I want to call, I speak their name, and it does the rest. It couldn’t be easier and the phone can stay in my pocket. Why all kits don’t have voice-dialling as standard I don’t know. I think they’re dangerous without it. I got my Parrot Minikit Slim from www.mobilefun.co.uk where it’s £54.95 well spent.