Unless you’re in the know you may not have heard of Parrot. Obviously, you’ve heard of “parrots”, those brightly coloured bird things with the flappy wings that have a tendency to blurt out ill-learnt English slang, but I’m talking about the Bluetooth car kit specialist. This actually would be rather a shame because Parrot invented the very first units and is arguably still the quality developer in its field. So get excited, because it has unveiled two cracking new products.
The first is hardcore Parrot (this page could turn up on some interesting web searches). The “3200 LS Color” is the world’s first Bluetooth hand’s free car kit to feature a colour screen. Running at 262K and 160 x 128 pixels, the quality should be on a par with that of any mobile phone and since the device can store user photos these display automatically when contacts ring. You can also mess about setting up a wallpaper if your days are particularly empty.
As for other functionality, like all Parrot kits, the 3200 LS Color uses Bluetooth to connect with a handset’s phonebook. The mobile doesn’t even need to leave your pocket to work, it just has to be within range. All calls are then filtered through the 3200’s head unit (which has answer and end buttons and memory for dialling up to 150 voice activated names) and relayed through your stereo speakers.
Echo cancellation and full duplex operation assist with call clarity and it uses polyphonic ringtones. As with previous Parrot products, five mobiles can be registered and size and weight is kept to a functional minimum (64 x 58 x 20mm, 62g). Retail price is a very reasonable £150, but if you aren’t happy installing it yourself remember to factor in the install charge from a local fitter (around £80 – £100).