In this product review I’m going to review the BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth carkit. This portable handsfree carkit connects to your phone using Bluetooth, so naturally you’ll only be able to use it if your phone has this feature (most do nowadays).
The carkit itself is very compact and has just 4 buttons; on/pickup, off/hangup and 2 volume controls. I have to admit that most Bluetooth carkits I’ve tested in the past never impressed me much, they were usually tinny, did not go loud enough and were too basic for making a good quality phone call.
The Supertooth 3 is different in every possible way; calls are amazingly crisp, the volume goes up loud enough that you’ll be able to make a clear call with your windows open and you can have a conversation without the other party asking if you are trapped inside a barrel.
The device itself is very cleverly designed; on the back of the carkit are 2 very strong magnets which stick to the included sun visor clip, the smart people at BlueAnt have made it possible to stick the unit to the front and the back of this clip, which means it is possible to fold down your visor and still have access to the buttons. It’s a simple design feature, but one I’m very impressed with.
When the Supertooth 3 is turned on for the first time, you can select the language of its spoken commands. It goes through all the languages programmed in the device until you reach the one you understand (don’t worry, English is first).
These spoken commands actually announce an incoming call, which brings me to the most powerful feature of the Supertooth 3; Text To Speech. Once you have “paired” your Bluetooth phone with the device, you can transfer your address book to it.
With this address book stored in the carkit, you’ll get spoken announcements of the caller name! The unit even has voice recognition for answering phone calls completely hands free. Initially I set the device to “American English”, but quickly changed it to “British English” as the lady in that voice just sounds more friendly.
There is actually one other feature built into the Supertooth 3 that I have never seen before in any other portable carkit; a vibration sensor. This sensor detects whether the car is moving, and turns the unit off if it thinks you have stopped. This means that you don’t have to reach for the power button every time you get in or out of your car. In everyday use, this feature worked brilliantly. It would turn the carkit off about 5 minutes after turning the car off, and the unit would turn on the moment someone gets in the car.
The Supertooth 3 has an internal Lithium-Ion battery pack. In my review I’ve managed to get about 2 weeks of use out of a full battery with about 30 minutes of calls a day.
I tested the Supertooth 3 with a variety of phones, and none of them had any issues pairing with the carkit. I did notice that some phones (Windows powered devices) do not support address book transfers, but that is a missing feature of the phone, not the Supertooth 3.
Included in the box of the Supertooth 3 is the device itself, a car charger, an AC charger and 2 visor clips. The Supertooth 3 has a regular MiniUSB port, so you can even use your computer to charge it if you carry your own MiniUSB cable.
After several weeks with the Supertoth 3 I have to say I’m very impressed, it has completely changed my view of Bluetooth carkits. With several states completely banning the use of your phone without a handsfree device, it is the perfect little product for using in a rental car, but would work equally well as a handsfree phone in your hotel room. The microphone is so sensitive that it would even function perfectly as a conference phone if you need to make an emergency call back to the office with several people at a table.