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Review of LG's HFB-500 solar-powered Bluetooth car speakerphone

Review by Russell Jefferies on Monday March 16, 2009.

bluetooth / wireless reviews · lg news · bluetooth / wireless news · russell jefferies

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If you're after a way of using your phone in the car, but aren't keen on costly hard-wired installations or ear-hugging Bluetooth headsets, then the LG HFB-500 could be the device for you. The HFB-500 is a Bluetooth loudspeaker with a twist. Like most Bluetooth loudspeakers, the HFB-500 can be powered from a cigarette lighter socket in the car, via a supplied cable. However, the HFB-500 also features a built-in solar panel, which allows it to suck energy from the sun as you drive - without the need for a cable hanging in your face.

What You Get in the Box

The device comes packaged with everything you need, including a brief user manual, a window suction mount, a cigarette lighter power cable, and a cable to connect the HFB-500 to an LG mobile phone. This last cable can be used to charge an LG phone from the HFB-500's battery, meaning that the device doubles-up as a portable charger, which is handy.

Physical Aspects

The LG HFB-500 looks remarkably like a mobile handset, causing countless family members and colleagues to inquire about the "fancy-looking phone" I had sat on my windowsill. Of course, taking a closer look reveals that it has no keypad, nor a screen, but the overall shape and size of the device is similar to that of a small phone. Actual dimensions are a svelte 51mm x 95mm x 14mm (2.0in x 3.7in x .6in), and the unit weighs in at only 72g (2.5oz), making it easy to pocket when you leave the car. The front of the HFB-500 is clad in quite a cheap-feeling black plastic, with a perforated section slightly towards one end that conceals the loudspeaker. Beneath this is an LG logo, printed on the cover in grey.

At the top of the front of the device is a large textured button with a telephone symbol embossed into it. This button is the device's call answer/end button and provides a distinct 'click' to assure that you've pressed it. On the join between this button and the earlier mentioned front panel is the device's power button/status LED. This button is red and surrounded by a small chrome panel with a power symbol on it. A metallic silver strip swoops around the edges of the device to provide some contrast to the design and divide the black front and rear panels.

The rear of the device is also clad in black plastic, and it features a Bluetooth logo printed towards the top. However, the rear is mainly dominated by the HFB-500's solar panel, which is approximately 35mm (1.4in) wide by 52mm (2.0in) long. The solar panel is covered by a glossy plastic panel and has white horizontal stripes going across it.

The left side of the LG HFB-500 is home to the volume down button near the top and the covered proprietary power port near the bottom. The right side is home to the volume up button and the microphone pinhole, both located towards the top of the device. Despite its cheap-looking materials, the LG HFB-500 feels very solid and emits no squeaks or creaks from its covers when used. Overall, the LG HFB-500 is a simplistic and classy-looking device that should blend into most car interiors quite well.

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Andy R @ 8:14:48AM EDT on Wednesday March 25, 2009

thanks alot a great reveiw i have an lg phone and will definatly be purchasing one of these thank you

rodolfo @ 3:10:45PM EDT on Friday July 16, 2010

antes de usarlo el lg hfb-500 me pide insertar un pin,
ese pin no aparece en ningun lado. ¿còmo lo sè?

Russ @ 1:08:08PM EDT on Sunday July 18, 2010

How do you change the battery in LG HFB 500 blue took , it want stay charged

Tom @ 11:02:09AM EDT on Wednesday July 28, 2010

I have a bluetooth capable Samsung I use with Tracfone will this device work with this phone and carrier. I have a few problems pairing this phone/carrier to my Toyota RAV4.

Lisa @ 11:36:06AM EDT on Wednesday September 1, 2010

I bought one of these and the it will not charge by solar. Am I doing something wrong? Is there somewhere I can find the manual... I bought this on a trip and cannot find the manual.

Joe Ross @ 8:33:12PM EDT on Wednesday March 30, 2011

NOT A GOOD CHOICE FOR SMARTPHONES! it setup fine with my samsung transform and allows incoming calls but it will not allow any voice commands and even worse, LG PROVIDES NO SUPPORT FROM THEIR WEB SITE! DO NOT BUY THIS IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SAMSUNG PHONE!!!

Dan @ 10:08:44AM EDT on Wednesday May 4, 2011

Hog Wash - Device works great !! No problems whatsoever works great - I have tried it on Nokia, Samsung, Iphone, and HTC - great price too it now lists for around $20US on Amazon. NO WORRIES ABOUT THIS DEVICE - GREAT PRODUCT GREAT BUY. I especially like the voice commands.

Joey Pompano @ 8:28:32PM EDT on Saturday June 25, 2011

Awesome review! Someone gave me theirs sans suction cups knowing that I love gadgets. I was at a loss becuase I couldn't seem to pair it to my CrackBerry. Did not have the manuel but luckily you provided the pass key.

Carla @ 2:43:32PM EDT on Thursday August 11, 2011

I don't know if I like it or not. i ordered it on ebay but I don't have a password. Do you happen to know what the password could be?

scotpond @ 1:11:10PM EDT on Friday August 12, 2011

I can't get it to power off and can't find user's manual. It goes dead overnight because of this. Mine didn't come with power jack.

About the author

Russell Jefferies
Russell Jefferies reviews mobile phones for MobileBurn from his home located in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

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