Review by Ricky Cadden on Tuesday August 25, 2009.
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|Weight||10.9g (.4 oz)|
|Body Size||54.8mm x 15.8mm x 7.8mm
(2.2in x .7in x .3in)
|Talk Time||Up to 4 hours||Standby Time||Up to 4 days|
|Ear Loop||Over the ear|
|Included Accessories||AC power, USB charging cable, spare eargels, spare earhook
The BlueAnt Q1 is a sleek Bluetooth headset with a new approach to control, using voice commands to access most of the features. The Q1 is clad in a black brushed metal exterior, and is extremely lightweight, as well. The sales package includes an AC adapter, along with a short USB charging cord, as well as a few replacement eargels and the removable ear hook. We put the BlueAnt Q1 to the test to see how well it works in real life.
The BlueAnt Q1 Bluetooth headset is 54.8mm (2.2in) in length, and only weighs a scant 10.9g (.4 oz). Its only buttons include a large multifunction button on the outer panel and a volume rocker along the top edge. The multifunction button, also called the 'BlueAnt button', features the company's logo, which covers the red and blue LED indicator lights. The proprietary charging port is located at the base of the earpiece, and there are two microphones - one on the tip of the headset, and one on the outer panel, near the multifunction button.
The rubber eargel on the BlueAnt Q1 is user-changeable, and fits snugly in your outer ear. There is also a removable ear loop included in the sales package, for increased comfort. This ear loop can be attached so that the headset can be worn on either your left or right ear. I was able to wear the Q1 for several hours with no soreness or discomfort, thanks to the soft eargel and light weight of the headset.
To turn the headset on, simply press and hold the BlueAnt button until the blue light flashes, and then place the headset to your ear. To pair the headset with your phone, simply press the multifunction button and say 'Pair Me' to have the headset automatically enter pairing mode. The BlueAnt Q1 is controlled primarily through voice commands, and these can take a short while to really learn. You can ask 'What can I say?' at any time, however, to get an audible list of possible commands. You will receive audio notification of the various states of the headset, including a confirmation when you have successfully paired with your phone. Unfortunately, with firmware v8.14 of the headset, I had difficulty maintaining a connection with several phones, including the Nokia N79 and the LG Xenon.
Once connected, the headset will automatically read out the caller ID details for incoming calls. Once it has finished reading this aloud, you can simply say 'Answer' to answer the call, or 'Ignore' to ignore it. You can also opt to simply press the BlueAnt button once to answer a call, or twice to ignore or reject the call, if you do not wish to wait for the voice announcement to finish. You can also press the BlueAnt button twice to end an active call.
The BlueAnt Q1 supports a handful of other helpful voice commands, as well, which could, in theory, make it easier to manage your phone calls. To control the headset, press the BlueAnt button, and then say a command. You can say Redial or Call Back to dial the last number you called, or call the last person who called you, respectively. While on a phone call, you can hold the volume up button for a few seconds to switch between active calls, or hold the volume down button to end the active call and switch to the incoming call.
The BlueAnt Q1 also allows you to access your phone's built-in voice dial, if available, by saying 'Phone Commands'. Alternatively, you can say 'Call Speed Dial' followed by a number between 1 and 8, for phones that support speed dial. While it is nice to have both options available, I found this to be quite awkward, as I could never remember to say 'Phone Commands' to access my phone's built-in voice dial feature. In general there seems to be a rather steep learning curve with the Q1's voice command system, and I'm not sure it is worth the effort for most people.
Former news editor Ricky Cadden runs Symbian-Guru.com. Ricky is based in Texas.