Let’s face it, technology has finally gotten to the point where some of the gadgets we lusted after in cartoons and science fiction programs as children are now becoming a reality. I mean, the iPhone does even more than a Star Trek communicator (well everything but communicate intergalactically but I’m sure that is coming). The iPad looks like one of the tablet information devices that were so common in scifi shows 30 years ago. And Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio (first introduced on January 13th, 1946 and then upgraded to a 2-Way Wrist TV in 1964) how cool was that?!?!?
Well you may not be able to get the 2-Way Wrist TV yet (well actually that kind of arrives with my FedEx delivery of an iPhone 4 tomorrow) but thanks to Atomic9 you can now have your 2-Way Wrist Radio and wear it too.
I’ve been using one for a week. Let’s take a look…
Safety can sometimes compromise your style- hard hats, kneepads and wrist guards can keep us from looking our best. We’ve all been there, but this fall, thanks to Atomic9, technology and fashion come together to make a functional and sleek must-have accessory that complies not only with the fashion police, but with the law too!
Features of the hands-free wristband include-
– Bluetooth 2.1
– Audio caller ID
– Voice activated commands to place and answer phone calls
– Vibration and sound alert options
– Can work up to 30 feet away from cell phone
– USB Charging Port
– Plays music from your device
What’s In The Box-
The box includes the wristband, a wall charger and an instruction manual. There are no extras but it does give you everything you need to get started asap.
The Wristband Speakerphone comes in black or white. Our review unit was in black. What grabbed my attention initially was the way in which the wristband includes some of the more interesting and potentially useful features that are found on high-end Bluetooth headsets. That’s not a surprise since this is essentially a Bluetooth headset you can wear on your wrist and which is a speakerphone instead of funneling the sound directly into your ear. Among the features I like…
You can answer calls by directly talking to the Atomic9 BT speakerphone wristband.
You can TELL the Atomic9 Bluetooth Speakerphone Wristband who to call so long as the mobile phone supports voice dial)
You can have the wristband tell you who is calling and then decide whether you want to take that call. Even better… if you press the button the wristband will SPEAK the caller ID to you.
The wristband also includes a “Digital tether” vibrates when you are more than 30 feet away from your phone. As Atomic9 explains,
…that way, if you leave your phone at the restaurant or in the bathroom, you will be reminded before you leave it behind!
The wristband gives you the option to provide alerts in the form of vibrating or audible beeps and has echo and noise cancellation algorithms built in to aid in the quality of the voice connection.
Finally, because the wristband has Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR it will also stream music from your Bluetooth enabled device so long as the device supports this feature.
The wristband supports Bluetooth Profile A2DP, AVRCP, Headset and Handsfree profiles and in typical Bluetooth fashion it has a range of up to 30 feet.
There are only a few specs that really matter with a device like this. First, as mentioned above, as a Bluetooth device the wristband has a range of up to 30 feet. Of course the closer you get to hitting the maximum range the worse the quality of the connection will be. Second, the wristband provides up to 4 hours of talk-time and 160 hours of stand-by time. That is plenty for most people.
The Atomic9 Bluetooth Speakerphone Wristband is made of plastic but feels quite solid. The wristband portion of the device is rigid but has just enough flex to allow you to comfortably get it on and off your wrist.
While it fits on my wrist it is a bit tight. So rather than use more than one shot of my wrist Elana was kind enough to lend me hers for this review.
THe wristband is streamlined with regard to its buttons. There is a power/call button on top that is large enough to use with ease. The small LED indictater light is directly below it and above it is the speaker itself. On one side is the volume toggle and a small cover that allows you to access the charging input. Unfortunately the connector is not a standard USB or Micro-USB.
On the opposite side you will find the opening for the microphone. Obviously you will want that side of the bracelet facing you.
You can do a lot to control calls and music right from the bracelet…
but you had better study up or keep the instruction book with you if you want to use the different controls.
All this is good and well but the real test of any Bluetooth audio device is how it sounds.
So how DOES it sound? Pretty good.
That’s really the best way to describe it. I tested it out with Larry and was, at first, not all that impressed with the sound quality. The more we talked, however, the more I realized that the conversation was flowing without a problem. There was no static, no time the sound went in and out and at no time did either of us have to ask the other to repeat anything. In other words… it worked just fine so from that perspective I can easily recommend it.
There are a few things I wish were part of the device. I would love if the bracelet portion of it was adjustable so that you could make it tighter around a small wrist and larger so it might fit a wrist like mine. I also wish it had a 3.5mm phone jack so that a call could be taken privately while the phone was still in your pocket. Those things noted, however, I have to say this ended up impressing me more than a bit.
The company notes,
It’s the perfect accessory for people who are always on the go.
Personally I don’t know if it is perfect but it is pretty darn cool… and it does what it promises.
The Atomic9 Bluetooth speakerphone wristband is available on Amazon and Atomic9’s wesbsite (www.atomic9.com) for an MSRP of $99.99. Details and ordering can be found here.
What I Like-
Does exactly what it promises, streams music as well as calls, lets you control a great deal from the wristband itself
What Needs Improvement-
Could benefit from a 3.5mm phone jack for use with a corded headset for private calls, the wristband would benefit from being adjustable, various functions you can control are impressive but can get rather complex