Review: BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree Kit

These days, integrated Bluetooth is an increasingly common option on new cars, even on many entry-level models. But if you’re not in the market for new ride and would still like to have hands-free (and headset-free) calling from behind the wheel, BlueAnt’s Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree may be just what you’re looking for.

The $129 Supertooth 3 is a rectangular device measuring 4.8 x 2.4 x .7 inches—that’s roughly the dimensions of an iPhone (with which it is compatible)—that clings tenaciously to a windshield visor via a magnetic clip, but it comes off easily when you need it to, like when you want to transfer it to another vehicle (a spare clip is included). The Supertooth 3 supports pairing to up to 8 phones.

It offers voice prompts for device setup, status reports, and announcement of incoming calls. Six languages are available including American and British English; we found the synthesized female voice a tad too monotone and robotic, almost bordering on mournful, but you get used to it.

We tested the Supertooth 3 with two phones. One was a T-Mobile Dash that had been upgraded to Windows Mobile 6 (up from version 5 that it came with) and the other a BlackBerry Curve 8330 from Sprint. Both phones paired to the Supertooth 3 without difficulty.

As part of the initial setup process, the Supertooth 3 can automatically pull in the phone’s contact list on phones that allow it, but alas this didn’t work with either the Dash or Curve. In both cases the Supertooth 3 reported that automatic transfer was not supported by the phone, but when automatic transfer fails you can usually still transfer your contact list to device from the phone manually.

We were able to transfer the entire contact list of the Curve to the Supertooth 3, but since the Dash didn’t have a “select all” option for contacts we were forced to endure the laborious process of transferring entries one at a time.

When a call comes in to the paired phone, the Supertooth 3 announces the name of the caller or else simply reports the phone number if the caller’s not on the device’s contact list. Large send and end buttons are easy to access and light up for night visibility and you can also answer calls by voice, a feature which worked well for us.

The Supertooth 3 also has a voice dialing feature that lets you initiate calls by speaking contact names. It worked just fine with the Curve, but not with the Dash.

Sound quality was excellent, both from our perspective and as reported by those on the other end of the line, and the speakerphone volume was also sufficiently loud to be heard over the din of a moving vehicle.

The Supertooth 3’s battery is rated for up to 15 hours of talk time and up to 800 hours on standby. We did notice that although the Supertooth 3’s manual cites a three hour charge time, when we charged it from a wall outlet it took almost ten hours before we saw the green “fully charged” indicator.

BlueAnt bundles AC charger and cigarette-lighter charging cables with the Supertooth 3. Since the power jack is a mini-USB connector, you can also charge the device via a PC in a pinch, though you’ll need to supply your own cable.

Although the ease of setup and availability of voice dialing will vary depending on the capabilities of your specific phone, the BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree is a solid product that can make in-car phone use safer and more convenient.

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