By June 27, 2008

Long term test – the new Jawbone

jawbone-earwearWhen I was in the states a few weeks ago I picked up the new Jawbone from an At&T store.  A small sleek black unit, with hidden buttons, leather bound ear loop and the killer feature "Noise Assassin" technology.  Well I’ve been using this device for lots of phone calls, from both my BlackBerry pearl and my T-Mobile Touch Plus (HTC Touch Dual) and I’m now ready to talk about using the device on a day to day basis. Form and Function after the break…

Form

The device itself is very small and sleek, some sites have called it a "marvel of miniaturisation" since it’s much much smaller than the original.  It is really small, not the tiniest on the market, but it takes up no space in your pocket either.  It also weighs only 10gms to you hardly notice it attached to your ear.

black_front_b There are two buttons on the device, both hidden, one at the back and one on the side.  Generally the back button controls the volume, which it cycles through – interestingly on my BlackBerry it controls the device volume.  The side button powers the thing on, and accepts and releases calls.  There are lots of other functions in the manual for the buttons, including turning the "noise assassin off" but to be honest I didn’t use them at all.

Included in the customisation pack are different size rubber ear buds and ear loops.  The ear buds are soft and comfortable, the ear loops are cool!  Two are bound with leather, and two not.  The idea of the non-leather bound ones is that they fit better with glasses (spec’s , bins, ocular attachments), honestly I wear said spec’s and the leather bound loops were fine.  I will own up however and one day in my pocket I broke one of the ear loops, I was sad.  What I have now noted is that I don’t really need an ear look, the bud holds it nicely in my ear.

black_top34_b Charging the device is quite cool.  There is a USB charger included in the pack, and an AC adapter.  I don’t use the AC adapter ‘cos I have a US unit and I’m in the UK.  What’s cool here is how little it takes to charge this thing – one hour does it but it has one of those 1 minute = 4 minutes of charge batteries built in.  The charger is magnetic too, so it holds the Jawbone really easily.

There’s a small LED under the side button, which very cooly lights up and is totally hidden when the device is off.  This LED is white (again cool) when in conversation, flashes white when connected to a phone and flashes red when it’s not connected.  It alternates red and white when it’s pairing.

Overall the form of this device is simply BEAUTIFUL.  Obviously if you walk around town with it in you will look silly, not because of this device but because of this device’s genre.  This is the best looking one out there though, and the attention to detail is amazing.

Function

In terms of functions this is a Bluetooth headset so it’s not going to change the world, but like it’s beautiful design its function is beautifully simple.

Lets start with pairing, normally when you pair a Bluetooth headset you get a funny name for the device on your phone, like HTB2084 or something.  The Jawbone is simply "Jawbone".  Once paired usage is just as simple.  Press the side button to answer and incoming call, it rings subtly in your ear.  I had mine paired with two phones, I had hopes that it could deal with that better, but it can only deal with one phone at a time being connected – in this regard the Plantronics Discovery is better.

black_back_b The ultimate, stand out, amazing, cool, fabulous, wicked, hot and groovy feature is the "Noise Assassin" noise cancellation.  It just kills the background noise.  I’ve always had a problem with this, my car is old and noisy, and the person on the end of the phone could hardly hear me with other headsets.  Not the Jawbone, "it’s like your next to me" one person said.  The trick here is that the Jawbone knows when you’re talking by touching your cheek, so it knows what to cancel and what to allow.  Seriously this is amazing.

Overall impression

OMG!!! Form meets function, this is a design marvel and I love it.  The only downside is the broken ear loop, and I could do with a second USB charger for the car.  There is a Jawbone owners club coming soon.

The new Jawbone is now in stock at both Carphone Warehouse in store for £80 and eXpansys, for just under £100.

Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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