BlueAnt S4 Review

Introduction and Design
Introduction and Design:

Not everyone fancies about wearing obtrusive looking Bluetooth headsets, so if you happen to fit in that population, you're more than likely to prefer using something strictly reserved for the car. That's where the BlueAnt S4 combines all the necessary ingredients to position itself as a likely candidate in keeping you hands free while driving a vehicle – and without the worry of  having to carry around some headset. Employing a treasure trove of features, this simple to use in-car speakerphone might justify itself as the perfect driving companion that won't keep you wrapped up in its usage, but instead, keeps your focus of attention straight ahead on the road. Packaged with the BlueAnt S4 are 2 metal clips, 2 ear clips, 5 ear buds, microUSB cable, car charger, and a user manual.


At first glance, we're rather shocked by the overall size of the BlueAnt S4 – which makes it look just as large as some of today's touchscreen smartphones. Luckily, it sports curved cutouts on both ends to give it a uniform look, plus its gray and black colored plastic exterior tastefully elevates its minimalistic approach. Now even though it seems like a handful, its plastic construction enables it to still feel relatively lightweight. Moreover, we adore the fact that magnets are used to keep it tightly connected with its metallic clips – meaning, less worry about something accidentally breaking off. 


Spanning half the front portion of the BlueAnt S4 is a mesh grill that tucks away the speaker, while the other half is simply a glossy plastic that covertly hides the touch sensitive buttons towards the bottom – these include the volume up, down, and voice command buttons. Additionally, there is a green and blue LED indicator above the touch sensitive buttons that indicates that power is on, connected to a device, and that trigger mode is on.


Finally, on the side of the BlueAnt S4, we find the microUSB port hidden behind a plastic flap cover and the power switch to set it to the power saver and always-on mode. The latter of which consumers more power since it's constantly listening for the trigger command.





Performance:

Thankfully, the initial set up process is painless since general and broad instructions, which are spoken,  help to get the device paired with a phone. Once it's connected, the BlueAnt S4 begins to download your address book so that it will associate incoming calls with specific contacts. Despite it storing up to 2,000 contacts locally, it lacks the native ability to perform voice dialing – so if your phone lacks that functionality, you'll be forced to manually call someone using your handset.

Furthermore, we were able to pair the speakerphone, which implements Multipoint technology, to both an Apple iPhone 4 as the main device and a Samsung Moment as the secondary one with no problems. Thanks to its spot on voice recognition in the car, we were able to execute a variety of voice commands with minimal repetitions by simply saying the trigger words “BlueAnt: Speak to me.” Once that's said, you can either check the battery life, activate your phone's voice commands, modify its sensitivity, and use Bing-411 service.

If you happen to have an Android 2.0 and up device, you can download the BlueAnt S4 app which will happily speak any incoming text messages – which comes in handy in keeping your attention on the road. Moreover, its Bing-411 service provides a cornucopia of functionality, such as finding a local business or getting driving directions, which continues the BlueAnt S4's ability to be a true hands-free device.

As we mentioned already, the device is considerably larger, but it translates to providing the perfect volume while driving in a noisy car. We didn't have much problems in adjusting volume, which happens to be more than deafening at the loudest volume thanks partly to its full duplex speaker, but it's refreshingly clear with no evidence of distortion.

While driving in the car, our callers stated that our voice sounded as if it were somewhat further away from the source – while speaking in a normal tone. Although there wasn't any other noticeable evidence of distortion, our callers said our voice sounded more clear as we talked slightly louder. Conversely, the ample volumes emitted by the BlueAnt S4 made every spoken word from our callers clear and distinct. In fact, we're more than satisfied by its high level output as conversations were clearly full bodied and distortion-free.

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After consistently using the BlueAnt S4 over a period of 2 weeks while driving from place to place, we're more than enthralled by its battery life. With the included car charger, you'll have to recharge it briefly, but it translates to outputting a tremendous amount of usage. The manufacturer has it rated for 20 hours of talk and 700 hours of standby time – which seems to be fantastic since the device mentions that battery level is high after 2 weeks of usage.

Conclusion:

When it matters the most in a noisy car, the BlueAnt S4 is able to emit boisterous tones to permeate the air to make even the lengthiest of conversations easy on the ears. Plus, it packs a healthy mix of features, combined with its wide range of voice commands, to fittingly surround you with a deep hands-free experience so that your eyes stay glued to the road ahead – as opposed to fumbling around with the device. Set at a tolerable price of $99.99, you won't regret picking up the BlueAnt S4 with its stellar performance.



Pros

  • Full bodied & powerful speaker
  • Plenty of voice control features
  • Long lasting battery life

Cons

  • Somewhat bulky in size

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

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