I think we can all agree that talking on the phone while driving is a hazard. This is especially true when you don’t have a hands free setup. So you have to ask yourself, are you going to wear one of those dorky ear pieces, or spend a fortune to have a hands free kit built into your car? I don’t think you should do either. With the LG Bluetooth HFB-500 Hands-Free Car Kit, adding hands free to you car is extremely easy.
- Hands-Free Car Kit
- Solar powered
- Echo and Noise Suppression
- Multi pair
The LG HFB-500 is hands free, but what does that mean? It means you don’t have to hold it while you are driving so you can keep both hands on the steering wheel.
The big feature of the LG HFB-500 speakerphone is that it is solar powered and never needs to be plugged in. If placed on your windshield and given access to sunlight the HFB-500 will keep its self fully charged and ready to be used.
Because cars are inevitably noisy it is important for any hands-free device to be able to remove that noise. The HFB-500 has built-in Echo and Noise suppression. If working correctly it should remove a lot of the background noise, this means the person on the other side will be able to hear you and not the noise of your car.
Another nice feature is that this can be used with two different phones. This is really nice if you share your car with another driver. However this may cause problems if both people are in the car at the same time.
There are also some battery saving features built in. For example he LG HFB-500 will shut down after 25 minutes if it looses its Bluetooth connection, or if it got turned on but never got a connection then it shuts down after 5 minutes.
The LG HFB-500 is designed to be very compact. The dimensions are 3.6″ x 2″ x 0.5″ and it only weighs 2.5 oz.
The front of the device only has two buttons, A large one at the top for answering calls, and a smaller red one for turning it on/off. The power button also acts like a power indicator and it blinks once every minute or so while on to let you know that it is on. During the day the light is dim enough that it cannot be see easily, but at night it can be a bit distracting.
The back of the HFB-500 speakerphone is dominated by the solar-panel.
On either side of the device are the volume buttons, up on the right, down on the left. They are small, but not hard to find. When in the cradle the volume buttons are just above the edge of the cradle.
The HFB-500 also includes its own plastic cradle with suction cups for mounting to a windshield. The suction cups on the one I got were bent and would not stick very well, but after applying a little water to the cups I was able to fix it. I also noticed that on cold morning the cups would be too stiff to stick. I would have to place them in front of a heater vent for a while before they would soften up. However, if left on the window I never had any trouble with it falling off, even in the cold.
I have been using this for a few months and have made many calls, I have never had anyone complain about noise or not being able to hear me. The speaker on my end is adequate, but not perfect. If I am on a particularity noisy road, or I have my windows down I cannot understand anything.
Paring is very quick and easy. The first time it is paired you do have to type “0000” on your phones keyboard, but after that all you have to do is turn it on. It only takes about 2 seconds after it is on for it to pair. This is really nice in case you need to turn it on quickly to answer a call. I have noticed also that sometimes it only partially pairs. What I mean is that the phone thinks it is paired, but the call does not go to the LG HFB-500. This may be a problem with the phone, but to solve it I have to turn off the speakerphone and then turn it back on. This really only seems to be a problem if the speakerphone is turned on before the phone Bluetooth is turned on. If you leave your Bluetooth on all the time it should not be an issue for you.
Voice dialing is also a nice feature, but not perfect. For the most part I was able to get it to call the correct person, but when my contact had more than one number (like home and mobile) then it would sometimes call the wrong one. The nice thing is that it will repeat the command so you know which number it is dialing and you can quickly hang up if it is the wrong one. However, it is very important that no other talking is going on in the background, otherwise the LG HFB-500 can get confused. I even found that if I had the radio on it would also confuse the voice dialing.
Warranty and Support
The LG HFB-500 comes with only a 1 year warranty. This should be ok if you don’t drop it or the buttons don’t break. However, there have been some reports of the speakerphone over charging and the battery swelling. This can cause big problems so it is recommended that you take the speaker phone down when you are not using it.
Support is mostly non existent.
I am happy with the LG HFB-500. I would have liked the speaker to be a bit louder, but that would require a bigger device. I really like the solar panel feature, I leave it on my window almost 24/7 and I have not had any trouble with the battery overcharging. If you are looking for a way to drive safer and keep your hands on the steering wheel then I highly recommend checking out the LG HFB-500.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|