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(Pocket-lint) - Handfree doesn’t have to mean wearing one of those silly headsets. We look at Motorola’s answer to the problem - a Bluetooth wireless speaker. The bundle includes the speaker, lanyard, car charger and neoprene open fronted case, with clip. The unit features a grippy rubberised underside and shiny top. In keeping with Motorola’s range of headsets there is no display other than a flashing blue button.

A standard dial adjusts volume. Muting can be done with one button and all other operations via the other (see images). This can be confusing at times and a little like learning Morse code. There is a Motorola logo front and centre with a handy indicator and for those wanting a private conversation the addition to plug in the included earpiece. We recommend avoiding the non-hands free elements, especially while driving as it’s now UK law, so you might as well know how to use it without risking a fine.


The HF800 has a 10-metre connectivity range via Bluetooth 1.1, more than enough for car and office use. The one-watt speaker uses echo and noise reduction technology, but is at best a louder rendition of the built in speakerphones on our test phones.

Motorola users will benefit most, as this uses standard Motorola charger connection. There is a cigarette lighter charger included, but no mains plug in, leaving non- Motorola users at a disadvantage or the need to own a car.

During testing, a Motorola v500 faired as well as, but not noticeably better than, a Nokia 7610. Sound quality is no better than one would expect from the handset itself, but there are obvious advantages over a built in loudspeaker.

With a range of attachments, including a lanyard and rubberised cover with clip this is clearly aimed at drivers. We found the offside flip down sun visor in our Z4 the best place [you wish… - Ed]. As there is no fixed mounting, the speaker can slide and lurch around the dash when loose. However, even in a quiet office, callers reported a dull noise in the background on calls to both phones. While the sound of the engine covered the background noise generated by the speaker, the absence of a mains charger made the office life span short lived.

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The HF800 also connects with PDAs and Pcs, although we can’t see much call for it, if you’ll pardon the pun.

To recap

An alternative to headsets, with 10-metre range that will store up to 8-paired devices, but limited by overall sound quality

Writing by Dan Leonard.