Yeah sure, winter’s really good fun if you’re into skiing downhill at unfeasibly high speeds or you enjoy hurling lumps of ice at people’s faces for a laugh, but for the rest of us it’s a disaster. All that icy rain and brain-sapping wind chill makes it hard to get out of bed, let alone slog about doing boring stuff like work.
What makes it even worse is the competition between cold and communications – who wants to suffer frostbite just to answer the phone? It doesn’t make sense. So thank goodness some enterprising people came up with a neat – we won’t say cool – solution in the shape of the Hi-Call Bluetooth Gloves.
The box says they’re Italian designed, but quite frankly they could be crafted from bleached tom cat nasal fur for all we care, as long as they keep the cold out and let us chat to our friends at the same time. And they do. Surprisingly well. The secret sauce behind the product is the Bluetooth module embedded in the wrist of the left hand glove, which contains all the controls to answer and instigate calls, as well as a microUSB charging port.
The pack includes a nice clear user manual and microUSB charging cable, and to get going all you need to do is charge up the gloves (your laptop USB port is fine as a power source), and then pair them with a cell phone of your choice. To pair you switch on by pressing the red X and find the Hi-Call in the phone’s Bluetooth pairing menu. That’s it. Once you’re done you can start talking to your hand like a full on crazy person. The microphone for the gloves lives in the pinky finger and the speaker in the thumb of the left hand glove, so you’re going to be talking to your hand a lot if you use these regularly. As you can see from my hands-on review video below.
The big surprise is how well the gloves actually work. Yes you can hear the person on the other end clearly, and yes they can hear you. Of course it’s not as good as direct speaker/mic from the handset, but then again your fingers are warm and toasty. Just think about that before you start moaning, O.K.? The grey tips on certain fingers are touchscreen compatible so you can operate your phone with the gloves still on, if you decide to drag it out of your pocket.
But how do you make a call without taking the phone out of your bag or pocket, we hear you cry? Well simply done, fair traveler we reply. If you’ve got Siri or any other voice activated system running on your phone, you just press and hold the green button until you hear a tone, release and when you hear the second tone give your command…like ‘call Barrack’ or whatever. Press the green button twice to call the last dialed number. It’s glove talking for dummies, right?
Anyhoo, the product retails for $53.29 or £34.99, comes in grey and black colors and mens and ladies sizes, so they should suit just about everyone…unless you’re left handed, in which case very sorry.
Battery Life: 12 hours
Standby Time: 10 days
Charge Time: 30 minutes
Operating Range: >10 meters (>30 meters outdoors)