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Star Trek: Bluetooth Communicator – the coolest handsfree you will ever own [Review]

startrekcommmain2

Must. Resist. Too. Many. Shatner. Jokes. OK, that out of the way, we’re about to boldly go where no-one (or maybe a few) have gone, and explore the outer limits of the … how can there be so much fun in one stupid product review? So we’ve got our hands on one of the iconic symbols of the past hundred years. Yes we’re talking about a Star Trek Bluetooth Communicator thingy. Not a toy, but a fully functioning voice activated toy handsfree device for your smartphone. And to play with.

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First impressions
The gadget comes in a very impressive box and foam lined case. Just in case you thought it was a toy, and not a… ahem… collectible. The case contains the communicator itself, as well as a magnetic wireless charging stand (plug your microUSB cable into the back of the stand and drop the communicator onto the stand to charge), a simple carrying case for the unit and a cable. My review unit seemed to be missing a manual, but I found a PDF online in a couple of minutes searching. Check out the video below for my rather incoherent run through of the features.

In use
Erm… well what can you say? It’s a communicator for goodness sake. Flip the device with your hand and the mesh grill opens, the thing bleeps and you’re one step away from Planet Zorg. Or trying to order a pizza. The voice activated phone stuff works a treat, so it’s a real hands free unit in that respect. You can make and receive calls from it, although you’ll have to remember that it’s a loudspeaker device, so privacy on the bus is out of the question with this puppy.

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The best fun bits are the audio clips from the show though. Flick the little right hand button to right, left, top or down and you’ll receive the cast of the show with speaking their catch phrases. Double flick and they’ll reply to your commands, so you can actually get a little conversation going. Oh how you’re going to be popular down the local bar. Or not.

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There are also a few sound effects, which are reminders of those times the red shirts get zapped, or Kirk falls in love with a strangely comely alien, or even … Tribbles. It’s all terribly trivial and not important, but hey fun.

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The other factor worth mentioning is the rather groovy wireless magnetic charge stand, which doubles up as a kind of trophy stand. It looks really nice, and we suspect that the real coolectors will keep their unit securely tucked away until the end of time, behind a glass case. The rest of us will just be silly.

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Conclusion
This is not a toy. Did we say that already? You’ll realize that from the price, but also from the solid die-cast metal finish and the care and attention paid to construction and function. We did notice one of our little buttons come adrift during the test though, but we’re assuming that’s a typical review unit glitch which happens to early models, otherwise that’s not going to be a good sign. But overall? Fabulous little gadget. Bluetooth handsfree will never be the same.

Price: $168 / £119

Specifications:
*
Highly accurate prop replica: created from 3D laser scans of the last known screen-used hero props
* This fully functioning Bluetooth handset means you can make and receive phone calls like a Starship Enterprise crew member
* Contactless charging: just place on the magnetic stand to charge
* Authentic SFX sounds and voices from the StarTrek universe
* Includes high quality light foam lined hard transit case
* High quality speaker is perfect for hands free calls and playing music
* Equally high quality MEMS microphone means crystal clear call quality
* Officially licensed by CBS

Dimensions:
* Measures approximately 22cm(W) x 13.9cm(H) x 4.8cm(D)

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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