My First Product Review: Nokia HF-510 Speakerphone

First of all I want to thank WOMWorld for giving me the opportunity to make my first ever product review blog post. It was really fun trying out the two devices and I appreciate you reaching out!

The product I was asked to review was the Nokia HF-510 Bluetooth speakerphone. With it they sent a Nokia N97 in white to test with. As soon as they arrived, I opened them both up and my immediate impression was that they were both very good looking and well made products.

My plan was to get the speakerphone out to my car as soon as possible to test everything out. But then my mechanic called and told me he had an opening to service my car that week and would need the car. All week. Not to mention it was raining anyway and I wanted a sunny day to photograph and video the speakerphone in action.

So in the meantime I swapped the SIM card from my Blackberry Curve to the N97 to try it on for that week. My initial impression was a bit soured when the back cover didn’t snap in flush to the phone. Doing some research online thinking I was putting it on wrong revealed that this is a common problem for the device. Too bad because the overall fit and finish of the device was really nice – beautiful screen, nice weight, and good materials. The action of sliding the screen back to reveal the keyboard had an especially nice solid and click into place feeling.

In brief, I’d say the N97 was a good smart phone but I can tell I’m now a full-on Blackberry addict. While the Curve is quite outdated compared to the N97, the menu navigation is much more intuitive. For instance, I’ve become quite accustomed to typing in the first few letters of a contact on file to call, and felt constricted on the N97. You can set up contact icons for those you call most often, but my list of commonly called would really exceed what was practical for this menu. Maybe there is a faster way to do this, but in my limited time with phone I didn’t find it by just looking around. I was also excited to try out the touch-screen on the N97, but found it very sensitive and often felt like my fingers were just too big for the interface.

That said, it was a joy to surf YouTube videos and enjoy the high quality screen and playback. The backlit keys were also really nice at night. The wifi connectivity was also very welcomed as my Curve doesn’t have this feature and the difference in speed is considerable. It also has a nice camera built in that took pretty good images. Here is the before and after of lasagna I made for my friends Pat and Steph:

Picture of Lasagna taken with Nokia N97 Picture of Lasagna taken with Nokia N97

The real bad news for U.S. customers is that if the N97 appeals to you, I wasn’t able to find a major carrier here that offered this phone in a package. As such you’ll need to buy an unlocked phone at full price. Amazon is currently listing the phone for $512.94

On to the HF-510 speakerphone, this was also a nicely put together device. It has a great looking LCD display on the front that makes it pretty easy to see what you’re doing, even in full sunlight. It also features a simple menu navigation via the main button on the front and the outer wheel that spins around the outside of the device to scroll through options.

Unfortunately my review of this device came at the very end of my trial period due to scheduling issues on my end, and my review of the actual device was quite short. That said, I was able to put together the following first time set up video for the two devices. Be kind folks, it’s my first attempt at one of these:

As you may have noticed, the actual use of the device during a call was quite limited. I have to admit that I’m not a regular user of speakerphones and it wasn’t totally intuitive to me on how to use these devices together. I have since figured out what I was doing wrong, but by the time that revelation occurred it was time to send the devices back. Long story short, don’t touch the phone once in the car and synced. Almost any interaction with the phone when connected to the speakerphone will result in phone reverting back to the active device — which of course defeats the whole purpose. I’m sure that I would’ve figured this out after the first day with more use, and I expect that it would’ve resulted in trouble free use.

In conclusion, I really liked the build quality, ease of installation, and easy to read display (which didn’t show well in the video, but looked great in person). Had I spent more time with the device and owner’s manual before getting in the car, I could’ve probably had everything setup as desired in an hour. And with Oregon’s new hands-free only law, it will definitely help drivers stay connected, safe, and lawful.

Amazon has the Nokia HF-510 listed for a very reasonable $70.35

Thank you again to WOMWorld for the opportunity to review these devices and try my hand at a review.

Dan Crouch

{FTC note: these products were used on a trial basis for two weeks and sent back to WOMWorld after that. There was no monetary compensation for this review. -dc}