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Griffin Smart Talk Solar hands-free kit

We see if sun powered hands-free device is up to the job

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

We’ve tested plenty of sun visor-mounted speakerphones over the years for drivers who don’t want to use a hands-free earpiece to make calls on the go. But we’ve tried only a few screen-mounted devices – and this is the latest.

The Griffin Smart Talk Solar rivals the Scosche solCHAT we tested prevously, and takes its power from a rear-mounted solar panel. A pair of suckers fix the clear plastic case to your screen, then you slide the device inside.

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On a bright day, there was plenty of sunlight to top up the hands-free kit’s charge. For less sunny conditions, there is a 12V cable to plug in, but the lead is a little too short to be of use in all cars.

And while it’s easy to make calls using the Griffin, due to the big buttons, we felt sound quality was poor – the speaker was quiet, and turning up the volume caused distortion, although our caller reported no problems.

The device is bigger and more solid than the solCHAT, and better overall. But it’s £10 more. It’s also £10 pricier than the Motorola TX500 – our speakerphone Best Buy – and we still prefer the visor mount design.

Griffin recommends you use a special free app to go with the hands-free kit. Among other things, this spells out the law on phone use in-car, but we think most drivers will be aware of this.

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