Iqua 603 SUN bluetooth headset
Iqua have a range of Bluetooth headsets - this is the first product that I've reviewed from the company - the iQua 603 SUN Bluetooth headset.
Physically this headset is on the larger size measuring 48 x 25 x 12mm (LxWxH) and weights 14g. This extra size accomodates a small solar cell mounted on the outer face of the device. Included in the package are an ear hook, two different ear plugs a charger and a carry strap.
Unfortunately I didn't find either of the ear plugs to be a good fit to my ear and I found with the ear hook installed the device did not sit well within my ear. The problem appeared to be the size of the speaker component, which just felt somewhat too big. Instead of being a snug fit all it would do is press lightly against the outside of the ear. This of course also meant that the volume had to be set high to hear with even low levels of background noise.
Charging is via a standard USB connector allowing you to make use of either the mains adaptor or an available USB port (a cable for USB is not provided but a standard connector is used). Finally of course you can make use of solar power.
According to the documentation you should be able to keep the device fully charged by leaving it on your dashboard extending standby time indefinitely. It will also extend talk-time, but not indefinitely - and of course for on the assumption that you don't have long hair that's going to shade the device in use!
A full charge however achieved should give you up to 12 hours talk-time, which compares very favourably with the devices in my recent headset comparison review.
I used the Iqua 603 successfully with both the Motorola U9 I reviewed recently (you can read that review here) and my trusty Sony Ericsson K800i. In both cases the handset correctly reconnected with the phone automatically after taking it out of range.
There are three controls: a volume up/down pair and the usual 'answer' function be pressing the front plate. Various combinations of button had additional functions (press volume up and down together to pair for example). All the function you should need are available from the headset without having to resort hunting out the phone you have buried at the bottom of your bag including : answer, reject call; last number redial; voice dial; mute;
The Iqua 603-SUN is hardly the smallest device of it's kind on the market but is a credible Bluetooth headset even excluding the solar feature. The solar capability offers the potential of never having to remember to charge up your headset again - just leave it laying around in daylight. This can be a huge bonus to those of us that never remember to charge devices until they've stopped working. No we just need a similar solar powered phone to complete the set!
Searching the Internet I didn't find many people stocking the Iqua SUN 603 - however the best price I did find was from Mobile Fun for £32.45 (including shipping) on the following link :
The Iqua SUN 603 is available for $72.99 including shipping from Amazon on the following link :
Searching the Internet I found what claims to be the Uqua SUN 603 on Amazon for €79,90. It's worth checking though - despite the description refering to solar power, the picture is of a completely different headset (without a solar power)!
For comparison I've reproduced the table from the recent round-up and added an extra colum for the Iqua :
|Motorola H375||BlueTrek SenSe||Motorola H680||Iqua SUN 603|
|Talk time (hours)||6||4||8||12|
|Best points||USB recharge. price||Small, light, unobtrusive||Battery life, cool design||USB charge, solar charge|
|Worst points||Colour coding status||Ear clip, no volume control||'docking' system for charging||Fit in ear poor|
|Price (incl. shipping)||£23.88||£40.83||£37.49||£32.45|
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