Sony Ericsson HCB 120

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Sony Ericsson HCB 120
  • Sony Ericsson HCB 120
  • Sony Ericsson HCB 120
  • Sony Ericsson HCB 120
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Tilted display for caller ID, colours can be changed to reflect five different phones, controls, reasonable sound quality, slightly improved battery life over previous model, auto off feature

Cons

  • Not quite as good as a dedicated car kit, overpriced

Bottom Line

The HCB-120 adds a caller ID display and extra battery life to an already above average speakerphone, but it's a little pricey.

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The Sony Ericsson HCB-120 is a Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone that is designed for use in either the office or a car, and is the upgrade to the previous HCB-100. Once again boasting above average sound quality, as well as the ability to connect with up to five mobile phones, the HCB-120 adds a small display to show caller ID information. Unfortunately, the price is a little steep.

The HCB-120 includes a visor clip to mount in your car. It supports Bluetooth 1.2 and will work with any mobile phone that supports Bluetooth headsets. For use in an office, the HCB-120 can be placed on a desk and used just as you would in a car. Sony Ericsson has done away with the flip up microphone used in the HCB-100, this time building it into the unit itself.

Like the previous model, the HCB-120 controls are well laid out and marked. There are four buttons; a call key, end/power key, and two others - one to mute the microphone during a call and turn on Bluetooth pairing mode, and the other to switch between the five Bluetooth profiles available and change the colour of the display. You can assign a different colour to show you which of the five available profiles are being used using the convenient volume control; of course, this dial also adjusts ringing and in-call volume levels.

The display is tilted, so it can be viewed at various angles without suffering from a poor viewing angle. As well as showing caller ID information, the display shows battery life, volume control, pairing mode and any settings you can adjust. During testing, the display is viewable in all lighting conditions, but annoyingly, the caller ID information takes a few seconds to appear on the display when the phone rings.

The HCB-120 functions much like a standard Bluetooth headset. Calls can be answered or rejected at the touch of a button. Pressing the call key enables voice dialling (if supported by your mobile phone), while pressing twice redials. Audio quality is reasonable, but not outstanding. We didn't experience any echo or poor voice quality, so as long as our car windows were closed. We didn't notice a difference in quality between the flip-out microphone of the previous model, and the built in one here.

The HCB-120 measures 96mm x 77mm x 22mm and weighs 110g. Sony Ericsson has improved battery life over the HCB-100, as the unit is rated at up to 24 hours of talk time and 450 hours of standby time. The unit is charged via the included car charger and once again, it automatically turns off after 10 minutes without a connection, saving valuable battery life.

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