Sony Ericsson HCB-700
- Bright and clear display, Excellent voice quality and volume
- Control knob design, Can’t access SIM phonebook, Not all features compatible with non-Sony Ericsson handsets
If you own a Sony Ericsson phone, this is a car kit with some excellent features, most notably its voice digit dialing and phonebook capabilities.
Price$ 305.00 (AUD)
The Sony Ericsson HCB-700 is a Bluetooth hands-free car kit that utilises voice recognition technology to help you make calls. A three piece unit which requires installation into your vehicle, the HCB-700 is ideal for those who constantly use their mobile phone while driving.
The HCB-700's best feature is without doubt what Sony Ericsson has dubbed 'Voice Digit Dialling'. You simply press the speech button on the controller, say the phone number out loud and the unit automatically dials it for you. Furthermore, if you have a Sony Ericsson compatible handset, you can say the names of contacts in your phonebook for dialing as well. We found this feature worked quite well, although you need to ensure your speech is clear and loud for it to register on the device. Do note though that this function only works with specific Sony Ericsson models (full compatible phone list available here.).
The HCB-700 consists of three parts - a backlit monochrome display, a speaker and a control knob. Ideally, the control knob should be installed in the centre console between the front two seats of your car, so it is easily accessible while driving. The knob consists of five buttons (power/end call, Bluetooth, speech/answer call, phonebook and a scroll wheel), but we felt the design was poorly implemented. The knob does not feel secure or sturdy and the scroll wheel is a little flimsy. We found it difficult to achieve accuracy when scrolling through menu items, for example.
The display is bright and clear thanks to a monochrome backlight and you can select either a white or green backlight through the settings menu. We had no complaints with the screen in any department. There are enough character spaces to show even the longest of contact names and the backlight ensures the screen is visible for night driving. The HCB-700 is also compatible with caller ID (provided your Sony Ericsson phone and mobile network supports it), so a quick look at the display can tell you who is calling. You can then decide whether you want to take or reject the call using the answer or end call key. The display is best mounted at eye level - somewhere on your car's dashboard would be ideal.
We were very impressed with the voice quality of the HCB-700: the speakerphone is quite loud and clear even in noisy environments. You shouldn't experience any difficulties hearing voice at anytime during travel, even in heavy traffic, since the volume of the speaker at its highest setting is more than adequate. A nifty feature we also found was that in addition to the speaker ringing during an incoming call, your phone rings as well - meaning you shouldn't ever miss a call.
Another worthy feature is the ability to scroll through your phonebook using the controls and screen of the HCB-700. This means you really don't need to pick up your phone at all while driving. Once again though, this only works with certain Sony Ericsson models. Furthermore, the HCB-700 isn't compatible with your SIM contacts, so you'll have to make sure they are in the phone's memory.
Overall, the HCB-700 is an excellent all-round car kit, but we would question its purchase if you don't own a Sony Ericsson handset. However if you do and constantly use your mobile in the car then the convenience of voice dialling and the ability to scroll through your phonebook is well worth its asking price.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTNetwork Deployment ManagerVIC
- CCData Warehouse Solution DesignersACT
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTCustomer Account Officers x3NSW
- CCInfrastructure EngineerACT
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- FTResearch Officer / Data Scientist .Work Location- ACTACT
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Sitecore Developer (.NET)QLD
- FTSenior PHP Developer / Technical LeadQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant - SharePoint developerQLD
- FTData Analyst/ Reporting AnalystQLD
- CCGIS DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTIT Support EngineerNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical WriterVIC
- FTLAMP Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- FTPHP / WordPress DeveloperQLD
- FTStorage EngineerSA