Sometimes the best ideas are not original. Sometimes they simply take two seemingly disparate technologies and slap them together. When it’s done well you want to scream: “Why didn’t I think of that?” which is exactly the reaction we had to the curiously named ‘Avantalk Sunday Pro’.
What the Sunday Pro does differently, compared to a regular speakerphone, is it fits a large panel of solar cells on its back. Now for the really neat part- leave it in daylight for just two hours (it doesn’t have to be bright sun) and you’ll have enough energy for one hour of talk time. Furthermore, a full charge can last a whole 13 hours. Get your charging schedule right and you can throw away your wires forever.
So the practicality is good, but what about the actual performance? Happily this measures up too. The Sunday Pro isn’t the loudest speakerphone you can buy, but it is clear and conversations are fluid thanks to Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, some quite effective noise cancelling and support for full duplex. Also pleasing is its voice dialling recognition and multi-point connection, which allows the Sunday Pro to pair with two handsets simultaneously.
Operating it is extremely straightforward too, using just four buttons: volume up and down, mute and the large ‘Multi-Function Button’, or ‘MFB’ as Avantalk refers to it. The MFB certainly lives up to its name too, with a 3-second hold switching the Sunday Pro on and off, a 5-second hold triggering the pairing sequence, a quick press answering and ending calls and a long hold sending incoming calls to voicemail. Meanwhile, a double tap of the MFB redials the last number. Child’s play.
So are there are downsides? Yes, a couple. Firstly, build quality isn’t brilliant. The Sunday Pro’s materials feel cheap and the buttons are clunky, though it is by no means fragile. Secondly, while there is nowhere else for the solar cells to go other than on the back it does mean the device spends a lot of time left upside down, and this way round it has no grip to any surface. To counter this somewhat, the Sunday Pro ships with a cigarette charger and handy suction case, which allows it to be stuck to a car window giving you the best of both worlds.
The final coup de grace is the price. At £39.99 the Avantalk Sunday Pro isn’t pocket change, but for a device that successfully doubles as a handsfree speakerphone and Bluetooth car kit it represents excellent value.
Avantalk Sunday Pro Info
Typical price: £39.99
Powerful solar cells mean you can ditch wired charging
Excellent sound quality
Cheap, if study, build materials
Verdict: The Avantalk Sunday Pro may not boast spectacular build quality, but its solar-powered skills and ease of use make it a solid purchase
More info: Avantalk’s website