Pinn All-In-One Handsfree Review: a Pager in 2017?
How important is not getting the phone out of your pocket, for you?
Most of us haven’t probably seen a pager or were too young when they were around. They were these tiny personal data assistants that would ring when needed. Nothing that our smartphones can’t do. But then, here’s Pinn who’s trying to bring them back, with a lot of 21st century features! Intro, and let’s check out the Pinn.
The best way to describe the PINN is an All-in-One handsfree device for your smartphone. Basically they want you to eliminate the need of getting the phone out of your pocket for smaller tasks.
Also, we are using a prototype unit so some small things might change in the final retail version. I will mention that when I talk about it. Basically it is divided into two parts the pin a bird and the pin dock. Together, they become the world’s first wearable BT clip combining a wireless earbud, speaker and a display. It’s made out of a nice aluminum which is tough to scratch.
You are supposed to see this in the following way: keep the entire Pinn clipped to an easily accessible place (like a collar or pocket) and keep the bus docked when not in use and in your ear when needed.
Let’s start with the bud. It looks angular and big and uncomfortable, but once inserted properly it sat flush and was wasn’t uncomfortable or funny to look at. There is an LED on it to show status like connection, battery etc. There’s a button on the back and a mic on the front. The mic was decent at picking up your voice, for instances like calls or summoning Google Assistant. It was easy for me to hear the other person and somehow the background noise wasn’t a problem. It would cut off noise just enough to keep the disturbance away, but not so much that you can’t hear the traffic. But, the voice quality on the receiving end was reported to be unclear at times, especially when I was in a loud environment. I think this has got something to do with the placement and distance from the mouth. However, call quality was good in the more silent conditions, like an office or a class room.
Talking about the dock, it has an OLED display on the front, flanked with 4 buttons and a micro USB charging port on the sides. The charging port was a little difficult to access, but that won’t be the case in the final retail unit. On the back of the Pinn is a clip to attach it and on the bottom, is an endangered 3.5 mm Jack. So in those cases when the bud is out of battery, this will let you enjoy your music with a pair of wired earphones. And also, if you want to use your earphones with a phone that doesn’t have an audio jack.
This entire package is also water resistant, meaning that light rains won’t be a problem. It’s great how much functionality you have using these limited buttons. The ones under the display are for volume, the one on the top is to turn on the display and a double press takes you to the menu. You can scroll the menu and use the 4th button to select. In the menu on the dock, you can check your missed calls and call them back from there. You can also check your messages and reply to them.
The next one’s a fun one. You can control your phone camera with it. Opens the camera and can click by hitting the select button. Then you can control the music, with volume and switch between tracks. And if you want to enjoy the music with others, you can put the Pinn back in its place and listen to it loudly through the loud speaker on the Pinn. Obviously not going to fill your room, but is good enough for a small group. And then there’s the option to rotate the interface, for lefties.
You also have full Google Assistant and Siri functionality, which can be activated by a double of the button on the bud. Yes the button is awkward to press, and you will require internet access.
While the feature set is actually convenient, the price tag of almost $200 means you should have a really really strong reason to not just pull the phone out of your pocket. Having said that, it is going to be one of those products that I really enjoyed testing and will continue using it in the future.
Big thanks to Pinn for sending us this prototype to check out.