REVIEW: GOgroove SMARTmini AUX Bluetooth

The  GOgroove Smart mini AUX Bluetooth is a nifty product that lets me play audio over Bluetooth. The calls, voice-guided navigation and music – everything play through the car audio system. It lets me drive hands-free without losing focus on the road.

This Bluetooth kit from GOgroove is meant for cars without Bluetooth functionality, like my Alto K10. The audio system of your car needs to have a working aux port for this device to work.

Contents

The neat package includes:

  • An optional mount. You won’t need it if you plan to plug in the device directly to your aux port.
  • A 3M sticking pad to fix it. Not needed if you aren’t using the base.
  • A nifty extension wire – needed if you are using the base.
  • USB charging cable

Operation

The SMARTmini can be plugged in directly to the aux port of the car or it can be plugged in to the mount. In the second case, the supplied extension wire connects the mount with the aux port wile the base is fixed to a location of your choice with the 3M sticker that comes with the package.

The device needs to be charged, once in a while, with the provided USB-to-3.5mm cable. It can draw power from any USB car charger. When not charging, I store it in the glovebox.

There is a single button with the following functions

  • long press for 3 seconds to power it on
  • long press for 8 seconds power it on and start scanning for new devices
  • press once to accept an incoming call

Useful features

  • Calls are very clear and the other end can hear me fine without any feedback, thanks to the noise-cancelling microphone.
  • In my car, the aux port is in the centre of the dash panel and the device manages to catch my voice fine from that far. So I never needed to use the mount or the extension cable.
  • Device has a very low footprint with absolutely no wires, I simply plug it into the aux port.
  • Very good build quality and finish.
  • It takes about 1.5 hours to get charged fully.
  • Once charged fully, the battery withstands 6 hours of operation – which actually translates to several days in my experience.
  • It turns off automatically if there is no Bluetooth pairing for an extended period of time.

Drawbacks

  • On the con side, it won’t turn on its own as you start the car. It has to turned on manually with a long press. I can live with that because devices with such an “auto on” feature would need a dedicated wired connection while I was looking for a wireless experience. The wireless feature is important in my car because the aux port is prominently visible. For cars with the aux port located out of plain sight, one can consider many of the wired Bluetooth kits.
  • The blinking light, built into the power button, is of no utility and a distraction.

Price

I had got it for ₹2390 on iBhejo.com in February 2015.

Long term ownership

After more than two years of use, the SMARTmini continues to serve me well. The battery is strong as ever.

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"REVIEW: GOgroove SMARTmini AUX Bluetooth" by @wishnipon