Motorola Oasis Handsfree Review
I am very afraid of driving and talking on my phone. But I will be the first to concede that there are times where you just have to— like when you're driving on a work errand that's urgent and your boss calls you while you're on your way...its practically a guarantee that that's urgent too. So how to bridge the divide between my fraidy cat tendencies and needing to answer, a place which has me hurriedly accepting the call and then punching the screen near where it says "Speaker" before dropping the phone into my lap while I struggle to hear what's being said? Why, a Bluetooth handsfree, of course! I previously reviewed a Motorola handsfree device, the h17txt, for which its claim to fame was being able to read aloud incoming texts (with Android devices only, sigh...) This time I received the Motorola Oasis, which is a more high end handsfree device, both in design, and (just a bit) in price. This unit is Motorola's lightest behind-the-ear design, and has dual mics with an extended boom for better noise cancellation. My first thought of seeing the device is that it resembles a very elegant hearing aid. I did not think it would be too comfortable based on the look, but once I got it in my ear, I was very much proven wrong. While it comes with several sizes of rubber ear molds, the medium size which came attached to it fit my right ear perfectly, and the headset sit on my ear in a totally comfortable way. I can see how people would forget this thing was attached to their head and just walk around all day with it.
Actually maneuvering it onto my ear wasn't the easiest though, as I have an inner-ear cartilage piercing, which requires me to move the ring up every time I try to stuff something like an earbud into my ear. Doing that with two fingers while I fit my bud into my ear while trying to fold my outer ear into the device simultaneously is not the easiest motion, and definitely not a fluid movement sans fiddling, at least for me. Generally I wouldn't deduct too many points for this since I believe in putting on the device as soon as you sit in the car anyway (because just in case!)
The back of the handsfree has 3 buttons and an on-off switch, which isn't so easy to operate without any semblance of fingernails (I am a horrifying nail biter). The buttons are easy to feel out because they have raised nubs, 3 dots for volume up and 1 dot for volume down, etc. The boom has it's own button, the main "Go" button, where you can take calls, reject calls, give voice commands, and other things. A test phone call went well, with both the caller being heard loud and clear and my sound travelling the same way right back to him. I love that I can activate voice control by holding down the call button, tell it to "Call Leo" and have the Motorola Oasis' advanced voice controls tell me that Leo has 5 different numbers listed in my phone book, and please choose which one to call! (The controls operator voice goes on to report the different number classifications I set for Leo, including his "GVoice, Work, Mobile, Main, and Other" numbers). Now I can call him from the car when I'm approaching his office, so he can come down and I don't have to sit in the car for a long time, waiting for him to come out so we can grab dinner!
The out of box experience was pretty impressive too. The elegant device comes in an equally elegant black box with silver logo on it, which, when opened, displays the device sitting on its own little black satin pillow and TALKS to you! That's right, the marketing folks at Motorola had a message recorded by a dude who has an English accent and is the Design Manager for headsets at Motorola, introducing your new purchase to you personally! What a cute touch, unseen in the real world except for those amusing singing greeting cards.
At $80, the Motorola Oasis is a very attractive, well built Bluetooth headset. If you're on the market for one, and you're looking for a comfortable, beautiful unit that also sounds good, this is a great option for you. However, if you need other features like your texts read aloud, for those text-aholics, there are other handsfree devices on the market for you.