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Published January 17, 2018

If you want to use your Gemini PDA for making and receiving phone calls you have several options. You can sit with the screen open in hands-free mode, use the Gemini closed, or use headphones. All of these will enable a good quality calling experience, but come with at least one caveat. Using the Gemini hands-free isn’t ideal for when you’re on the move, using the Gemini closed makes it harder to quickly see who is calling you, and not everybody is comfortable walking while talking into a headphone speaker.

There is also a fourth option, and one that can be useful for people who might be visiting places where smartphone theft is a risk, and who don’t want to be seen with a valuable, high-tech device too often in public. This being a Bluetooth phone handset.

These are very common in China, and in other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand where anybody with a high-end smartphone runs a high risk of becoming a victim of theft, but they can also offer other benefits for Gemini owners as well.

Bluetooth handsets are becoming more commonplace in the rest of the world but are still difficult to find online, most notably because you’ll quite often have to visit a website such as Alibaba to purchase one. Their advantages however can include being waterproof, being very small and easily pocketable, and that they don’t look like you have a high-end device on your person.

The GT Star Janus One, difficult to find but well worth the effort

I own the GT Star Janus One, which I bought when I backed it on Kickstarter. The Janus One is now very difficult to find, but is an excellent handset if you can get one. It’s metal body is very solid, while the handset is very stylish at the same time. It’s both waterproof, and includes a 1500mAh battery that can either power the handset for a full month, or that can be used to provide a charging boost to your other devices. It will charge the Gemini’s battery to about 35% if you need a boost.

Another key advantage of these handsets is that they rarely cost more than $60, with most costing less. This means that even customs and import duty won’t push the price into an unaffordable area. Some, such as the Janus One, will also be SIM compatible. This is most commonly just 2G however so they won’t work in countries such as the UK and USA, or other countries where the latest cellular connections, such as LTE, have been adopted.

You connect the handset to your Gemini using Bluetooth in the way you’d connect any Bluetooth device. Once connected, they automatically sync your contacts so that you can make and receive calls as though it was a its own phone. Walking down the street and receiving calls then becomes simple, as the handset will display the caller ID of incoming callers, and you can call out in the same way by easily seeing the name of the person you’re contacting, or by dialling the number as you normally would.

These handsets will also support SMS messaging, though it’s unlikely you’ll find a Bluetooth handset which will support any Internet services, so you’ll still need to use your Gemini to read messages from Facebook or WhatsApp.

Bluetooth handsets are very useful, and very versatile for a whole handful of reasons from personal security, to sheer convenience and price. You only need to take it with you when you choose to, and they frequently have battery life you can measure in weeks, rather than days. With all this to recommend them, they’re well worth shopping around for.


Mike Halsey is the author of 18 books on Microsoft Windows usability, accessibility and troubleshooting, writing for Apress, and has been a Microsoft MVP awardee since 2011. He produces video courseware for Pluralsight and also teaches English and Maths for a local charity near his home in Yorkshire (UK). He lives quietly with his rescue collies, Evan and Robbie. He runs the Gemini Planet website and it’s accompanying Facebook Group. You can follow him on Twitter as @MikeHalsey

12 Comments

  1. Hi Mike,

    a great suggestion and i was thinking to get me a few as well for our pre-ordered Gemini’s However, it seems that many people that did order the Janus One got robbed. There have been many complains over time, some have been waiting for over 2 years and never got them. I appreciate your tip but perhaps you add a clear warning about the sales group currently behind it. They even try to do some fishing on their websites, not really commendable i would say 😉

    • Really? I wasn’t aware of that as mine arrived okay. That probably explains why they’re not being made any more :/ Still there are plenty more Bluetooth Handsets (sometimes called Bluetooth dialers) available.

      • Paul Mansfield Paul Mansfield

        I think HTC made one for a while.

  2. Paul Mansfield Paul Mansfield

    I use a collar style bluetooth headset and have an android wear smartwatch. These allow me to see who’s calling and to receive or make calls without touching my phone at all. To make a call, I just dab the bluetooth attention button, wait for Google assistant ping and say “ok google call Mike Walsey” for example.

    One question about Bluetooth in the Gemini: does it have AptX audio codec? I’d happily pay to unlock that!

  3. I wonder whether using a cheap cellphone as a second device just for calls wouldn’t be a better option. I lived this way in my Psion days and will proabably return to this mode with the Gemini.

    • well…. the Janus One ís a cheap cellphone! Cheaper than any other with its capabilities: you can put a simcard in. Or tether it with blue tooth to the Gemini. Either way you can make quick calls directly from the Janus One, which seems to me slightly more comfortable than using only the slightly bulkier and heavier Gemini for that purpose.

      • I still have two simple Nokia phones from my good old Psion days. They still work perfectly. Today, the device I use on a daily basis is an older Blackberry (love the keyboard). Without the Gemini arriving later this year, I would have planned to replace it soon. Now, I will keep it as a device for my pants pocket while having the Gemini in the bag.

  4. A company in Israel has this Janus One on sale on their website for about $60…. https://alexnld.com/product/ultrathin-mini-poche-carte-mobile-oled-telephone-gsm-bluetooth-portable/ They say they ship free worldwide, but price does not include possible tax and import fees. I have not contacted them yet, but am very interested in the device: to leave the Gemini in my zippered hip-bag and feel the Janus One in my pocket vibrate to notify any incoming calls.

  5. Luc NOEL Luc NOEL

    Like other followers of the website and the Facebook page, I just bought a Janus One. My model does not generate a pin code for a Bluetooth connection. It is therefore impossible to use it with an iphone. Before proposing this device, have you verified that the Android version of the Gemini will not ask for pin code for a Bluetooth connection?

  6. harmon harmon

    even more bullshit: “This is most commonly just 2G however so they won’t work in countries such as the UK and USA, or other countries where the latest cellular connections, such as LTE, have been adopted.” all european countries (and the USA) still have fully functional 2G networks …

  7. Mike, great article and idea. I did not realize that these may be used as a Bluetooth Handset. I purchased one from eBay and received it the other day. I’ve used it with my current phone to get use to it. I think it will work well with the Gemini but there are a few things I need to figure out such as getting my contacts showing on the Handset. I should have a couple of weeks to figure it out before my Gemini arrives.

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