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.
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