Review: Fonebud Essential Plus Is a Charger, Bluetooth Speaker, and Flashlight in One

 Fonebud Essential Plus Is a Charger, Bluetooth Speaker, and Flashlight in One

At the Consumer Electronics Show, I had the chance to see the Essential Plus ($78.99) from Fonebud. If you want a USB charger, it's a good choice. If you want a handheld Bluetooth speaker/handset, it's a good choice. If you want all of the above, and a flashlight, it's your only choice! 

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My wife doesn't like to use her cellphone too much, for fear of radiation. That's where the Fonebud excels. It acts as a Bluetooth handset and it fits comfortably in your hand. It's about the same form as the Apple Magic Mouse, but maybe a little longer. It comes in assorted colors, including Rose Gold, which is pretty popular with the Apple crowd. It's comfortable, although a bit light, and I'd like to see it have a little more heft, perhaps with a metallic shell, to help justify the $80 price.

Also, I'm getting older, so the buttons could be larger and labeled better. And it could use a wall-mount, integrated cables or even charging prongs too so you could mount it right to a wall outlet. The folks at Fonebud were very receptive to my suggestions at CES, so while I'm quite content with the current model, I will be watching them for more cool products.

Pros

  • Useful combination of desirable features
  • Comfortable form factor
  • Attractive design
  • Decent color choices

Cons

  • Buttons could be larger and labeled better
  • Needs more heft
  • Could use a wall mount
  • No integrated cables or charging prongs

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a Bluetooth handset, a USB charger, and a flashlight, there's only one choice: the Essential Plus from Fonebud. 

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.