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RIM BlackBerry HS-500 Wireless Headset

By Al Sacco
October 20, 2009 02:43 PM ET

CIO - Research In Motion (RIM) makes a whole lot more than just BlackBerry smartphones; the Canadian-company sells BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES) and secure smart-card readers to organizations to name a couple examples, along with a bevy of smartphone- and gadget-related accessories like skins, cases, and Bluetooth peripherals for everyday BlackBerry owners.

In fact, the mobile-market has seen a notable increase in RIM-branded BlackBerry accessories released in the past year or so, and that growth has largely coincided with the company's success moving from the enterprise-smartphone-ranks, which RIM dominated for years, to the vast consumer market. In other words, as RIM builds and expands its customer base, it's also growing its product portfolio accordingly.

The company's latest smartphone accessory? The RIM BlackBerry HS-500 Wireless Headset. Many of RIM's new products are meant to not only bring in additional dollars but also drive up loyalty to the BlackBerry brand. RIM's latest accessory, the BlackBerry Wireless Headset HS-500, falls into this category, with its BlackBerry-smartphone-like design and large, can't-miss "seven-dot" BlackBerry logo.

As such, the BlackBerry Bluetooth HS-500 Headset's target audience is the die-hard BlackBerry purist, the person with everything BlackBerry. But it works with just about any other Bluetooth-enabled devices, as well, so even iPhone-enthusiasts can embrace headset-diversity and employ the HS-500, should they so choose.

The HS-500 isn't RIM's first Bluetooth headset, but it's certainly the company's best wireless headset to date.

Keep moving through the rest of my review to see whether or not the BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Headset can and/or should replace your existing ear-piece or speakerphone. First up, what RIM did right...

BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Hands-Free Headset: Hands in the Air

The BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Headset is a follow-up to the company's discontinued HS-655 headset, and as far as looks go, the HS-500 has its elder sibling beat by a long shot. Where the HS-655 was long skinny and a bit awkward, the HS-500 is minimalistic, at less than two inches long and less than three-quarters of an inch wide.

The headset is also very "conservative-looking." In fact, I received a number of comments from friends and family while using the HS-500 who said the gadget looked too "boring" or "plain," but personally, I think that's a good thing. I want my Bluetooth headset to blend in, not stand out, and RIM has done a nice job producing an aesthetically-pleasing headset that doesn't scream "Look at Me!"

The HS-500 is currently only available in one color: black/gray. It certainly wouldn't have been a bad thing for RIM to release the headset in a few different color options, and if you're looking for fashion over function, the BlackBerry HS-500 might not be for you. But like I said, I'm really not looking for a fluorescent-yellow headset that resembles a short-circuiting UFO, so I don't mind the lack of color options.

Originally published on www.cio.com. Click here to read the original story.
This story is reprinted from CIO.com, an online resource for information executives. Story Copyright CXO Media Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.
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