Laymans take on Nokia BH-217, the big review


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A few days back, I took a trip to Nokia Priority and noticed that a cute and sleek Bluetooth handset, about which we talked about in Nokia World 2010 days, finally has made its ways to market. Nokia BH-217, very sleek, very catchy to the eyes and well matching the build quality of Nokia N8 like some natural buddy . Being active in the blogosphere, I already knew that beyond the looks, it also is a very capable handset and made the decision of purchase, in fact made the order.

But some of your days really get lucky, when you have folks around like @womworldnokia. An innocent tweet, I made to ask friends that if anyone might have used Nokia BH-217 and was almost jumped from the seats, when my most favorite and WOM God father @_ODoG_ replied via a short tweetCheck your mail”.

Like always been, two three days more and the shiny kid of the block was right in my hands with usual DHL packaging.

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I was like in hurry to open the box and to see, the one that came all the way to me for review, which I was just about to buy. The blue box and what first appeared to my eyes is the silver Nokia BH-217 with the doc.

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After opening the DHL’s yellow parcel, I was greeted with the usual baby blue packet and what I found more interesting was the green sweet box kind of casing for the headset and related accessories (though my green box was damaged a little, may be delivery damage).

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It was the first time, when I seen some kind of dock with a bluetooth handset and then the headset itself… what a beauty …. lovely piece of work

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I will come over details of doc later on, but before that presenting you the glorious and all classy

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Nokia BH-217

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I really loved the fact that now I will not be needed to keep my headset in ears always due to presence of handy dock provided with it, which can be hooked into cloths (pocket etc) very easily like wired headset.

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The Nokia BH-217 box was full of goodies, containing much much more things than I ever would have seen in any other headset package (except BH-905).

Full content of the package

  • Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-217 Silver
  • Carrying clip and car cradle (both white)
  • Nokia Charger AC-3E
  • Three earplugs (size S, M and L)
  • Two ear hooks made of transparent plastic (size M and L)
  • User Guide

Technical specs

  • Dimensions 50.5 x 17 x 6.2 mm, Weight 7.6 g
  • Single Operating keys to remove/replace the headset in the clip or car cradle to power on/off and answer/end calls, Multifunction key for power on/off and answer/end
  • Nokia 2 mm charger connector interface, 45 mAh Li-ion Polymer rechargeable battery
  • Talk (Bluetooth): Up to 5 hours ( I found it better than specs while using) and up to 3 months in clip or car cradle
  • 10 m (Bluetooth use), DSP noise reduction, Adaptive volume adjustment
  • Unique voice guidance to assist in pairing the headset, and for battery and connection status indication

Now going into closer details …

Headset exteriors

When we look over the headset itself without the earplug, then not only the built is kind of one-piece, but they have taken an extreme minimalistic and slim approach.

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There is no buttons except the one for call receiving and ending. You find a tiny quad-color LED on the top side in back (green when the charge level is sufficient, red when charge level is low, yellow means you may need to recharge the battery and blue when in pairing mode). 

14122010885In the bottom, you find one tiny screw, one 2mm charging port and a pair of metal contacts to switch it off, when kept in any of the two docks.

While some might miss the volume button, but I found it perfect with the fact that what a slim build they are providing.


The Ear buds with headset

Well! I must admit that in the first sight the shape was odd to me and I was thinking that why this D shaped hooks over the simple shape we known about the ear buds till now.

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Still not sure about the exact reason, but one thing is sure, due to their shape, you don’t need to use the hooks at all, which been a pain in ear since long. I know many of you will feel that how its possible to carry the headset in ear without using the hook, but I assure you that I am using it without hook since last three days and it didn’t dropped for even a single occasion. You just need to choose the right size for you, might be a little trouble in finding exact fit place, but once fit, you will not even feel it on your ear. I am using size S.


Carrying clip and Car cradle

I am not sure that if there are other Bluetooth handsets, which come with such clip and cradle, but as I am concerned, I am like loving it a lot. The package is kind of full value of money (the best price quoted to me is 1750 INR in Delhi, but I am expecting it to go more less)

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The cloth clip is simple enough and yet holds the headset very firmly. You will notice that on the bottom, there is place for 2mm charger, which will be exposed  only if you put the headset front facing toward the open side. Much handy, if you want to keep it in charging and will save any kind of scratches, which were sure there over time, when you were keeping it over surface like some table.

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Similar about the build of the car cradle, which I am not using at the moment due to absence of car, but one of our friend @sachin_malhotra, who recently bought a black one, just loving it.


Ear Hooks

Though I am not using the hooks and one of my oldest headset Nokia BH-204 went useless only because of loosing the hook, so I am happy with it.

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But for people, who like to use it for the safer side (like in situations of running etc), there are two of them. Glossy transparent white ones. Not sure, how the black ones are, but will soon check out, when I will buy one for self.


The charger

The Ultra-compact charger is lightweight, rapid charging and has a smaller plug so you can carry it around with ease.

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Obviously it is the universal 2mm one, which could be used to charge other Nokia handsets as well.


Unique things about Nokia BH-217 usability

For the details of features, you can take a look over the Official page, but let me tell you about things that I noticed.

  • The handset comes with adaptive volume adjustment and DSP noise reduction inbuilt (software based I guess, unlike BH-905, which uses multiple microphones for the same), which I found not making enough difference while hearing songs, but was very well noticeable while on some call. Calls are crisp and clear on both the side and I am not saying this just for saying, they really are.
  • The second unique thing about the headset is Always Ready feature. It automatically connects with the handset within a second at most, once you take it out from the holder. Keeping the headset in holder will come into your habits soon when you will know that it provides over 3 months of battery life while kept in holder (because its in  stand by there).
  • The third and most important lovely fact about this tiny piece of magic is “It can connect two devices simultaneously”. I tried even third one, but it just remember the last two connected devices and will leave the first one and if already connected with two, then wont connect with the third one.

    It also co-ordinates well with both the connected devices, like if you are on call via one handset and receive call on second one, then it puts the first one on hold, similar about if you were hearing the music over one handset and the call came over other handset, then it will pause the player.

  • Get helpful voice guidance from your headset to help you pair it with your phone, and to indicate battery and connection status though I will say that I found the volume of guiding speech a little low or might be we Indians are used to of high volumes 😉

It was interesting to note that while connecting to Nokia N8, it didn’t asked for a password and same about Nokia E5-00 (which is with me now days, thanks to @womworldnokia), but while connecting to Nokia N82, it asked for the same and I was to use the default “0000” one. Look like something changed with Symbian that I didn’t noticed before.

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So, this was all about Nokia BH-217, which you might wanna know, if looking for some really sleek and light weight Bluetooth headset that should be surprisingly cheaper and yet at the finest edge of features.

Drop me your  comments, if any questions about it.

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Author: Nitish Kumar

I love to write and raising voice, sharing thought and heated debate is a kind of passion for me. Jobwise I am just another Computer professional handling Infra and designing solutions for a big Indian Media house but I love to write, sketch, photography and a lot more.

49 thoughts on “Laymans take on Nokia BH-217, the big review”

  1. Dear Nitish, Hi !! Thanks for the information… Just got my BH 217 today… Yippee !! Black colour… Looks classy & stylish… Agree with you but still need to get comfortable with wearing & removing it safely, otherwise its superb… Pls tell me if there are any tips about using it… Thanks.

  2. Hello,

    Good review.
    I would like to know how is the call quality in noisy situations. Is the sound loud enough. and does the device gets heated up if we have long conversations.
    Appreciate your comments on the above queries.

    1. Yogesh,
      Call Quality in noisy condition is superb though I dont think that it does two microphone thingy.

      I took a 45 mins call while driving bike at 60 kmph though headphone was under helmet, but the other side didn’t even got the idea that I was driving.

      No heat either.

      1. .. Dear Nitish .. everything is perfect with mine but the voice is too low, and getting lower in a noisy places .. any idea ..?

  3. hi,
    canT get it under 2100/- where did you get the quote/ but it from please. would love to save some money (-:

    (sorry forgot the T in cant)

    1. Hi Kapil,
      I got a quote of 1900/- few days back from NPD itself, so I am pretty sure that one should not pay 2100/- at least. 1750/- was the best price I got quoted for.

      I checked with Nokia Priority Dealer, Laxmi Nagar

  4. Hi Guys,

    I have bought this device couple of days ago, the shop guy showed me the demo of connecting this with 2 mobiles. However, I am unable to connect now after I am back to home. Might be the reason it was not disconnected to the other device when the shopkeeper connected at the shop.

    Please help me in connecting with my other mobile. Now I am connected with my nokia and it is working fine. When I try to search this device from other mobile and it is not finding this headset. Any comments would be appreciated ?

      1. Hi Nitish,

        I m trying to pair with E5-00. I am not able to pair, may be coz the device is not blinking in blue colour(which is a pairing mode). However it is already been paired with my C5-00 and it is working fine with that. Could you please help me out in pairing… Thanks

        rgds,
        Darshan

  5. Hi Nitish, pls help me on few points related to this bluetooth,
    1. Is this having Mute Button or we have to do it through Phone it self.
    2. It can handle call waiting feature directly from blue tooth when connected to one device only, pls confirm.

    Your advice will help me to buy this.

  6. Hey nitish can you give me the place where this best price was quoted?? im also in delhi and plan to take this headset in 3~4 days…

    how’s the battery backup??

  7. you said “It also co-ordinates well with both the connected devices, like if you are on call via one handset and receive call on second one, then it puts the first one on hold”… Does this mean that it automatically puts the first call on hold.. or you meant that you can put the first call on hold from the phone and answer the second call from the second set????

    1. on a dual call , if you push the device for 2 seconds it wiil put the first on hold and open the second , and vice versa .. now if you push the multifunction key once (just a click) it will close the first and answer the second

  8. Gross cheating by Nokia and falsely selling the product claiming for features that are not available with Nokia C7 mobile

    . I have purchased a nokia c7 mobile phone (bill no 5144 &5146 dt 07/1/11 ) along with a bluetooth set bh108 mainly believing the nokia web page advertisement hosted on their company web page maps with free gps navigation with clear voice navigation. The web page claims that (maps with free gps navigation) ” use the nokia bluetooth headset bh-217 for clear voice navigation as you walk”. Please refer their web site url http:/Www.Nokia.Co.In/Find-products/Products/Nokia-c7-00/Features

    2. The bluetooth set bh108 DID not function and I was not getting any voice guidance from the bluetooth set. I went to shop keeper and told him it is not working. He told me to make complaints to nokia care. Accordingly I made many complaints to nokia care. It was advised to me citing the web site of nokia ( http:/Www.Nokia.Co.In/Find-products/Products/Nokia-c7-00/Features) to purchase bh217 bluetooth set to use the feature. Again I purchased a bh217 bluetooth (bill no 536 ) set as claimed by nokia website.

    3. From the day one never the voice navigation guidance could be heard from bh217 bluetooth set while on walk. I visited (three) nokia care premium centers at ambala cantt, new delhi and noida. None of the nokia care centre staff could solve the problem. They told to change the bh217 set. That was done. Told to re-install all the applications. That was done. No improvement or solution to problem. I get the voice navigation from mobile set while walking and not from bluetooth set. Spoke to one mr. Pulkit nokia care over phone on 14 apr 11 from 1830 to 1930hrs. No response calls till date. Again I called nokia care on 22 apr 11, spoke to one mr. Arvind at 1820hrs. Zero result. After 25 minutes he connected me to one mr sandeep sharma . He spoke to me for 20 minutes he promised that he will come to rectify the issue. No response till date. Till date and time no solution. Again called up nokia care on 25 apr 11, spoke to one samir. He was asking all the details for 40 minutes and told to go to nokia care centre and dropped the phone. Spoken to nokia care customer centre five times. Last I visited mannat telecom at noida india on 26 apr 11. Finally I placed a post on nokia discussion group the issue. Please refer

    http:/Discussions.Mea.Nokia.Com/T5/Cseries/Not-getting-navigational-voice-guidance-from-bluetooth-set-nokia/Td-p/1007599.

    4. One mr malkit claiming as country service manager called me up on 05 may 11 telling that the issue is small and will either get it repaired or replace the whole set and bluetooth set. He asked for 5 days time. He didn’t respond till 11 may11. I called him on 11 may 11, he told that someone else will call me. On 12 may 11 one mr dinesh called me and told that he will come back to me after 5 days. He never came back to me. In the meantime, I have sent many emails to nokiaindiadigitalmarketing@ovi.Com and to contactcentre.India@nokia.Com briefed almost 10-12 people from nokia. They(nokia india) were just misleading me only and ever a solution was offered. As I was experiencing gross cheating by the nokia india staff and directed to someone else again and again. I again appraoched nokia global for action on 23 may 11.
    Finally I was intimated on 24 may 11 by email by wayne michael spillett,
    global community manager for nokia. The contents are placed below
    from: “support.Discussions@nokia.Com”
    to: vganesan_iaf@yahoo.Com
    sent: tuesday, may 24, 2011 6:36 pm
    subject: nokia c7-00 / Bh-217
    hi mr ganesh,

    with regard to your case, I regret to inform you that the news that I have received today is not good, I have a response from the c7-00 development programme that the latest symbian devices are actually designed to transmit voice commands through the phone speaker and not over bluetooth radio frequency to the headset; therefore your c7-00 is working as it is designed to do and regrettably the websites were wrong. Nokia is in the process of making sure that the publicity for the c7-00 is corrected.

    I cannot apologise enough for the inconvenience that this puts you to, not only in having bought the two products under the misapprehension that they would work in a particular way but also for the length of time it has taken nokia care to offer you a definitive response to your enquiries. Unfortunately, there is little that I can do further with regard to these products in this circumstance, if you wish to take matters further I would recommend that you make a complaint to nokia care india by calling +91 (city code) 30303838, I am more than happy that they contact me at this e-mail address if they need to verify any of the information that I have provided in this message.

    However, as a gesture of our goodwill and as a thank-you for bringing this issue to nokia’s attention, I have received authority to offer you fifty free music tracks to download from ovi music india. All you need to do is to let me know your ovi music account username (if you do not already have one, you can create one at http:/Music.Ovi.Com/In/En/Pc) and I will ensure that the rest is done. Ovi music offers high-quality mp3 music which you can listen to using your nokia c7-00 device or any other mp3-compatible device, and also burn to a CD using nokia’s ovi player software. I would appreciate your keeping this offer between us, because I cannot make such gestures often and do not wish other individuals to be unduly disappointed.

    If you have any further questions about the content of this e-mail, please do not hesitate to get back in touch with me.

    Kind regards,
    wayne spillett
    community manager – nokia support discussions

    salo – finland.

    5. Sir, as intimated by mr wayne spillett if the web sites were wrong why no action was taken for two months and why I was made to make multiple calls to nokia staff and made to go to various repair centres. Why I should accept the paltry compensation of few songs for highly misleading web advertisement and all the mental and physical torture and monetary expenditure incurred on phone calls. The nokia company by their gross cheating attitude and falsely selling the product claiming of features that are not available and could not rectify. Even today the publicity features is available in the nokia web site. I request that the company may be punished with open apology for misleading the public and recalling of fault nokia c7 mobile set. I may be please be given with compensation for mental and physical torture and all my monetary expenditures and the company may be instructed to pay my expenditures and compensation. With regards

  9. Hi

    I bought Nokia BH-217 couple of days back.

    On one hand it gives comfort while driving and on other hand the battery backup of Nokia BH-217 is hardly 20 – 30 minuts.

    Pls respond –

    How to get a good battery back up of Nokia BH-217

    and further advise on this.

    warm regards

    sushil kumar

    9312782401

  10. Hi i bought Nokia bh-217 model too, but for some reason i cannot connect it with iphone 3g… can u plz help me how to do that?
    when i turn on iphone bluetooth option it keep searching…
    i was able to pair this with another phone but now with iphone i couldn’t
    thanks

      1. I am trying to pair it via bluetooth from ‘general’ in iphone ‘settings’, but its giving a response as ” pairing Unsuccessful, the pairing took too long ” but my bh 217 was placed next to the iphone … kindly guide on how to go ahead … ?

  11. I have been using the Nokia BH-217 for 3 weeks now and I’m disappointed at the poor battery life and the very low maximum volume. If kept on your ear and paired to the phone all the time while driving it won’t take much more than 2 to 3 hours before you start hearing “low battery” warning. The actual talking time will be around 30 – 45 minutes before the battery goes flat. Not good for me so I tried to keep it in the cradle and remove it only to receive or make a call but the thing is a bugger to put on your ear without looking into a mirror! Rubish really. And the sound is thin as air, very hard to hear in the car let alone if it is raining or if the radio is on. I cannot recommend this product.

    1. Absolutely incorrect.
      Either your product is damaged & you need to get it replaced.

      I am using it since a year almost and not facing any of the above said problems.

      1. I’ll keep it on test for another week (say two more charging cycles) and if it performs as if has so far I’ll be sending it back. Seriously – have you used it in the car and is it really loud enough for you? Do you keep it on your head all the time and get good enough life? Or do you put it on only to make or receive a call and is it easy and quick to put on while driving?

  12. do nokia bh-217 connects with any phone other than phones belonging to nokia brand? i tried to connect it with samsung corby pro and sony ericson xperia x10 but it doesnt connect where as when i connected it with nokia N8 it worked it with excellently.. Want some suggestion from u Nitish…
    REGARDS

  13. I have other problem. When I want to pickup call by pulling headset off the clip. It just doesnt work with my HTC desire. I dont know what the problem can be…

  14. HI NITESH,
    I JUST WANT TO KNOW IS THERE IS NECCESSARY TO USE THE CARRYING CLIP FOR THE BLUETOOTH. BECAUSE I HAVE LOST MY ALL CARRYING CLIP & I HAVE ONLY ONE EAR PLUGE WITH THE INSTRUMENT.

    PLS HELP.

  15. Does the package includes Clip, Car Cradle & Charger? Will it work effectively on Samsung Galaxy S Advance mobile device too? Lastly, does it support listening to Music via bluetooth unlike other may other Samsung Mono Bluetooth headsets?

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