Fresh in for review today from Satechi is the Bluetooth Button Series.
The series consists of three buttons, the Shutter Button, Media Button and Home Button.
The Shutter Button, as you might expect, is for taking remote photos on your smartphone and is ideal for tripods.
The Media Button allows you to control your smartphone video or music apps.
The Home Button is simply a clone of your home button.
All three of the devices have a solid industrial design with what looks like brushed aluminium edging.
So, let’s get on with the review…
This will probably be one of the easiest things I’ll ever have to review. By pressing the button when you have the camera app open on your phone, it will take a photo for you. Simple and effective. It’s also responsive enough for you to hold the button down and take burst photos.
The Media Button is what had me most excited. It’s a simple enough device, using the Bluetooth AVRCP protocol to access Play/Pause, Previous / Next track and Volume Up / Down.
Many devices have the same AVRCP functionality as the Satechi but nearly always as part of an audio receiver set. What I mean by this is that audio is redirected over the Bluetooth A2DP protocol away from the source device, usually to a headphone socket on the media remote.
Take a look at the Sony SBH-20 which at first glance looks like a competing product. It has the same media controls but the unit is both an AVRCP and A2DP device using what’s called a ‘Bluetooth Audio Sink’. This means that all audio is redirected to the headphone jack on the SBH-20 the moment you press a button.
The thing that gets me about the Satechi Media Button is that this kind of device is so rare and yet it’s perfect for parties. Let me explain:
Let’s say you have a few friends over for a BBQ.
You have an iPhone connected to your home stereo via a headphone > auxiliary connection, a couple of the speakers placed near the windows and you’re playing your favourite music through Spotify.
You’ve started playing a playlist and left your phone in the house with the stereo out of harms way.
You could take the Media Button out into the garden with all the food and drink and just leave it on the table. Skip a track? No problem. Turn the volume up? You got it.
You cannot do this with something like the SBH-20 or any other AVRCP device I’ve found online for that matter. The second you press a button, the music from the stereo would stop, re-routed to a device that nobody is listening to.
It really is as far as I can tell, a unique product.
The price of it also means it’s not the end of the world if your mate knocks his beer over it. Until all phones are waterproof, I’d much prefer this scenario.
The Home Button is simply a remote ‘Home’ button. On my test iPhone 6 Plus, it does exactly what the normal home button does – a short press exits applications, a long press activates Siri. Double tapping takes you to the app switcher.
The only use I’ve found for this is in my car. I mounted it to my dashboard using the supplied adhesive pad and can now dictate to Siri and keep my eyes on the road. For this one purpose, I’ve found it invaluable.
The Shutter Button and Home Button are normally available for £19.99 at Amazon, with the Media Button priced at £23.99.
However, Satechi have provided Amazon discount codes of 15% for readers of TheTechSpy, valid until 24/07/2016.
Media Button: 88EWX7F8
Shutter Button : X9E6I4CR
Home Button : Z7HQ2TVZ