I purchased both the BlackBerry Powerstation (with Mini EBC) and the HS-655 Bluetooth Headset for my 8830. I want to thank chinesecatt (eSHOPlimited.com - Your one place to buy authentic BRAND NEW OEM accessories
) for saving me a ton of money over shopbb and having both of them arrive so quickly and well packed.
First, the Powerstation (with EBC & HS-655 inserted):
The first thing I noticed when I started to unpack the Powerstation is how well it was boxed. Each component was individually wrapped and in a seperate section of the box. There was an included manual, in several different languages.
The Powerstation has four parts.
1. The cradle
2. The base
4. U.S. prong for A/C adapter
The cradle slides onto the base and locks in place. The prong for U.S. electrical outlets plugs into the end of the A/C adapter. I was upset to learn that the A/C adapter is not removable from the base. Behind where the 8830 sits is a rubber BB symbol that covers the port for the 655 (in case you don't own it) and the EBC does not need to sit on the cradle if your not using it. If you want to use the EBC, it slides and locks into place, similarly to the cradle. It can easily be removed by sliding away from the 8830 and lifted.
There is a USB port on the back of the cradle which I'm not 100% sure what it's for. It's not a data port because the manual specifically states the cradle does not pass data.
The 8830 slides right into the cradle, exposing the prongs to charge it. Unlike my Palm cradle for my 700p, this one charges the 8830 without having to fiddle to get it to make a good contact. It holds the 8830 in place and all the user has to do is lift or pull the 8830 towards him/herself to remove it from the cradle. There is no locking mechanism. The angle is not adjustable but it is at a comfortable level when on a desk. If you wanted to, you could still type an email on the BB while still in the cradle (using your thumbs).
Now the EBC:
The EBC (extra battery charger) is included free with the Powerstation. It can be hooked up to the Powerstation and charge a second battery while the 8830 (and 655) is charging or you can remove it and charge a battery on it's own. As you can see from the pictures it has a top loading design. There are two USB ports on the back. The smaller port is used by the Powerstation. I am not sure if you can use the small port to charge the battery on its own because I haven't tried it.
Conclusion Powerstation & EBC:
Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase. I didn't like having my 8830 just sit on the table to charge and it's nice to have a spare battery charger (now I need to pickup a spare battery) especially for long trips. I really wished the cradle passed data, I hate having to plug the 8830 in to sync it with the PC.
* Great design
* Small footprint
* Charges BT headset and spare battery
* Easy to get 8830 in and out of the cradle
* Does not sync, only charges
* Non-removable A/C adapter
* No tech support phone number in manual
Now the HS-655:
The Blackberry HS-655 bluetooth headset was the only one (at least that's what they say) that works with the Powerstation. Since I knew I was getting the Powerstation I wanted as many compatable things as possible. This is my fifth BT headset (first with my BB).
As with the Powerstation, the headset was well packaged. A very small user guide was included.
Included with the HS-655 is:
* Carrying pocket with clip and usb charging tip
* 3 soft-gel ear tips in various sizes
* 1 ear hook
* USB to A/C power adapter
The headset itself is very light, not the smallest headset I've had, but not huge either. I used the default ear tip and it fit nice and snug in my ear. It is pretty comfortable and I could see using it all day without issue. I did not try or use the ear hook, I didn't think it was necessary.
I hate when a user guide doesn't specify the length of time for an initial charge. Of course, this one didn't. To top it off, they don't even include a phone number to call for tech support...like to find out how long you should charge it for the first time.
I knew I was going to charge it via the Powerstation so I never used the included A/C adapter. I removed the rubber cover on the Powerstation and it revealed a deep hole. Apparently the headset goes into the 'carrying pocket' which goes into the cradle. I would have rather had the headset go directly into the cradle, but I can't complain too much I guess. The headset (later I found out it was the 'carrying pocket') vibrated to let me know it was charging and low on battery.
The next day I woke up and figured it was charged enough to start using. I paired the device with the 8830 (painless) and started testing it out. I was able to answer the call with the headset or from the 8830. The sound was clear on both ends. I was able to mute the call and hang up from the headset.
Unlike my Palm 700p, the 8830 paired witht he 655 allows voice dialing and commands. I tried a voice number and a voice contact, both worked well. I got decent range with the unit, being able to walk from my bedroom into my kitchen (1,000 sqft apartment) without loss of signal.
Conclusion HS-655 bluetooth headset:
I am impressed with the 655 with a few small exceptions. I'm not thrilled about the 'carrying pocket'. This is the part that vibrates when you get a call and I don't see myself carrying that around all day. In my opinion it's bordering on too large. I'm also not thrilled that you need to connect that to the Powerstation to connect the headset. Finally, when the headset is 'docked' in the Powerstation, the 8830 doesn't know that and leaves it active. I would have preffered the 8830 to know the headset wasn't in my ear and temp. disable it. Overall, however, I'm still happy with the purchase.
* Charges with the Powerstation
* Small and light
* Allows for voice dialing
* Decent range and excellent clarity
* Carrying pocket
* Headset itself doesn't vibrate
* 8830 is unaware that the 655 is charging
* No tech support number
If anyone has questions, feel free to ask. I can try out things that I didn't do if you want...these are the features that I know I will use.