The Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy is quite a fascinating device. At first glance, it looks just like any other portable Bluetooth speaker, but it’s actually much more. It’s, in fact, a 6-in-1 device that features a Bluetooth speaker, a 3000mAh power bank, a selfie button, a torch, a handsfree call device and a music remote. It really is a decent tool to accompany your smartphone.
Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy specifications
The following list is the Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy specification taken from the Sandberg product page for the Buddy. It doesn’t count towards the end rating but some of the things in it such as the battery life and audio do overall.
Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy design and battery
While the design is very much a reminder of a typical Bluetooth speaker, there is a hybrid look to this. When I look at it I can see a design that is a cross between a Bluetooth speaker and a power bank, which makes sense since it is both of these products. This does mean that in the looks department it’s not one of the nicest speakers you can buy, overall the design seems to focus more on a practical product instead of a stylish one. The biggest part of the design that leads me to this decision is the basic black aluminum speaker grill that enables you to see the three drivers underneath. It just doesn’t scream stylish to me. The back of the Buddy is a black matte finished plastic panel, while the center band that runs all around the exterior edges of the speaker is a black aluminum with silver trimmed edges.
Then there’s the thickness, it’s far from slim and very much on the bulky side. This is not a surprise, though, given that it is housing quite a few things and I must admit that Sandberg has done a great job of keeping the weight down. At only 500g it’s a lot lighter than the bulkiness would have you think.
Now do bear in mind that what I have said above is more favorable as a downside if you are looking for a fancy looking speaker/power bank. If however you are looking for something that looks and feels like it can take a fall or nudge then the Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy does have you covered. What it lacks in style it more than makes up or in practicability and ruggedness.
The Buddy has five buttons across the top which are all clearly marked, easy to use and responsive. As is usual there are your basic buttons for volume control, track selection and power. The extra button here is the torch button. I actually like that there’s a dedicated torch button as it means it’s quick and easy to activate the torch when required.
Down the right-hand side of the Buddy are three ports and the torch LED light. The three ports are the aux in port for listening to music through a device connected by a 3.5mm audio cable, a 5V microUSB dc in for charging the Buddy and a 5V out USB port for charging a mobile phone (please be aware that this isn’t suitable for tablets).
On the bottom of the Buddy are two equal sized rubber feet, which do an excellent job of preventing the speaker falling off services due to high levels of vibration from the audio.
Powering all of this is a 3000mAh lithium battery. This takes roughly 3 hours to charge and can provide up to 20 hours of audio time. For a Bluetooth speaker this isn’t bad at all, but for a 6-in-1 device that can also be used to charge a smartphone, it’s a bit squeezed and in all honesty, something like an 8000mAh battery would have been a better option. The reason I say this is because if you do plan on using this to charge a smartphone, well you’re going to eat through most of the power pretty quickly and considering most modern phones have over 2000mAh of capacity in their batteries, the issue becomes apparent. It is ok for a quick boost of power when needed but will only complete one full smartphone charge. If you do plan on using this for a camping trip, you may need to consider purchasing a separate power bank with a larger capacity.
Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy Bluetooth set up and signal
As is the case with many Bluetooth devices, the Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy is quick and easy to pair with a mobile device for the first time. It took me no time at all to pair the Buddy and my Xiaomi Redmi 4A. If you have never done this before you may need to ask for some assistance as the included manual only tells you to hold the power button in and to look for the name ‘Sandberg buddy’.
I have so far had no issues when it comes to signal reliability between the Buddy and my phone. There’s an operating distance of 10 meters and as long as the two devices are kept within this distance of each other I have no issues at all, even with a wall in between.
If you’re using a none-Bluetooth device such as an old MP3 player or you just don’t use Bluetooth anyway, then simply connect your device and the speaker together using the provided 35mm audio cable.
Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy audio and microphone quality
The Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy is no push over in the audio department. It provides loud crystal clear music that for a speaker of its size is rather surprising. It’s also quite the little bass banger as well. The background noise in songs is clear and every note is heard. I really am quite impressed by what this speaker can do in terms of audio.
I am also very happy with the built-in microphone. I have used it for several different things from normal phone calls to VoIP calls on apps such as Skype. The quality is fantastic on both my end and the receiver’s end.
The Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy takes several phone accessories and puts them in one shell, albeit a bulky shell. The end result is a 6-in-1 device with 2 main features and 4 smaller ones, which results in an interesting product that’s right and works well, especially if you plan to use it for outdoor activities. I do have a few issues and the main one is that 3000mAh battery, which if this was just a Bluetooth speaker would be perfect, but given that it’s not, it’s far from perfect. With all this in mind, I would still recommend the Sandberg Bluetooth Buddy as it combines all the two main devices most smartphone users want (Speaker and power bank) into a 6-in-1 solution that is much cheaper than buying everything individually.