Ok, this bear ain't easy to setup, which is minus one star at least for that. But it does work fairly well for us. The droid app works ok on Android, but less so on iPhones and iPads. I believe there may be some problems there cross the platform. I'm checking around after reading about the Kuri Pets hack. I'm pretty sure this bear is susceptible too.
Regarding hardware, I've not run into any issues I read about here. The Bluetooth range is good, but it seems too easy to pair though (yet another security concern). I wonder if some issues (crazy squawking) may be because of the batteries. The red receive light is touchy about ending the message, going over 10 seconds (it allows, but still crops at 10), leaves it off.
This lack of documentation probably deserves another minus one star, but the online instructions are accurate and helpful.
I also give this a credit because this bear is much, much better quality than most comparably priced record-only toys, and this will do that (record once).
I'm putting down "no" to recommend, but that's general. Most of my friends and family are tech savvy enough. Unfortunately, caregivers aren't, and are paranoid of every app they load on their phones.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend