Native Union's Pop Phone isn't your traditional Bluetooth headset but rather an unexpected wired handset designed by a French designer to look as retro as it can get. The Pop Phone serves one simple purpose, and that is to keep harmful radiation away from your brain. A growing concern that has been around since that beginning really. If you hate the feeling of holding your smartphone against your head for long periods of time, this seems to be the perfect solution for you. How well does the Pop Phone work in practice? More on that after the break!
If you thought Bluetooth headsets made you look like you're talking to yourself, this will surely get you some strange looks if you use it in public. At only $30, the Moshi Moshi Pop Phone is affordable and surprisingly manages to keep the quality very high. While it's entirely made out of plastic, the soft-touch coating serves as a pleasant gripping texture along with the Pop Phone's real life physical handset phone form factor. Granted not everyone will jump to hand out their cash for this firstly because it isn't the accessory the modern iPhone user would necessarily want to be caught dead with. That was a bit ironic wasn't it.
A very short user guide is included to help answer a few questions you might have. But even a baby can start using the Pop Phone while skipping on the reading as its a matter of plugging the 3.5mm plug into your iPhone or smartphone's headphone port and you're all set to talk as long as you wish.
Again, simple is what the Pop Phone is all about. You'll find only a single button on the entire handset that with it you can answer an incoming call as well as hang up on those annoying telemarketers. Once you get a call, the sound will sound via your phone's built-in speaker for obvious reasons. But there are also a number of cool things you can do with the Pop Phone when connected to an iPhone or even an iPad like playing music thru the handset and skipping thru songs, bringing up Siri and voice commands by holding down the Pop Phone's button for a few seconds instead of having to use your iPhone's mic and speaker.
The Pop Phone is actually quite a little versatile retro handset when it comes to compatibility. It can be used with an iPad, iPad 2 and even Macs. Say you want to use Skype and the like, but you hate using those rechargeable Bluetooth headsets that aren't as healthy as you would have thought to your brain as well, the Pop Phone can be that replacement. I find it perfect for office use as the coiled cord extends to a generous length while keeping your work space tidy.
The call quality is outstanding when using the Pop Phone thanks to a direct connection and a closer proximity of the Pop Phone's mic with your mouth. Others had no trouble hearing me clearly and without any background static noises. As for the speaker quality that's inside the Pop Phone, well you do hear that bit of distortion when people tend to talk loudly at your end. Still though, I've got no serious complaints as far as the audio quality goes at either end. Best off all, you've got the peace of mind of knowing that the Pop Phone reduces harmful radiation that your smartphone emits (SAR) is reduced by over 99%. Think about that. And yes it might not be the most convenient way of avoiding all that, but at least the it's one valuable solution and an option that works. You can check out Native Union's health page for more info.
After using the Pop Phone with my iPhone 4S, I came to find that the coiled cord isn't so forgiving and will easily lift up your phone when bringing the handset up to your head to talk when you're at a home or office environment. So in order to better ground your phone to stay put, you might want to check out Native Union's MM01 Pop Phone at $49.99, which comes with a base much like a full fledged wired handset we all used to have at our homes, and will naturally end a call when setting the Pop Phone back in its base. That way you'll be separately plugging both your phone and Pop Phone handset into the weighted base for a more permanent desk setup. Native Union has many different options including more modern designed handsets as well as wireless models.
With that being said, if you plan on keeping your phone inside your pocket or in a gear bag then you could easily use the Pop Phone and have the coiled cord not pull out your phone causing even more awkwardness.
After all, if you are concerned about having to talk on your smartphone for long periods of time and are sensitive, the wired Pop Phone will really help you out. Even if you don't see yourself using a wired handset in public, having one of these at home and at the office is a great investment and peace of mind. The Pop Phone works like a charm at $30.