Native Union Moshi Moshi 02 Review

1264000051_9Native Union’s Moshi Moshi Collection is all about redefining how we experience modern communication devices, by getting back to the good old basics. Because more people are using their landlines less and less, heck, many of us have given up their landlines altogether, as a result we spend hours on our cell phones and they have really become our primary communication tools. Sure, there are Bluetooth headsets that ease some of the strain on your head when you’re on a conversation, but there is something satisfying about using a “real” telephone receiver. That is why Moshi Moshi has come out with a collection of headsets which extend your cell phone to a more comfortable landline-like receiver. Their first product being released is the MM02. This is a wired handset that comes in black with a soft-touch or white high-gloss texture. We received a sample of the soft touch version, which feels especially comfy to grip.

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The MM02 has a retro feel to it in concept, but its actual design is very sleek and modern. The receiver is just the right weight for holding up to your ear for extended periods of time. On the other hand, its base is very heavy, but this is purposely done so that the base won’t slide around on your desk or tabletop. The bottom of the base also has mini suction cups to further insure that it doesn’t slip and slide. Overall, the device feels very well made like it’s meant to last. It’s also obvious that Native Union tried to think of everything, because even a rubber mat is included to rest your iPhone on while it’s connected to the MM02.

A 3.5mm cable is supplied that is used connect to your iPhone, BlackBerry or any mobile phone with a 3.5mm jack. All you have to do is connect it to your cell phone’s audio jack and the MM02 will work as a handset for your phone. Because the MM02 connects to your phone with a wire, there is an obvious health benefit to it – you’ll be able to avoid having all that cell phone radiation glued to your head while on conversations. Needless to say, connecting the device to your phone is dead simple. There is no pairing, no software involved, just plug it in and start conversing. Best of all, there are no batteries or chargers required to operate the Moshi Moshi 02

We tested the MMo2 with an iPhone 3GS and a Nexus One. In both cases, phone conversations sounded clear but there was some minimal static that can be heard in the background during conversations. Volume level was adequate, but we can’t help but wish that the handset had its own dedicated volume control buttons. Fortunately, increasing the volume on your smartphone does help make the volume go louder on the MM02, but at the same time it also increases background static. We were also told by callers on the other end that they could hear us a bit louder when we were talking on the MM02 compared to when we spoke to them directly on a cell phone.

Unfortunately, for all of the device’s simplicity, it also means that there aren’t much in the way of advanced features. It would be nice if perhaps the MM02 could simultaneously charge our iPhone, noise cancellation would be a convenient function, and it would also be sweet if it had a ringing function of its own just like a regular landline handset does. But these few suggestions are by no means deal-breakers.

Many are going to compare the Moshi Moshi MM02 to Yubz, but this is really a different beast. Yubz is more of a quirky novelty item, where as the MM02 is aimed at being a higher-end product that is serious about being a full-time extension for your cell phone. The Moshi Moshi 02 retails for $59.99 and will be available on April 15th, and it is compatible with all types of mobile phones. The company offers optional adapters available for phones that don’t have a 3.5mm jack. There is also a USB adapter that can be used to connect to your computer for use with VOIP software like Skype. Their other, more expensive Bluetooth handsets, will be out soon too.

The Good:
Sleek and modern design, comfortable to hold for long periods of time, super simple to use, obvious health benefit, no batteries or power required

The Bad:
No extra features, could use volume control

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