The iPad is a great device, but it is not very convenient for phone calls. Although it does not have cellphone capabilities it still supports Skype and other VOIP apps. Holding the iPad to your face is not a practicality. This it where the Native Union Moshi Moshi 02 handset comes to the fore. The [...]
The Moshi Moshi 02 is a traditional style telephone handset that connects to various devices providing a convenient way to chat using your iPad or iPhone. With an additional USB adapter the Moshi Moshi 02 can connect to your computer as well making it a versatile audio handset.
Created by the French designer David Turpin, the handset comes with a matching base making it look like a rather stylish house phone. That is until you pick it up and realise that there is just a single button. This allows you to answer and disconnect when connected to your iPad/iPhone.
The MM02 handset is available in either “luxurious black soft-touch or white high-gloss”. I am (obviously) reviewing the high gloss white one here.
The base is optional, in use you can either plug the handset through it or just use it as a place to park the handset. I find it is great for somewhere to dock the handset when I am at my desk, but is far too heavy and cumbersome to move around the house, let alone take it out on the road with me, but then it is not intended to be mobile. The base has two circular receptacles to hold the handset. These are inset into the base and have soft rubberised covers to dock and protect the handset from damage.
The handset has a coiled cable that terminates in a 3.5mm jack. This can be plugged directly into your iPad or iPhone, or using a number of adapters available (at extra cost) into a wide variety of mobile phones. The phone base has a pair of 3.5mm sockets, one for the handset and one for a male/male cable that connects to your device/computer. The base to device cable is just over 30″ long and is pure white. The coiled handset cable is slightly off-white.
If you want to use the Moshi Moshi with a computer then you will need to get the USB adapter. This is sold separately and is a zero configuration device that plugs directly into a free USB port. The adapter is about 2″ long by 3/4″ wide a little bit bigger than a memory-stick. Because of it’s width it makes it a little tight to use both of my USB ports on my MacBook Pro as they are sized for normal USB connectors, not the wider USB devices. The USB adapter simply provides an audio interface allowing you to select the handset as input/output for all audio, or just for specific applications.
In use the handset works very well both with the base and on it’s own. I have used is as a handset for my iPhone over the cellular network, and with my iPad using Skype over WiFi and 3G. The quality of the speaker microphone combination works very well, with conversations being as good as or better than other headset/handset solutions. The good thing about this device is that you have what feels like a conventional telephone. One thing I did find a little confusing at first was that the handset button will stop and start the iPod on my iPhone/iPad, as well as answer/disconnect a call.
Of course if you have an iPhone 4 and you suffer from the dreaded signal drops you can use the MM02, with your phone in the pocket meaning that you get full signal strength.
Although the iPad does have a microphone and speaker it is not very elegant, or private to try and use it for Skype or VOIP the handset is a much more practical approach.
Using it on the Apple MacBook Pro I often found that the USB adapter had grabbed the audio output, and I was left scratching my head trying to work out why iTunes wasnt playing properly… Once I got over that I had no problems assigning Skype to the handset and letting iTunes play over my speakers.
Priced at $59.99 or £45.00 with the USB adapter costing an extra $20 or £15 there are certainly cheaper options on the market, but if what you are after is a bit of style to add to your desk then this is for you… My only real criticism is that the coiled handset cable is just enough off-white to mar the overall effect of the handset and base, strangely if they had made it the same colour as the base to device cable it would be perfect.
From a more practical side of things would I want to carry this handset around with me when I am out and about? I think not! The idea of having the iPad is to cut down weight and clutter. I would be better off with a bluetooth handsfree kit, or even the iPhone headset with built in microphone. But this is not what the handset is about…