Native Union was at CES offering an intriguing lineup of handsets that’ll turn your, or even into a more traditional handset-style phone. One model even morphs into a speaker for music or speakerphone. Unfortunately audio quality was tough to gauge at the noisy show floor, so we’ll try to test these in a more controlled setting later. Here’s a quick rundown of the Native Union lineup.
These were announced back in September 2010, but I took a few pics in the gallery for you to check out. They are simply handsets that use a 3.5 mm jack for plugging into your iPhone, converting it into a sort of old-style phone with a handset and stretchy cord. Remember those? You can also use it with Skype or any VoIP app on youror iPad or even your .
The POP Phones come in a wide variety of colors (which “pop” as the name suggests) and have a nice soft, rubber finish as opposed to the old shiny gloss finish of Ma Bell’s phones. I find the form factor quite handy for cradling the phone on your shoulder while doing other stuff as opposed to the precarious placement of a slender iPhone between ear and shoulder. As I said, these are pretty basic. They sell for around US$29.99. There are two models with bases which sell for around $64.
Debuted at CES: MM03i Bluetooth handset
This one is pretty snazzy — a wireless handset with built-in iPhone charging stand. If you want the best of both worlds, a desk phone and your mobile, it’s a good design. The iPhone docks at the far end of the base, with the handset in front. They only come in black or white and use a glossy finish, but I get the feeling they are meant to cater to business users.
The MM03i has a 6 hour talk-time charge, and 120 hours of standby according to Native Union. The sync base has a 3.5 mm output so you can plug your iPhone into a speaker system, and my guess is (as normal) any music would be muted when the handset takes a call. You can answer a call just by picking the phone up off the base, or use the buttons on the phone, which include volume. The MM03i retails for $149.99.
Introduced at CES: MM04i Bluetooth stereo handset
Available later this month, the MM04i adds to the 03i feature set with a set of built-in speakers to your handset and a design which allows you to use the thing as a set of small speakers (via Bluetooth, even though your iPhone docks) and pick up and use the phone as a phone or speakerphone at any time. It’s a clever design, although I can’t say I was a huge fan of the angular nature of the phone handset itself. All of Native’s phones are designed by “award-winning” designers, so what do I know?
The MM04i will retail for $199.99. Check the gallery to see a close up of the handset and its buttons plus the dock for your iPhone.