Dr. Seuss-like product name aside, Native Union's high-end bluetooth receiver is an essential gadget for those who rely on cell phones as their primary form of communication in the workplace or at home. While the FCC continues to approve flawed cell phone radiation studies, there is compelling evidence in the science world that cell phones do in fact promote brain tumors when used excessively over long periods of time. As a result, I've gone on an anti-radiation crusade, rounding up all of the gadgets that remove a cell phone from the side of one's head. I started with the Yubz Retro Handset, but have now moved into swankier territory: The Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i Bluetooth Handset designed for the iPhone.
The Moshi Moshi 03i is not only a hands-free Bluetooth phone receiver, but it also acts as a docking station for an iPhone. With Bluetooth 2.1 support, this device can pair with up to two devices, which means I was able to connect to my MacBook and use it for Skype calls. Not only that, but the Moshi Moshi 03i is beautifully designed by a peppy frenchman and its name is indubitably fun to say over and over again for hours on end: MoshiMoshiMoshiMoshiMoshiMoshi… How did the Moshi Moshi 03i perform? Keep reading on to find out.
Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i Pros
- Impressive sound quality
- Stealthy Batman looks
- Overall performance exceeded expectations
Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i Cons
- A bit pricey
- Tailored specifically for the iPhone, though still works with any Bluetooth device
Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i Design
Thank French designer David Turpin for the Moshi Moshi 03i's sleek glossy slab design. It's minimalism with a sprinkling of futurism, especially when referencing the symmetrically sound phone receiver. With that preposterous pontification from Modern Art 101 out of the way, the Moshi Moshi 03i ships in gloss black or gloss white and comes with a manual, iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4/4S adapters for the docking station, AC adapter and USB cable. If you use a phone case, just take the adapters out and the phone will slide right into the pin connector. You also have the option of plugging the Moshi Moshi 03i into your computer to charge, or using the AC adapter. I use the AC adapter because the Moshi Moshi 03i just sits on my desk all day. In addition to the Mini USB port, the Moshi Moshi 03i is equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack, which can be used to connect external speakers in order to have the iPhone be your primary jukebox.
Now let's talk about that sexy receiver. See the dual pin connector on the docking station in the picture above? That's where the Moshi Moshi 03i phone receiver makes contact with the charging current in order to keep the receiver fueled throughout the day. You can leave the receiver off the "hook" and take it with you into other rooms or out in public, but be sure to charge it overnight. There are three buttons built into the phone receiver: Volume Up, Volume Down and the MFB button, which I like to refer to as the "Mother Fluffing Button," only with a slight variation on word choice. Anywho, the MFB (Multi-Function Button to be official) controls pairing, call acceptance and rejection (when out of docking station) and calling back the last dialed or received number. The volume buttons can even mute a call in addition to adjusting a call's volume.
The Moshi Moshi 03i is equipped with a few native ringtones that will sound during an incoming call. I have my iPhone set to the Mega Man II Boss Order theme, and look forward to hearing it every time I get a call because it makes me feel like a robot superhero. There was no way to disable the Moshi Moshi 03i's ringtone entirely, but I was able to lower the volume substantially so that it was inaudible and did not steal any of Mega Man's thunder. I found pairing to be a snap with my iPhone 4 and MacBook Pro, and the ability to use the Moshi Moshi 03i for Skype calls was worth its weight in minutes. I will say that the minimal button configuration requires frequent trips into the manual, as certain combinations and lengths of presses need to be applied to achieve particular tasks, but once you get moving, you'll rarely have to alter any of the settings.
Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i Performance
Here is the part where I tell you why I cannot live without a Moshi Moshi 03i as long as I own a cell phone. First off, this Bluetooth handset reduces radiation emission by 95% since the cell phone is not pressed up against the talker's head, injecting death waves into the brain. Secondly, once you pair your phone with the Moshi Moshi 03i and as long as the unit is powered on, you never have to pair it again. As soon as I enter my house, I'm already connected to the Moshi Moshi 03i before I even make it upstairs. So, pairing with this device is beyond fantastic. And thirdly, perhaps my favorite feature of the Moshi Moshi 03i, is the automatic pickup/hang-up. If you get a call and the phone receiver is sitting in the docking station connected to the charging pins, all you have to do is pick the receiver up and the call is active, just like a landline phone. To hang up, simply place the receiver back in the docking station, connecting it to the charging pins, and the call will be ended.
One of the things about landline phones that I miss is the angry hang up in which the phone receiver is violently smashed within the phone cradle for the sole purpose of creating a cacophony of unpleasant sound for the unwilling party on the other end. With cell phones, you can be screaming at someone and then your only option to hang up is to gingerly swipe the screen like you're sprinkling fairy dust on a Hello Kitty cupcake. The Moshi Moshi 03i allows me to slam away, fulfilling my dreams of belligerent phone vengeance till the cows come home.
And then there's the sound quality, which is impressive. Unless your friend owns a crappy phone with spotty coverage, the Moshi Moshi 03i will offer high quality sound. Although I still think that the Native Union POP phone (review coming soon) offers the best sound quality, since it's plugged directly into the phone, the Moshi Moshi 03i is the best Bluetooth option of its ilk. Think of the Moshi Moshi 03i as a wireless landline phone that's lighter, swankier and has a 30-foot range to boot. You can even keep your phone in your pocket and take the Moshi Moshi 03i with you in public. Wouldn't that turn a few heads!
Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i Conclusion
I never thought I'd ever feel this way about a cell phone accessory, but the Moshi Moshi 03i officially resides within my "Gadgets I Can't Live Without" scroll. It's uncannily easy to use, offers splendid sound quality, works with Skype, is customizable, and allows me to fulfill my angry phone hang up fantasies with an instant connection right out of the docking station. The Moshi Moshi 03i's only shortcomings are its daunting price tag and exclusive iPhone support, though the accessory does work with Android phones, BlackBerry phones and any other devices that feature Bluetooth connectivity. But you get what you pay for. The Moshi Moshi 03i is a beautifully crafted gadget. Even the box resembles a glass display case from the MoMA. I highly recommend the Moshi Moshi 03i if you spend most of your days at a desk and/or are devoid of a landline. This one's a bonefide winner in my book.