It is said simple ideas are often the best, but what about simply mad ideas?
The Moshi Moshi 03i is a phone for your iPhone. Yes you read that correctly. The land of iPhone accessories has finally sprouted what appears to be the most ridiculous of products. The fact we are reviewing it came down to a bet: a bet that we believed it was daft and manufacturer Native Union was convinced we could be won over. One week later Native Union won, just.
The argument is simple: for all its other qualities the iPhone is a rubbish phone. The iPhone 4 may have been stung by Antennagate, but in truth all iPhones to date have had reception problems and even when you have full bars holding the handset a) isn't a particularly comfortable experience, and b) means you can't see the phone screen without having to switch to loudspeaker. What the 03i does is provide a comfortable cordless handset to hold with an improved speaker and mic while its base works as an iPhone dock and keeps the handset at an angle so it is easy to read while in a call.
So that's the company pitch and we must admit initial Impressions are positive. The base is well made and the dock features swappable mounts so it can snugly fit any model of iPhone. It is weighted to keep it still and rubber feet stop it sliding around. Sunken rubber cups grip the receiver and eliminate undue noise when putting the receiver down. When down the receiver charges automatically with battery life good for six hours of call time or 120 hours of standby.
As for the receiver itself it is light and its curved design feels good when held up to the ear. So good in fact it does remind you how impractical our touchscreen smartphone slabs have become for this purpose. On the receiver are volume buttons and between them a multi-function button which can answer (press once) or reject (hold for 1.5 seconds) calls, redial numbers (double press) or switch calls (hold in calls). Pressing both volume keys simultaneously mutes a call.
Setup? The i03 works using Bluetooth so you pair with the iPhone and when you receive an incoming call answer with the receiver. To answer with the iPhone just pick up the iPhone instead. Calls can be transferred between either i03 and iPhone at any point by swapping the speaker source on the iPhone. Meanwhile to make calls use the iPhone as usual then pick up the receiver after you press 'Dial'. All very simple, but is it any good?