Home / Mobile / Mobile Phone Accessory / Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i / Call Quality, Practicality, Cost & Verdict

Native Union Moshi Moshi 03i - Call Quality, Practicality, Cost & Verdict

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly



Our Score:


Actually yes. for a start call quality is better than when using the iPhone. Yes Native Union has used a better speaker and mic, but equally important are both speaker and mic actually cup your ear and mouth respectively. Much like using a decent pair of well fitted earphones the difference this makes is incredible. Voices sound clearer and more lifelike. It also has the defacto bonus that you won't accidentally mute calls with your cheek (an ongoing iPhone problem) or smear up the iPhone screen. It cuts down on radiation too, if you're a paranoid type.

The iO3 has a few tricks up its sleeve as well. The most obvious is voice dialling. Add voice tags to any contact on your handset then hold the multi-function button for 1.5 seconds and when you hear the beep speak the tag into the receiver. A further bonus is while Native Union pushes the 03i as an iPhone accessory it will actually work with any Bluetooth device. This means any modern mobile phone can be paired or even a Bluetooth equipped PC for VoIP calls. The i03 has multipoint support so it can be paired with up to two devices simultaneously. Pairing is also with the receiver not the dock so carry the mobile phone with you and you'll never go out of range.

So this seemingly daft device is actually an unqualified success? Actually no. The i03 cannot connect to a PC to sync the iPhone and at times we found it would intercept a call mid-call when we had chosen to answer using the iPhone. This is quickly solved by switching the speaker source back to the iPhone, but annoying nonetheless. The other big caveat is price. At almost £100 online (RRP £119.50) the iO3 is more than 3x the price of a typical DECT cordless home phone and for almost the same price you will now find the excellent Etymotic HF3 headset which can be plugged into a call at any time to make it completely hands-free while also being an excellent pair of earphones. You won't need to leave battery sucking Bluetooth switched on your phone either.

That said the i03 does have a place in the world. The most obvious use is on a desk where you're sat for long periods each day. Being able to intercept calls while seeing the iPhone screen and still leaving the phone charging is a major plus. In the home where you tend to move around more when on the phone the proposition weakens considerably.


At first glance the Live Union Moshi Moshi i03 is an incomprehensible product. On closer inspection it is well made, nicely designed and has definite advantages - particularly in office environments. Call quality is better than the iPhone and the receiver inherently more comfortable too while iPhone 4 owners will be happy to eliminate Antennagate issues. That said the price is high and we'd be tempted to spend the money on a good quality pair of earphones with a built in mic instead.

Update: The i03 can indeed sync with iTunes. We initially had problems with our unit at the time of this review, but now it works swimmingly.

Overall Score



April 3, 2011, 11:24 am

Design and media agencies across the country are clicking 'Buy' even as I type


April 3, 2011, 1:14 pm

Love the comment:

"for all its other qualities the iPhone is a rubbish phone".

So true and ironic. The world's best selling smart phone is crap as a phone and not that smart really (can't open, edit, print documents easily).

This product cannot sell well really. I cannot see die-hard Apple fanboys having the courage to whip this out and use it as a phone - it's an admission that the iphone they bought (against all common sense) was a mistake!!


April 3, 2011, 7:21 pm

Prem: This is not something you'd "whip out", it's something to have on a desk. I'd buy one if I used my mobile to make many calls a day, much more comfortable and easier than a bluetooth handset.

Also I don't get your problem with opening documents or printing them, it's all one click away. For editing there are several apps available.

Roy Bean

April 3, 2011, 7:39 pm

Now if only you'd published this on the first of the month...
Seriously though, it just shows what suckers the people are who buy i-phones.
If you want a good phone, get a Nokia. If you're more interested in style than substance, get anything made by Apple.


April 4, 2011, 5:46 am

@Roy Bean
You clearly never heard of the Mockia (yes that is its true name) bluetooth handset back in 2008? Nokia was even giving some away http://betalabs.nokia.com/b...

At least this one wouldn't look like a freak in a nicely designed office.


April 4, 2011, 10:02 am

A seemingly silly idea on the face of it but a sensible one once you consider the abysmal call and battery quality of an iPhone.
The whole concept though brings me to a wish I've always had of a similar device that could not only channel the reception of a mobile phone but also extend it to an existing landline network. The benefits are obvious to those who like me like to leave their pocket contents on a side table when coming home and have a near dormant cordless phone in almost every room.

Hamish Campbell

April 4, 2011, 1:09 pm

To be fair, any slab smartphone will be surpassed by a curved handset like this...yes even the mighty nokia :) My HTC legend isn't particularly nice to hold and talk on.

It makes some sense when you don't have a land line (like me) and would like to have a more comfy phone for round the home. Could also be smart if it was part of a sound dock so you could have your music and phone services sourced from your smart phone. There are other ways to solve this issue, but this model could work well and syncing would not be necessary as the phone has it all.

I didn't notice anything about extending the aerial, but does it do this at all?


April 4, 2011, 6:52 pm

Love or hate it, one thing going for Apple iPhone is that fact there are many third-party devices available for it. Speaker Docks / Battery cases / Car radios etc etc. @RoyBean: Unfortunately you comment can't really be taken seriously.

Roy Bean

April 5, 2011, 1:36 am

@Keith: I'm serious - there are a lot of people who just want a phone that they can rely on to make phone calls when they are out! Good reception, clear speech and long battery life should (IMHO) be the most important features of a mobile PHONE.


April 5, 2011, 2:47 am

Have to agree with Roy Bean on what should be the most important features on a mobile phone. These days it seems like most mobile phone companies only focus on how to cram in more and more features, its easy to forget then what a mobile phone was made for in the first place.


April 5, 2011, 3:06 am

@Roy Bean: Word to the wise - I really wouldn't bother with this one. Very few people on here take Ol' Keith seriously.
@Keith: Good to know your still amongst the living Bunny Boy. Given your long absence from here I was worried that you had perhaps finally driven someone to bludgeon you to death with your iPhone.


April 5, 2011, 3:10 am

@Roy Bean
Maybe you should consider an iPhone after all! Let's see, battery life (talk time, from specs):

Nokia N8: 5.83h (3G) 12h (2G)
iPhone 4: 7h (3G) 14h (2G)

Good reception and voice quality on my iP4, even holds calls inside the lift at work. Much better than my old Sony Ericsson C905. In any case I think the network plays a bigger part on that than the phone itself. I'm sorry don't know anyone still with a Nokia at work to compare quality under the same conditions, but can't see how it's going to be much better.


April 5, 2011, 2:18 pm

@Roy Bean, @Behnam: I would suggest you don't want a smartphone. Get a cheap and cheerful Nokia etc, there are plenty to choose from. @Roy Bean: The not taken seriously was the childish comment "what suckers the people are who buy i-phones.", lets turn that on it's head to show you the childish aspect "Just shows what suckers Nokia/HTC/etc user are".
@ffrankmccaffery: Thanks for the warm welcome back, I must admit I have missed you too. :). Were would TR be without an egotistic person like yourself.

Roy Bean

April 5, 2011, 10:54 pm

@Keith - lol. You are quite right, I use a JCB Toughphone and still have a Nokia 6310i that I use overseas with a local sim card. An HP Elitebook 8540w and a Panasonic Lumix camera takes care of the rest. Horses for courses I suppose.
The "suckers" comment was aimed at those that are taken in by the Apple marketing hype. Their products are beautiful but sadly beauty is only skin deep.


April 5, 2011, 11:57 pm

@keith ? Did you forget your glasses or can't you read!? Why wouldn't i want a smartphone? Matter of fact i am getting the Samsung SG2 as soon as it is available.
All i said was is that the mobile phone companies are focussing on how to cram in more features. Not once did you see me say anything about Nokia, so your suggestion is wrong!


April 6, 2011, 1:12 am

@Roy Bean
By your description you only use 2G phones. According to the specs JCB Toughphones (even the Pro) only have 3h talk time. If you turn off 3G the iPhone manages 14h. Reception in 2G is also unaffected by the antenna bridge issue, touch it all you want. If you need JCB style robustness get an Otterbox defender case.

Not sure what you do with it but it may be possible something like the iP4 could replace both the Elitebook and Lumix camera. Don't agree that it's just skin deep at all, they can pack a ton of functionality.

I think you'll agree that Nokia also has (had?) a huge marketing hype, certainly had a large budget for it, maybe you were taken in by them?

Roy Bean

April 6, 2011, 11:27 am

@Gk - Anyone who paid out £1500 for a workstation class laptop to do what can be done on an iP4 would be crazy. It's for CAD.
Smartphones are fantastically useful for a lot of people - they just don't suit me. If I were to get one it would not be an iPhone because, as you might hace gathered, I am anti Apple on the basis that their products are, IMO of course, overpriced designer goods. Just consider for example, the ridiculous amount they charge to upgrade RAM/HDD on their laptops. This article (that we are supposedly commenting on) only serves to reinforce my opinion.


April 6, 2011, 2:14 pm

@Behnam: Yes, I've even re-read to make sure. Here is your comment "its easy to forget then what a mobile phone was made for in the first place.". Here you pointing out the most important feature is to be a mobile phone, in that case get a normal phone, NOT a smartphone like I said, here your battery life might be better, call quality might even be better. Unlike you, the mobile phone part of a smartphone is actually NOT the most important feature, and in this case maybe I'm the target audience for a Smartphoen and not you. Saying this, if manufactures can make these things better, I won't be complaining. Oh, and what's Nokia got to do with anything, did I really need to mention every single phone manufacturer?. So as you can see, I did have my glasses on, the problem was with you not been able to comprehend.


April 6, 2011, 3:48 pm

@Keith: Smartphone or not the abilities of making/receiving calls should be the #1 point to have perfected in my opinion. Only after that should the mobile phone companies try to put in more features, because after all calling/receiving calls is the #1 basic function of a mobile/smartphone.
The iphone 4 is one of the greatest examples of where the essence of a mobile/smartphone has been neglected.
Obviously then that you are the one who is incapable of comprehending of what a mobile/smartphone is made for in the first place. I'm not gonna bother to reply anymore to you anymore because its clear to me now you just can't comprehend the basics of a mobile phone.


April 6, 2011, 4:17 pm

@Roy Bean
And there's an Autocad app on the iPhone (and iPad). Maybe not ideal to work on, but to refer (even edit) drawings when you're out on the field? Have you actually considered there may be something to gain from not being so anti-Apple?

The "ridiculous" amount they charge for RAM/HDD upgrades is not new in the industry. Sony/HP/Dell etc do this all the time.
Last time I checked Apple was charging £80 for a 128GB SSD upgrade, while Dell charged £207 extra (both from an initial 500GB HDD). Hardly "ridiculous", depends on what you want.

Also no one is stopping you from upgrading them yourself, unlike some other brands it doesn't even void the warranty (unless you break something). I've replaced the RAM and HDD on my MB Pro with ones I bought myself No shortage of companies happy to do it for you either.


April 6, 2011, 4:59 pm

@Behnam: Your now just talking rubbish, of course I know what a Smartphone is for. Your not able to comprehend what I'm trying to point out, it's as simple as that. A smartphone by definition is going to be cramming lot's of features in, that's the whole point. If your not bothered about features get a dumb phone instead. That's about as simple as I can put it, IOW: complaining about manufactures putting features into a smartphone is laughable. btw. What smartphone do you know off that can't receive/make phone calls, please don't even try saying the ip4 as that only proves your one of the morons who fell for the media hyperbole.

Roy Bean

April 6, 2011, 8:29 pm

@Gk - "And there's an Autocad app on the iPhone (and iPad). Maybe not ideal to work on"
lol. That's the understatement of the year!
"Have you actually considered there may be something to gain from not being so anti-Apple?"
Yes - cash.

Last comment from me as this getting tedious - I'd rather have several things that do what they do well, rather than one thing that does a lot of things in a mediocre way.


April 6, 2011, 11:57 pm

@Roy Bean
Fair enough if you're happy with your 2G phone and like to carry your 6lb notebook around everywhere then you're probably not the target market for these devices. But to dismiss more mobile and perfectly capable tools as "designer goods" is a bit shortsighted.

It's a bit like saying people who buy BMW M3s are suckers because they aren't very useful as trucks and probably more expensive too.I really think you're missing the point of these devices.


April 7, 2011, 2:26 pm

@ffrankmccaffery The Binatone M5i provides the functionality you refer to. Mobile connects to base via Bluetooth and you can then use any DECT phone in house to make/receive calls over mobile network.

comments powered by Disqus