One can almost forget the comfort and ease with which a phone call can be conducted with the right handset. Many of us have become accustomed to life without a phone handset. Native Union changes this for the better with their innovative products, including this Curve Twin Dock and Handset, model MM02T, retailing for $60.
This convenience product has a slotted, backed shelf to hold vertically, say, an iPhone and iPad next to each other. At the rear at the outer edges are a pair of retractable plugs that go into each device’s headphone jack. On the top surface rests a plug-in-the-side curved and comfy handset. The entire top surface of the device and the full covering of the handset are a soft-touch material in black. Let me advise up front that this material is a dust magnet and shows any greasy or oily residue transferred from one’s hands.
There is no facility for charging a device, but this should not be an issue save for the most anal of users who balk at such an omission. At a cost of $60, get over yourself. On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to orient one’s iPhone and/or iPad on their side in landscape mode, where the charging cable could connect off the right and left sides while the iPhone and iPad extend beyond the slot into which they reside while using this product. In other words, it’s doable. And if one uses either iPad or iPhone, with just one device in the slot most of the time, laying down either one makes it easy to access the charging port.
An accessory splitter is included that allows connection to mic/speaker jacks on a computer so users may employ this comfy handset while VoIPing via computer. Why not?
The handset is perfectly comfortable to hold and to cradle in a traditional handset manner. A button between the the microphone and speaker begins and terminates calls. This same button serves as a multifunction button on your devices to activate voice control/Siri.
Switching between the two possible sources is simple. Users will note that the left rear retractable plug that goes into the headphone jack on iPhone or iPad is color coded green. The right one has no color. The push-button on the device’s deck, forward of the handset rest, reveals which device is connected to the handset. In its up position, a green ring around the outside of the button shaft can be seen, indicating that it is the left rear connection in use. Push the button so it stays down, and there is no ring of color, indicating the right jack’s connection is in use. See? Simple!
How is it in use, and for what purpose?
First, the purpose. Native Union Curve Twin is ideal for home and office use for anyone who values the feel of an appropriately weighty, not heavy handset while using iPhone, iPad or nearby computer for VoIP calls or, in the case of the computer, for any voice control or dictation purposes. Alternately, it requires one hand, so there goes any thoughts of hands free use. It is also an alternative to holding the phone to one’s head and as a method by which to use iPad for VoIP.
I have mine set up to my left along the left edge of my desktop. I pop in my iPhone, connect either side’s plug and make calls on Skype and Skype out, through my AT&T iPhone account, using Wi-Fi to make other VoIP calls using the magicJack app, the PhonePower app that accompanies my PhonePower VoIP account, Google Voice, and a few others. Any VoIP app works, of course.
No one has commented independently about less than perfect sound while on a call. When I’ve asked, I’ve been told the sound is either “great” or “just fine.”
The handset does double duty as a take-away handset that plugs directly in iPhone or iPad. Remember, the weighted base has no electronics inside. It just sits there, so feel free to remove the handset and use it anywhere, plugged in directly to the device.
There is another advantage of interest to some users. There is a never-ending controversy about microwave radiation emitted from mobile phones and the possibility these waves can damage brain tissue over time. While there are no studies or other documented evidence that any health risk exists, removing the phone from nearer vicinity to one’s head can’t hurt!
Switching between iPad and iPhone is push-button very easy. It’s fun to use the handset, which is also a conversation piece attracting visitors’ positive attention. Using the handset for VoIP on the computer works perfectly well, but my preference is for a headset, which brings me to a conclusion . . .
Using Native Union Curve Twin as a way to avoid having to hold iPhone to the head on phone calls and as a better way to utilize calling capabilities in iPad is a rewarding experience. The handset is quite pleasant and comfortable to use. For occasional calls of short duration while at one’s desk, this is a worthy companion. However, for many and long calls throughout one’s work day or at home, the hands-free advantage of my preferred theBoom wired headset for home or office, theBoom O or V4 become apparent.
What would I change? Nothing, really. I am sure some will grouse about the soft touch finish showing grease and oils and that it is a dust magnet, but it also cleans easily with a wipe and maybe a but of alcohol, but be careful to wipe without much pressure as I am not sure how durable under abrasion is this material.
Where can one be purchased? At this writing, there seems little choice but to buy through the company link at the top, offering free shipping to US customers, but try the usual online suspects to learn if this changes and if there may be a better deal.