Moshi Moshi 03
Beautiful design; nice build quality
Limited use; can’t dial from the handset;
At first glance, the MoshiMoshi 03 seems both beautiful and oddly pointless at the same time. But I’m sure you’ll be able to find a use for the sleek handset if you want an excuse to have it sitting on your desk or coffee table.
Available in white or black, its minimalist design ensures it fits with any décor, but makes it especially at home amongst your Mac bits and pieces. The only question is: at $199, is it good enough to justify you spending your hard earned cash?
There’s no denying the build quality of the MM03. The plastic has a very similar feel to Apple’s various white-plastic devices, and both the handset and dock are weighted perfectly – they’re substantial, yet not heavy. The buttons, centred on the inside of the handset, are placed well to up the volume or end the call, but have enough resistance so that you’re unlikely to press them unless you mean it.
The MM03 has an internal battery, meaning there are no unsightly cords, and making it all the more sexy sitting in your house. You do need to plug it in every now and then to charge it, however. All you need to do is hook it up to power and a white LED in the base will signal that it’s charging (it turns off once it’s ready to go – which takes a couple of hours for a full charge). The handset charges itself from the base, and has a red LED indicator to let you know if it’s been off the cradle for too long.
After charging, the MM03 is pretty simple to set up, so long as you at least skim-read the instructions first. In a nutshell, turn on Bluetooth on your device – be it iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Mac, and then press and hold the centre button on the MM03 until it chimes two separate times (three beeps then two beeps). Select MOSHIMOSHI03 in the list of Bluetooth devices (on your phone, Mac, etc), and you’re ready to go.
Which is kind of where the pointless sets in.
To call someone via an iPhone, you’ll need to dial on your phone, put it down and pick up the handset. Granted, you can call the most recently dialled number on your phone using the MM03’s button, but that’s it. Native Union suggest using a Moshi Moshi, rather than your iPhone, is better for your health – but the jury is still out on whether mobile phones are in any way linked to cancer. And if that’s the reason you want an MM03, you might be better off using your iPhone’s earbuds or a Bluetooth headset (both of which can be a fair bit cheaper and also reduce the amount of radiation you’ll absorb from your phone).
Where I see better use for the MM03 is with Skype on a Mac. You still need to do the calling from the Mac itself, but once you’re up and running, you can chat as you move around the house or office. In this scenario, the MM03 adds functionality, rather than just looking good. But again, the MM03 lacks the ability to dial a number or navigate to a contact, so there are better (albeit less attractive) Skype or VOIP (voice over IP) phones available if that’s your plan.
Interestingly, the MM03 supports two Bluetooth devices connected concurrently, so you can have it connected to both your Mac and iPhone when you’re at your desk to make VOIP and mobile calls using the same handset. Handy for answering incoming calls, but you’ll still need to use your iPhone or Mac to actually place any calls.
The first time I used the MM03 was calling a friend’s iPhone from my own. The call quality was reasonable, though noticeably worse than if I were using my iPhone directly. My fellow raconteur noted that it sounded like I was overseas – though I was barely 5km away. It wasn’t a great start.
Ironically, I later spoke to my brother in London, via Skype, and he sounded almost like he was in the next room. Which got me wondering whether the Bluetooth on the phone was to blame for the poor quality. While it was noticeably better connected to the Mac, it still wasn’t as good as I’d hope from a $200 accessory.
Australian Macworld’s buying advice
All that being said, the MM03 doesn’t need to wow you in terms of functionality or audio quality. It’s about a beautifully designed sexy gadget that you may or may not find a use for. If you’ve got $200 beans to spend on something you probably don’t really need but will almost certainly make you a bit cooler, then the MM03 is for you. And, frankly, if that means less people using Bluetooth in-ear headsets, the world will be a better place.