If there’s one casualty of the smartphone revolution, it’s the comfortable phone call. A 4.5 x 2-inch slab is not designed to accomodate a grown man’s face, especially a jowly specimen such as myself. It’s at least seven inches from my ear to mouth; I measured.
Look, I’m no Luddite; I love my iPhone and regret not dropping cash on it sooner. I like pulling a song title from thin air, instead of later misremembering the lyrics in a futile Google search that inexplicably returns “Ice Ice Baby.” However, all the compromises that make smartphones a great portable tool for reading newspapers, checking email, and managing dozens of useful apps make for mediocre calling.
Enter Native Union’s Curve BT iDock. It’s a sleek, stylish black handset and weighted base with a dock; the effect is reminiscent of obsidian. It comes in white too, if you have inferior colour sense or your decorating scheme is inspired by kitchen appliances.
I took one home last Thursday for a test run with a healthy dose of scepticism. The relative disadvantages my iPhone notwithstanding, it’s hard to see why a $120 peripheral is necessary. However, this past week changed my mind.
The Curve BT iDock is easy enough to set up. Plug it in, let it charge, and sync it up with your iPhone via Bluetooth. Then spend most of the weekend on the phone assuring concerned relatives that Toronto wouldn’t be hit by a hurricane, most of Monday night on the phone assuring them that 90 km/h winds aren’t such a big deal, and most of Tuesday morning on the phone describing the tree that squished my neighbour’s Toyoda Camry. Know what? The iDock makes for pretty clear calling.
A few days into my experiment, I realized that the iDock had effectively converted my iPhone into a proper home phone, except without paying for a superfluous line. When I’m out and about, my iPhone lives in my pants pocket. When I’m at home, I don’t want to be tethered to my iPhone, and I rarely wear pants anyway.
My iPhone and I frequently play games of hide and go seek, which, coupled with silent mode or a dead battery, is about as much fun as data roaming charges. Now it stays in its dock until I go out, calls feels more natural and a low batteries are a distant memory.
Not to mention the feeling you get from actually hanging up on someone just can’t be matched by jabbing your finger at a touchscreen. Take that, telemarketers.
The Native Union Curve BT iDock can be purchased online for $119.99.