Review of the Novophone iPhone Handset: The Ultimate Retro Cellphone Talking Accessory

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Cell Phones And Ears Don’t Meet No More

I used to live in New York City and so became inured to the denizens and their crazy ways. Like other Manhattanites I learned to avoid anyone walking the streets who was talking to themselves - a sure sign of being in another world. Today everybody is talking to themselves, or more to the point - to someone on their cell phone (be it iPhone, Blackberry, etc.). And with the advent of wireless headsets using Bluetooth, it’s a rare sight indeed to actually see the cell phone being held up to someone’s ear.

Which is a shame, both from a sensible, as well as cultural point of view - after all, I’d prefer to know that the person is talking to someone and not to an invisible friend like “Harvey,” Jimmy Stewart aside. So that’s why I put my money where my mouth is by starting to carry the Novophone around with me.

What’s A Novophone Handset? (4 out of 5)

What’s a Novophone iPhone handset? That’s a good question and deserves a good answer. Those who remember cell phones in cars know that the old landline phone receiver hasn’t changed that much since the 1920’s - check out old movies to see my point. So when the car companies started to make cell phones for cars, they jumped on the established technology of putting a telephone receiver into the car for the person to pick up and use, coiled telephone cabling and all.

Novophone is classy

Novophone Is Built To Last (5 out of 5)

Novophone ain’t

Novophone takes that a step farther, while also taking a retro step back. Built like a standard telephone receiver, the Novophone’s nod to the future is that the coiled cable at its end terminates in a standard mini-jack (with an adaptor for those devices that need it, like a first generation iPhone, should one still be around).

You plug the mini-jack into your cell phone’s headphone port and are treated to the monaural sound coming from the earpiece, while your yakking goes into the other end. Of course there’s other benefits too – it’s easier to hear what’s being said with the earpiece cupped to your ear. There’s more room to scream into the mouthpiece as well. Plus the solid heft of the Novophone can be an effective deterrent, a hammer substitute and finally a nod to the past should you be experiencing a “senior” moment.

The Novophone Handset Is Your iPhone Handset (5 out of 5)

Now the folks at Novophone like to point out that the potential dangers of EMF (electro magnetic frequency) are eliminated since the cell can stay in your pocket, etc. But after spending a few days walking around with the Novophone, mostly I enjoyed pulling it out in a Mall and watching the Gen-X and Y-ers do the same kind of double-take that is famous in slapstick films. Being red (there is a choice of color) ensured that the Novophone stood out just in case anyone was slacking off too.

Novophone in Action

The Novophone iPhone Handset Doesn’t Hide In The Background

Black isn’t the only color the Novophone comes in

Now from a practical standpoint, the Novophone does have a bit of an “off the wall” attitude when taken out of the house. The small button on the side lets you initiate a call if the cell phone allows (as my iPhone 3GS can), answer an incoming call and disconnect. I find it works better indoors though, especially since my cell phone reception is a bit tardy in the house.

Overall I can recommend the Novophone handset for the iPhone or pretty much any cell phone use, providing you understand its strengths and weaknesses. I was going to install a remote camera at my front door since my home office is situated so that my back faces the door. But now I’ll just leave the Novophone on the desk for incoming cell phone calls and use it to pop any intruder on the bean should one show up.

Novophone Website