Today we’re looking at a couple of products from Native Union.
Native Union is quietly doing some great design work and if you haven’t heard or seen, it’s time to pay attention. We’ll look at the POP bluetooth handset which is modeled to look and feel like an old rotary phone handset. Next, the SWITCH, is Native Union’s attempt at the device of the moment, the bluetooth speaker. The company’s products have a polish and clean modern aesthetic that make them a standout in this reviewer’s humble opinion.
Click here to see a video slideshow of some of Native Union’s latest gadgets
POP bluetooth handset: $29.99
There isn’t much to say here. This is a very functional bluetooth handset which looks and feels like the phone that your Mom used in the 50’s. Cut the wires and add some sassy color options and you have the POP. Though it’s been replaced, there will always be something satisfying about holding this type of phone between your head and shoulder while juggling other tasks. If feels silly in a fun way to use a modern device that doesn’t offer all the convenience of today necessarily but gives an intangible something that a bluetooth bug in your ear cannot. The different textures and colors mean you’ll only get exactly the phone that you want. The phone comes with a decorative felt mat that you’ll place on a table and use as a resting spot when not in use. You will giggle for the first week of using this device but that’s the point. Under $30 dollars for a very solidly built gadget.
Added benefits are not having a cell phone up against your head for the radiation phobic among us and a simple button layout that just works. A multi function button to pick up and hangup calls and two volume buttons on either side. You’ll charge through a standard microUSB cable and a full charge takes about 3 and a half hours. I found about a week would pass between charges. The company claims 8 hours talk time and up to 100 hours of standby power. Another great bonus is that you can pair up to 8 devices to the phone at once.
SWITCH bluetooth speaker: $149.99
The switch is the rare combination of a well designed product that’s a bit modern and odd but also highly functional. It slightly resembles a gigantic sad Lego to be frank. A clean lined rectangular box with an indented circle on top. The circle is actually a multifunction button. It turns with a very smooth action to adjust volume and a tap on the center reveals a multifunction button for speakerphone commands. A built in duplex mic makes this device in the center of the table a perfect conference call accessory. It can be used vertically or horizontally and can also connect to 8 devices at the same time.
The company claims 14 hours of music playback which is far beyond most speakers its size. If you don’t need that much music time and your device is constantly thirsty, connect a charging cable to the full sized USB port and the SWITCH becomes an 1800 mAh portable power bank. That isn’t enough to charge every phone out there, but it is a great added feature in an emergency. It’s available in 5 different colors with a soft rubberized texture that feels great and gives a great matte look. An included carrying case is an online only incentive that sweetens the deal.
Luckily they didn’t skip the music. Design definitely wins here, but the sound can fill a room with three integrated speakers over the normal two for a device this size. The active sub and bass reflex system combine to give very healthy lows that don’t sacrifice clarity for thump. Highs can be a little flat, but that’s me being picky. This is more than enough speaker for most anyone. There is a built in battery meter on the bottom of the device which is VERY welcomed, but there is no NFC or wireless stereo function in this generation of the SWITCH. Those are newer features but many other speakers have recently emerged which means it might be time for a refresh here.
Thank you again to Native union for supplying their product for review.
If you haven’t already, click here to see a video slideshow of these Native Union products
ENJOY YOUR GADGETS!