Provides: Allows you to make and receive iPhone calls, charge your iPhone, and sync your iPhone with iTunes
Developer: GoFusion, LLC
Compatibility: Any model iPhone through iPhone 4S, Siri compatibility requires iPhone 4S
Price: $79.99 ($99.99 HD version available)
Availability: Out now
As much as I love my iPhone, I’ve never really loved it for making actual phone calls. Its flat, compact design doesn’t fit comfortably around my jaw, the phone speaker isn’t loud enough to work well in noisy situations, and although I’ve never had a problem holding it for a lengthy phone conversation, it doesn’t feel natural.
But one of the iPhone’s unsung strengths is its multitude of third-party options that address these shortcomings, much as GoFusion has done with the Good Call Bluetooth Handset. This combo charging dock and receiver connects with your iPhone via Bluetooth (obviously) to provide more comfortable use while not sacrificing some the iPhone’s more important functionality.
The iG1’s slim design offers a more natural curve from the ear to the mouth, allowing for better, more comfortable placement when speaking on the phone. It tapers down to the mouthpiece, and may therefore be a bit too thin for a supremely comfortable grip, but it’s still better than the iPhone itself.
Most of the phone work is handled via a circular button on the inside curve of the iG1. You pair the handset with your iPhone by holding the Call button for 3 seconds, then complete the connection
on the iPhone itself. This button is also used to answer calls and to make calls via Siri (without Siri, you still need to use your actual iPhone to initiate a call). The End Call button does its thing, and the volume buttons do their thing. It’s all pretty slick and convenient.
The best feature, though, may be the Bluetooth v2.1 compatibility. When you’ve got your iPhone in the system’s dock, you’re still mobile with the handset, provided you stay within Bluetooth range. The dock also charges both your iG1 handset (4 hours of talk time, 4 days of standby time, according to GoFusion) and your iPhone, and can be used to sync your iPhone with iTunes. The dock is also weighty enough that it won’t slide around your desk when grabbing the receiver.
There are two concerns, though: one cosmetic, one a bit more substantial. First, the glossy black finish (in black or white) attracts fingerprints like you wouldn’t believe. Not worth a penalty in this review, but a matte finish like that of the dock would’ve made more sense. Second, it’s a victim of Apple’s new Lightning dock for the iPhone 5. You’ll need an adapter here, and although that will set the iPhone a bit too high for safe placement, there’s nothing beyond the dock connector supporting your earlier model iPhone, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference.
If you use your iPhone in the office or frequently when at home, a Bluetooth handset is a wonderful thing to have. There are numerous models available, but there’s nothing in the Good Call iG1 Bluetooth Handset that makes me think you should begin your search somewhere else…unless you’re upgrading to the iPhone 5 soon, of course, in which case you’ll likely just want to wait.
Buy the Good Call iG1 Bluetooth Handset