Native Union POP Bluetooth Review

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Native Union is a company formed in 2009 with the principle of providing solutions to the challenges of a digital age. Today we are taking a look at the Native Union POP Bluetooth. It is a retro designed Bluetooth phone. We have got the flash red model however other colours are available including; jet black, neon green, neon pink and high gloss blanc.

Taking a look at the packaging the unit comes in a white, red and dark blue themed packaging. On the front of the box we see a clear plastic window which allows you to get a glimpse of the product.

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On the left hand side of the box is the description of the product found in 8 different languages other than English as that description can be found on the rear.

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On the right hand side of the box there is a guarantee of authenticity label along with the Native Union logo. You scratch part of the guarantee of authenticity off to reveal a unique hidden serial number which you then put into the Native Union website within 15 days of the purchase date found on your receipt to get 12 months product warranty, free POP Dialler APP for iPhone and a free adapter for your mobile phone (if required).

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On the back of the box we see an image of the black variant of the product along with some features being highlighted and a some text explaining about the design and the product itself.

The POP Bluetooth phone is a retro handset designed by David Turpin and inspired by the classic 1950’s Bakelite rotary dial telephone. The Bluetooth model is compatible with all Bluetooth enabled devices including phones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs.

Opening up the packaging we find the unit held firmly in place with a blue printed cardboard insert. Inside the box is a Native Union sticker, warranty card, quick start guide, instruction manual, felt/wool mat, USB charging cable and the phone unit itself. All very well presented and held inside the box securely. The mat on which to rest the phone is a nice addition and helps prevent a hard surface damaging the handset.

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The handset uses a soft touch material. On the top of the unit we see the earpiece and down the bottom of the unit we see the microphone as you would expect. In the centre of the phone are three buttons (Volume (+)/(-) Key and a pick-up hang-up button) a status indicator and a ringer speaker. Down the bottom of the device we find the micro-USB charging port. The centre buttons have a number of other functions these are listed below.

  • Pressing and holding the centre button for 2 seconds will reject a call
  • Increase and decrease volume with the +/- volume buttons
  • A single click of the centre button will enable voice activated dialling (with supported devices)
  • Pressing the + and – volume buttons together will mute the phone, doing the same again will un-mute the device

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In terms of battery life, the phone can last up to 8 hours of talk time but up to 100 hours on standby. Charging the handset is quick and easy, just plug the USB cable into both USB ports and the handset will fully charge within 3-4 hours; a red status indicator light will remain constantly lit while charging.

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Pairing the handset to my phone was a painless and quick affair, you just press the centre button on the unit for 5 seconds and wait until the status LED is flashing red and blue alternately. Then find the device through your phone or other device and select “POP Bluetooth” if prompted for a password enter “0000” once the blue LED status light is flashing every 4 seconds you are connected to the device. To pair other devices just repeat the process; up to 8 different devices can be paired simultaneously.

Once your device is paired the wireless range of the handset from the phone is 10 metres. If you go out of this range the status indicator light will flash purple. Once you enter range again the handset automatically reconnects and the blue LED flashes every 4 seconds.

When somebody rings you on the phone the handset gives out a retro style ring of which the volume can be adjusted using the volume buttons.

The POP Bluetooth has a number of benefits as listed below.

  • Eliminates up to 96% of absorbed radiation compared to using a mobile phone
  • Noise reduction technology for improved audio clarity
  • Allows you to navigate your device while talking (browse your e-mails, check your diary or play a game)
  • One button pick-up and hang-up function
  • Perfect for VoIP applications (Skype, Facetime, Google Talk etc.)

So the question I found myself asking is why? Why not just use your phone? Well after reading the packaging and using the device, it quickly grew on me as a product. I found that while talking the handset was easier to hold and the audio re-production was clearer than on my phone. This in addition to the substantial health benefit of the handset eliminating 96% of the absorbed radiation, as claimed by the manufacturer makes the handset a very interesting unit.

I had mixed feedback when using the handset, I called 5 different people not explaining I was using the handset until near the end of the call to ensure there was no bias. One said the quality wasn’t very good however the connection we had on the cellular network seemed a bit hit and miss. The remaining four people all commented how clear it was. I then tried somebody else on the handset and me on the receiving end of a call to see what I thought. My experience on two separate calls was that the sound quality was clear with no echo and no background noise.

I drew the conclusion from the less positive comment on the device that it was more likely to be the fault of the cellular network opposed to the device; a bad line or poor signal at one end. In my experience the handset performed as expected and the quality was great.

The POP Bluetooth is available from www.nativeunion.com/uk in a range of colours for £44.99.

To conclude, I found the POP bluetooth to work well. It is very well presented and comes with everything you need and more. The handset is more comfortable to use than your phone but personally I would prefer to use it purely at home since it is too large and brightly coloured to be practical for outside use. It is a comfortable and well designed Bluetooth handset that is something different and unique. The beauty of this handset is its ability to eliminate the majority of the absorbed radiation from the average mobile phone. It is a bonus that it is a comfortable and well designed unit and from my experience I would recommend it if you are in the market for such a product.

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