modu Mobile modu phone
The modu Phone is the world's first modular phone.
- A cool idea in theory, light and compact design, wide variety of potential uses for modu jackets
- Limited functionality, not a huge variety of jackets available, mediocre screen, no vibration, no 3G
The success of the modu phone will depend entirely on the quality of the jackets available. Though a modular phone sounds like a good idea, the limited jackets we've seen don't offer anything terribly exciting. In a day and age of fully featured touch-screen smartphones, the modu's tiny screen and 2G connectivity make it seem stuck in the past.
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Do you ever get sick of your mobile phone? Do you wish it could change appearance from one day to the next? Israeli company modu mobile is counting on you answering yes to both questions. One of the smallest and lightest mobile phones we've ever seen, the modu Mobile is the world's first "modular phone" — a handset that can be inserted into a range of "modu jackets" that enhance functionality and change the phone's design.
As a standalone phone, the modu Mobile is as basic as they come. It’s a small, rectangular device with square edges and a relatively thin profile. modu Mobile claims the modu phone is the lightest phone in the world at just 43g — with a tiny screen and just seven buttons, it looks much like an MP3 player, and it has basic features to match the simple design. Bluetooth and an MP3 player are included, along with 2GB of internal memory, but the modu doesn't support 3G. We found it annoyingly difficult to remove the SIM card from the small slot on the left side of the handset.
The modu doesn't even have a regular keypad — the five-way navigational pad is used to select keys on a keypad displayed on the screen, which is a slow and rather frustrating process. The screen itself is just 1.3in wide; when used without a jacket it displays an annoying green tint. The modu user interface is as basic as they come, and reminiscent of older mobile phones.
The real beauty of the modu phone lies in the "modu jackets." These are enclosures that you slide the modu into, not only changing the design but adding a number of features depending on the individual jacket. For example, the "night jacket" we received in our review package adds a full, angled keypad, a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash, surrounding lights and external volume controls. There are a range of jackets available — many are a simple design change, while others offer extra functions like speakers and photo frames. Impressively, a jacket can alter almost any aspect of the Modu Phone, including the display size, memory, battery life and features. Jackets often change the phone's user interface too.
The three jackets we received with the modu were the night jacket, the speedy jacket and the mini jacket. Aside from the night jacket adding a 3.2-megapixel camera, these jackets are pretty standard fare and don't offer anything exciting apart from a different look and feel. Depending on your tastes, the design changes may not be welcomed — the speedy jacket feels like a plastic display phone, while the mini jacket's keypad doesn’t provide the best tactility when typing messages.
Perhaps the most perplexing omission from the modu phone is vibration, a basic feature included on even the most inexpensive mobile phones. The MP3 player is also basic, and it's let down by modu's insistence on a USB headphone connection rather than a standard 3.5mm jack.
The reality is that the modu phone is one of the most basic mobile phones we've ever reviewed. Though we appreciated the design efforts in creating the modu jackets, in a day and age where mobile phones are portable Internet and multimedia devices the modu Phone seems stuck in the past.
The modu mobile is exclusively sold through MobiCity in Australia.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Apple MacBook (early 2015) review: Almost a game changer
- 2 Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 3 HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop
- 4 Dell XPS 13 laptop (early 2015 model)
- 5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 compact camera
Join the PC World newsletter!
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Ambitious LG has Samsung firmly in its sights with G4 flagship
- OnePlus abandons invite only system 'forever', confirms OnePlus 2
- Evolutionary Sony Xperia Z4 unveiled, kitted with 8-core CPU and 5MP front camera
- Australian telcos will range 4G Microsoft Lumia smartphones from May
- Virgin Mobile will reward defecting customers with bonus data
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.