REVIEW: Ice Phone - Converts Your Modern Cell Phone To A Retro Desk Phone
When cell phones hit hard, add-on novelty retro handsets hit the scene to remind folks of what phones used to look like; a friendly shape that cradles the face, rather than a slat of plastic that's like talking into a pack of cigarettes. Like all novelties, these handsets came in varying qualities, and all proclaimed "RETRO" in loud bold letters on the package. but now there's a retro phone handset with a desktop stand that's a handsome addition to any modern/retro-modern desk; the Ice Phone.
The first thing you'll notice is that the handset has a nice matte finish - a little bit grippy so it won't slip out of your hands. Plug the coily cord into your phone's heapdhone jack, and install the free app. Next time someone gives you a jingle, click a single button on the handset to answer. Not only can you pinch the handset against your shoulder to leave your hands free (an old habit that makes my chiropractor cringe...), but you can also access the screen of your phone while speaking. You can slip the whole cell phone/handset plugged into your pocket too - no additional batteries. Just fish into your inner pocket to get out a full-size retro handset and enjoy the stares on the bus.
The desktop stand completes the look. Slip in your phone (slots on the bottom let you snake through your recharger cable), run the app, and you've got a working animated rotary dial on your touchscreen. You phone can merrily charge up while waiting for the next call. In the past, I found that getting the handset alone left you with no good place to keep it, but the Ice Phone's base is both handy and completes the aesthetic nicely. Converting a cell phone into looking like an old bakelite jobber puts a smile on my face every time I lift the handset to my ear.
The Ice Phone comes in a number of bright colors as well as classic black. The back of the box lists other advantages including enhanced call clarity (that was true for me), the stand is at a good angle for video calls (I don't know about that... I avoid video calls because I always end up looking like a goon) and that using the headset eliminates almost 100% of the bozo rays going directly into your brain (okay, I'm paraphrasing a bit). It's also fairly agnostic. The stand can fit a number of different phones (I'm using my large-ish HTC phone in the photo), and the app is available for both iPhone and Android. The handset works with computers & tablets too which is handy for better-sounding Skype calls.
My Ice Phone came from Mobile Fun in the UK. I expected a cute novelty that I'd use for a little while, but it's turned out to be a cute novelty that I like a lot. In the summer months I move my "office" into my dining room, and it makes me smile to actually answer work calls on an official looking retro phone. I'll bet my cell phone gets a kick out of dressing up like its great great great great great grandfather.