Good Call iG1 bluetooth handset and iOS 30-pin dock (October 6th, 2012)
Product Manufacturer: GoFusion
- Good quality dock
- Decent sound quality, with caveats
- Phone can charge while still making calls
- Some units manifest static
- Handset build quality
- Steep price for the product
Alternative handsets for the iPhone make a lot of claims. Some boast lower cell phone emissions close to the user's skull, conveniently forgetting that Bluetooth broadcasts are on the RF spectrum as well, albeit lower power. Others have style, hoping to grab the design-conscious with sleek lines. Yet more say that freed from the tight confines of a cellphone interior, that larger speakers and more sensitive microphones can be embedded in the product. The Good Call iG1 makes all of these claims. and includes an iPhone dock, capable of synchronizing a 30-pin connector dock phone. How valid are the claims that GoFusion makes?
The GoFusion Good Call iG1 is a combination wireless Bluetooth handset and iPhone dock. Power and data synchronization capabilities to the phone is provided by a mini-USB connection. Setup is simple -- turn on bluetooth, hold the handset's call button for three seconds, and synchronization is done. We successfully paired the handset with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 5.Voice dialing or Siri are the primary interfaces with the phone when using the handset. The biggest advantage of the handset is having the phone charge on the dock while using the handset.
MacNN ran parallel tests with the synchronized phone and handset combination and the iPhones with an assortment of 10 different US-regional and other accents, all speaking English. The phones by themselves had no problems with any accents, and the addition of the iG1 caused a bit of a stumble with a bit on a Bostonian - Northern New England accent, requiring the user to repeat the same phrase, a bit slower. Siri-capable phones injected between a half to one second on requests, but no serious problems manifested themselves.
Build quality was decent- the dock is heavy, and uses the mini-usb cable for charging. MacNN would have preferred a regular USB B-end as opposed to a mini-USB plug for a little more durability, but this isn't a major problem. The handset is slightly less solid, with what feels like a different plastic, or at least, a thinner one. The handset does creak a bit after initial unboxing, but after three weeks of use, the creakiness dissipated.
This review originally wasn't as positive as this one is. The review unit received from the company suffered from static on the earpiece, but not with every call. After ruling out the testing environment as a possibility, With the help of a friendly retailer, other iG1 units were tested as well. Unfortunately, three out of seven possible units manifested the intermittent static. One unit with the static points to a one-off manufacturing problem, with three pointing to possibly more of a problem. We did like the sound quality of the headset without the static, so if purchasing the unit is on the agenda, check the vendor's return policies, or better yet, see if you can test it before purchase.
The biggest complaint we have about the unit is the price. At $80, the iG1 seems like an expensive answer to a question that a large segment of the market doesn't seem to be asking. It isn't a hands-free headset, or provide anything that the speaker function on the phone doesn't, with the exception of taking and making phone calls less than our tested 21 feet from the phone with the handset with no dropouts. It does do exactly what it says it will do -- it is a bluetooth handset, it does integrate with Siri, and you can use it while the phone is charging. So, as it stands, the Good Call iG1 is a two and a half out of five, assuming one can be found with no static. If it can be purchased or sees a price reduction to $40, we consider it to be a three and a half out of five.