Ever since I have owned and used Pebble, I usually have this itching wish that someone would build an actual phone but one that connects via bluetooth!. You see, the Pebble smart watch can receive message notifications from calls and texts. it can also answer and send replies but unfortunately those replies are only in template mode, so no tying custom responses. Calls can be accepted but not directly answered on the device itself.
So imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon Talkase. This card-size phone is an actual GSM (with SIM) phone and also can function as a bluetooth phone (pairing with your iPhone or Android device and probably Windows devices too).
- From factor: Mini Phone with GSM Function (850/900/1800/1900)
- SIM Cassette: Micro SIM Card
- LCD Size: 1.1 inch OLED 128*36 Pixel
- ROM Memory: 128MB
- Talking time: Approx. 2.5~3.0 hrs
- Standby time: Approx. 4~5 days
- Battery capacity: 200 mAh
- USB connection: TalKase pogo pin charger
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0
- Dimension: 86*48*5.5mm
So what’s the use of a bluetooth phone? For one thing, if you use a large phone, you don’t need to bring it out to accept calls and read messages. You can just use the paired phone to receive and even make calls and read texts (no sending unfortunately which I’ll discuss further later)
One more benefit of these bluetooth phones is an added security layer from you and a potential thief. Imagine riding a bus, train or jeep and not having to whip out your expensive iPhone to make a quick text and using this cheap, small, unobtrusive device instead. That’s one use-case that I need for myself because I do commute a lot (before anyways)
The slim profile is one of it’s advantages. It’s very compact and portable. Measuring only 5.5mm, it’s probably one of the smallest full-function phone.
One thing to note though that because this is very tiny tiny phone, don’t expect a large screen on this. This only has a measly 1.1” OLED screen that can display 1 and a half line of information (sometimes 2). Expect to do a lot of clicking to choose on the variety of menus and settings, also for reading texts. Pretty tedious if you ask me but doable. It’s a compromise for the size, cost and battery life.
The Talkase accepts micro SIM cards so you can use it as a regular phone. This is a perfect backup phone that you can stash discreetly inside your bag and use in case of emergency.
The phone has a vibrating function which surprised me since it’s so slim. It also has a mini speaker somewhere because I hear a sound :) Trust me there is one.
The charging pogo pins is using micro USB so you can just plug this almost anywhere using standard phone cables or just use your existing power bank if you have one. Battery life is quite short than the advertised 5 days. Mine only reached 3 and a half days before recharging again.
Here is Talkase among giant phones like the Galaxy S4 and the Note 4. By the way, the box comes with an included silicon case protector which has a lanyard slot so you can dangle this itsy bitsy device on your neck or pocket safely.
You also have an option to get one extra case for iPhone 5/5S, iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. It basically just attaches as a normal back casing for the iPhone where there is a slot for the Talkase device. It’s flushed down and can be used as a secondary phone for, you know, those busy people dividing work from their personal phones.
In conclusion, I would say this device is a great backup and security phone. Battery life is not that great but from its size and capabilities, I wouldn’t really expect a week of charge anyway. Even advance smartphones last for only a day.
One thing that disappointed me was that there was no way to create and send messages through the paired phone (you can send via GSM/SIM though). I wanted that feature the most because I usually text rather than call when I’m outside.
One plausible case for this lack of support is that the messaging protocol on the phone isn’t that easy to connect via bluetooth unlike the phone part as seen on the numerous bluetooth speakers that can act as phone speaker phones too. Even the Pebble smartwatch created it’s own iOS and Android apps to allow and integrate messaging better. So WiMe probably could look into creating apps for both iOS and Android but I’m pretty sure that are not concerned in doing do that right now.
I wouldn’t recommend it for its $70 retail price (got mine for waay less) because of the lack of messaging capabilities via bluetooth but phone-wise, it works like any nomal nokia dumb phone would. The interface might just need some getting used too.