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When we first looked at the MoGo Talk XD, it reminded us of the LG Decoy, a phone we reviewed about three years ago. It was the first phone we reviewed that had a built-in Bluetooth headset stowed away in the back. The idea struck us as clever: Bluetooth headsets are notoriously easy to misplace due to their size, so it made sense to keep one close at hand.
The MoGo Talk XD takes that concept and brings it to the iPhone, putting a skinny Bluetooth headset inside an iPhone case (there are versions for the iPhone 3G/3GS and the iPhone 4). The MoGo Talk XD works great as a protective case, with its rubber sides and carefully molded cutouts that fit the iPhone's controls perfectly. There are openings for the speaker, the camera, the charging jack, the headset jack, and the mute switch. The volume buttons and power key on the top are precisely covered by a rubber bumps so they're easy enough to press. Bear in mind that the current MoGo Talk XD is only designed for the AT&T iPhone.
What sets the Talk XD apart from other cases is its thick humpback, where the Bluetooth headset is housed. There's a Micro-USB port at the bottom of the case for charging the headset. The headset itself is supremely skinny--when laid flat inside the case it doesn't protrude at all. It has a different look from the rest of the case, as while the case is black, the headset has silver and gray markings.
To take the headset out of the case, simply press down on the left of the headset and it will pop out. That's because the charging cavity has a slightly deeper divot on the left side. To put the headset back in, you insert it on the left side first too. The headset by itself measures around 2.25 inches long by 1 inch wide by 0.2 inch thick, and is very lightweight. The multifunction call button is on the right side. It's a very tiny button, but it's raised enough that we could still find and press it. The charging points are on the left side.
On the back of the headset is the earpiece, which can be rotated in and out to open and closed positions. At the tip of it is the earbud. The MoGo Talk XD comes with two different kinds of earbuds in three different sizes. The rounded earbuds are for increased noise isolation, while the slim-line earbuds are to allow more ambient noise. We found the rounded earbuds good enough for our needs.
To fit the earpiece to your ear, you need to rotate it out at least a couple of clicks. Then you place it in your ear, and close it back down by a click so that the headset feels snug. The mic should be pointed toward the mouth. For such a skinny headset, the fit is surprisingly comfortable, and it feels just like an in-ear headphone.
To pair the headset with the iPhone, press the multifunction call button down until it enters pairing mode. The LED light underneath the headset will begin flashing blue and red, and you can go ahead and pair it with the phone. The headset will also pair with other phones, but as the MoGo case is made for the iPhone, we paired it with an iPhone 4.
Call quality was rather mixed. On our end, callers sounded great. Voices were loud, clear, and natural-sounding. There was very little background noise, as if the call was made from a landline phone.
For the callers, though, it was a different story. They could still hear us, but quality was muddier. There were a couple of times when we would crackle and fade out. We tested the same call with the iPhone alone, and the phone sounded better. Still, there were stretches of time when there was no static or hiss at all over the headset, so it might be an occasional issue only.
The headset's features are pretty standard: you can answer, end, and reject calls, redial the last number, and be paired with up to five separate devices. To change the volume, you need to use the iPhone's controls. The MoGo Talk XD does not have A2DP or multipoint connectivity. The case comes with a USB cable.
The MoGo Talk XD is a clever idea. As an iPhone case with a built-in Bluetooth headset, it means the headset is never far away from your phone. However, it does lack several features like A2DP and onboard volume controls. Call quality was also a little mixed, with muddy notes and the occasional static crackle. And we wished that the case could somehow charge the phone as well--that would've made the $99.99 retail price easier to swallow.