Another day, another... oh wait, what's this? The Modu phone has been an enigmatic figure in the mobile world, treading the precipice of vaporware for a while before finally launching in its home market of Israel last year and in a few more places around the world since then. Aiming to shake up the apparently stale mobile market, this minimalist take on the phone is no larger than the standard battery in your modern smartphone and gets its name from the modular "jackets" it can slip into. They furnish it with added functionality and buttons, while also sprinkling a bit of extra style on top as well. Slide past the break to learn more about this handset, the Modu 1, together with a few teasers about the upcoming touchscreen-based Modu 2.

Modu official press pics

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Modu hands-on

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Let's not mince words here, the Modu is as limited and frills-free as any modern phone can be. It keeps a list of your contacts and calls, does a bit of messaging for you, and plays back music from its thrifty 2GB of built-in, non-upgradeable memory. As such, it fulfills the "phone" part of the bargain by itself and then relies on its jackets to flesh out functionality a little more. The night jacket adds in ambient lighting and a 3.2 megapixel camera, while the sport option augments things with a pedometer display. There's also an 8-inch (touch-less) photo frame on offer that can act as a pretty nifty charging dock and media player.

Unfortunately, both of the aforementioned cases cost just under £50 a piece, while the frame sets you back £80, and the Modu itself is a not so wallet-friendly £130. The Modu will be exclusively available via the Purely Gadgets online store, where bundling the phone with a jacket will net you a discount, but we're still struggling to justify the expense. Ultimately it all feels more like you've stuck a cell radio inside a kids' toy rather than advanced the mobile race in some useful manner. Most of the cases at the moment are just showy pieces of plastic, though we must note that pairing between them and the phone is a very snappy affair. We'd be willing to forgive the Modu's limitations and just learn to love its colorful exteriors if it weren't for one major downfall -- its screen can be measured in thumbnails (1) instead of inches. Honestly, you put your thumb over it and the entire thing's obscured. How that's supposed to fly in a messaging-obsessed world, we're not really sure. Perhaps the idea is that you use this teeny tiny handset purely for calls and grab yourself a 5- or 7-inch tablet to sate your other communication needs.

Then again, we like to stick to one mobile device if at all possible, which is why we were intrigued to hear about plans for the Modu 2. It'll come with 3G connectivity and a jacket collection of its own (we'd previously heard that that would include a QWERTY-packing case), and we're being told to expect it by the end of 2010. We in this case meaning the United Kingdom -- there are still no plans to deliver either Modu handset to American hands. The final tidbit of interest we were able to obtain was word that Modu won't be authoring the touchscreen interface on its second phone, though the company of course remains mum on who will. Given the way current mobile winds are blowing, we wouldn't be too surprised to see some version of Android sidling up to this modular party, but we'll just have to wait and see.

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modu to partner with Purelygadgets in the United Kingdom
Purelygadgets & modu to bring a new modular phone concept to the UK market

London, England-July 13th, 2010


Purelygadgets is to start exclusive distribution of the modu™ 1 phone in the United Kingdom. The eagerly anticipated modular device is a great addition to Purelygadgets' hi-tech portfolio. Since coming out over a year ago, the Brits haven't been able to buy the phone but now it is here and exclusively available from one of
the top electronic gadgets firms in Europe. modu, the Israeli based developer and manufacturer, has created the worlds lightest mobile phone according to the Guinness Book of World Records™ but more than this it is a revolution in the mobile handset industry. Purelygadgets will have the modu 1 phone and a selection of modu™ jackets available from July 2010.

The modu™ phone is a tiny modular and sleek mobile phone. In addition to complete mobile functionality, the modu phone is a music player and a mass storage device containing up to 2GB of memory. Users can modify the phone's design and features to accommodate their different daily activities, simply by inserting their modu phone into other devices in the modu™ ecosystem, including a range of stylish phone enclosures called modu™ jackets. The innovative modu phone interface changes with jackets. There is inbuilt Bluetooth, MP3 player and internal storage. Measuring just 72.1mm (H) x 37.6mm (W) x 7.8mm (T) the phone features a 1.3" OLED display with 65000 colours and a built in speaker. Purelygadgets will be offering the modu phone at £129.99 but for a promotional period with £30 off a modu jacket when bought with the phone. For more information and images on the modu phone and modu jackets, visit the company's website at: http://www.purelygadgets.co.uk/brand/view/4/274/

Sariel Engel, Vice President Sales & Business Development, commented, "Our launch in the UK with Purelygadgets is an exciting development in modu's distribution. This partnership will make the modu 1 phone and modu jackets available to a new and dynamic market. This is a winning scenario for modu, Purelygadgets and UK mobile phone customers".

Andrew Tse stated. "We are really excited to be working with modu and be the first to bring it to the UK. modu have extraordinary design, innovation and fun in their products. Things that our customers are always looking for in the latest lifestyle tech products."

About modu

modu was established in 2007 by Dov Moran inventor of the USB Flash Drive (DiskOnKey™) and other innovative flash data storage devices. modu manufactures a modular phone which is also the world's lightest mobile phone. The company's vision is to bring a fundamental change in the dynamics of the mobile phone industry. The modu™ phone enables users to personalize their mobile experience in a simple and
affordable way. Users can customize the look and features of their phone by inserting the modu™ phone into other devices in its ecosystem, including a range of stylish phone enclosures, called modu™ jackets. For more information visit our website at: www.modumobile.com

About Purelygadgets

Purelygadgets.co.uk was launched in 2004 to provide the latest cutting edge gadgets. Not just feature and review them but to have them sourced and available for sale. The loyal customer base currently exceeds 250,000 customers and sales to date over 1.5million orders. The company has an extensive product portfolio covering digital cameras, portable media players, netbooks, mobile phones and Sat nav. For the young at heart, Purelygadgets also sell fun gadgets and toys that are unavailable elsewhere. The company's offices are located in the fashionable London Docklands overlooking the Royal Victoria Dock.

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Modu, world's lightest cellphone, lands in UK