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The latest advance in smartphone technology -- a corded handset?

November 28, 2011 |  4:38 pm

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What might prompt one to buy a large, anti-sleek, hardly cool retro-style handset for a smartphone?

Well, consider your options. Those white ear buds are so tell-tale, and those Bluetooth ear clips have "obnoxious business guy" written all over them.

On the other hand, the retro handset provides a nice weighty, I'm-talking-on-the-phone feel, and that satisfying curly rubber cord reminds one, comfortingly, of what phones are supposed to be like.

And here's another bonus: These larger-than-your-cellphone cellphone attachments apparently protect you from 96% to 99% of the cellphone radiation that the World Health Organization has declared "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

It may not be discreet. It's not exactly cool.  But it's safe!

A company called Yubz started making retro-style handsets in 2000, mostly as a gag gift for those early adapters who abandoned the land line for their cellphone about five years before the rest of us did. After fears of the dangers of cellphone radiation began circulating, the company changed its marketing to include a giant "reduce 96% of radiation" note on the product's packaging materials.

For the aesthetically inclined the quirky design store A + R sells a version by French designer David Turpi in pop colors like yellow and magenta. "Super cool! Super cute!" says the description on the site where it sells for $30.

The budget minded may choose to check out the latest addition to the market, the handset pictured above that is made by a company called IMobifone, which is selling the phone for $25. 

The company's website includes images of Jamie Lee Curtis walking on the street with an old-fashioned handset clutched to her ear.

If Jamie Lee is using one, you know it's hot!

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Black Friday? How about ‘update your parents' browser day’?

-- Deborah Netburn

Image: Courtesy of IMobifone.

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