Banana Phone review: Relive your childhood, help save gorillas

|
, , , ,

Did you ever use a banana as a phone when you were a kid? Wouldn’t it have been great if it actually worked? Well, now you can relive your childhood (or your dadhood — yes I still bug my kids by using a banana as a phone sometimes) by talking on a banana that actually works as a phone!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Our Banana Phone review looks at a Bluetooth speaker of sorts which, when paired with your smartphone, lets you use it as a banana phone! Even better, 2% of annual sales from the Banana Phone go to gorilla conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The Banana Phone we reviewed has the following features and specifications:

  • Talk Time: 20 Hours 
  • Idle Time:  120 Hours 
  • Rechargeable: Built in lithium battery w/ micro USB 
  • Qualcomm Chipset: Certified conflict free 
  • Environmentally Conscious: 100% recycled ABS 
  • Volume Control: (+/-)
  • Multifunction Button: Outbound Call/ Answer/ Bluetooth Pair 
  • Bluetooth range: 60′
  • Gorilla Conservation: Banana Phone is a certified and active 1% For The Planet Member.  We double the expected contribution, and donate 2% of all revenue to support Gorilla Conservation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

What’s in the box

  • Banana Phone
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide
What's included with the Banana Phone
What’s included with the Banana Phone.

Design

It’s a banana phone. Almost literally. If you put this in a basket of bananas, you’d likely miss it at a glance — save for its glossy finish. The front of the Banana Phone is where you’ll find a small set of circles near the top and bottom for the speaker and microphone. The company logo is just below the speaker holes near the top. Below this is a volume up button with a multi-function button (MFB) below that and a volume down button underneath the MFB. Finally, there is a small LED light to indicate power and connection status.

On the bottom of the “phone” is a Micro-USB charging port. Overall, it’s a pretty simple design, but it works. My only complaint about it is the glossy finish on the device itself. The finish makes it hard to hold against your shoulder and ear like some people tend to with a cordless phone.

The Banana Phone
The Banana Phone!

Ease of Use

Like any other Bluetooth speaker, this one is super simple to use. Turn it on by holding the MFB down for about 5 seconds, open the Bluetooth menu on your smartphone, and tap “Banana Phone” when it appears in the list. Once paired, the MFB lets you answer or reject calls and activate your smartphone’s voice assistant. The volume buttons, as one would expect, adjust the volume. Easy peasy…

Performance

For the most part, the Banana Phone works as one would expect from a Bluetooth device. Depending on your device, however, you might have to toggle your phone to use the external speaker when answering. I tried a few phones out, and while most of them switched to the external speaker when I answered using the Banana Phone, my Pixel 5 and one other didn’t every time.

Reception

While the specifications don’t list what version of Bluetooth the Banana Phone uses, it does state that it has a 60-foot range. As such, I didn’t have any issues walking around my house, including to the basement and upstairs with my smartphone on the main floor. I was able to maintain a connection with no problem while on a call.

Microphone/Call Quality

During our test calls, after all calls are few and far between in this age of texting and other messaging apps, I had no problems hearing the caller through the Banana Phone. Additionally, I was told by multiple parties that I sounded just fine and pretty crisp and clear when speaking through it.

The Micro-USB charging port on the bottom of the Banana Phone
The Micro-USB charging port on the bottom of the speaker.

Battery Life

The Banana Phone has a 20-hour talk time and 120-hour idle battery life. While I didn’t talk on it for 20 hours, I did let music stream to it and it lasted just over 20 hours. Once recharged, I left it on and idle as much as I could during the day at work and it lasted about 2 1/2 weeks (14 days or so) before needing to be charged.

Price/Value

The Banana Phone normally retails for US$49.99, which might be a bit much for a “gimmick.” However, as mentioned above, 2% of annual sales are donated to Gorilla Conservation as part of the 1% For the Planet program. In addition, the phone speaker is currently on sale for $39.99, which is a bit better. You can also buy the device in “bunches” (lol?) of 3 or 6, making it as cheap as $34.99. The company also offers free delivery to the US and Canada so that saves you some money as well.

While I can’t speak to manufacturing costs, I think a $29.99 price point would be the sweet spot.

Wrap-up

The Banana Phone is a fun, nostalgic Bluetooth speaker. It has a pretty decent build quality, great reception, and more than acceptable microphone and call quality. If you’re looking to relive your childhood, or introduce your children to the fun of speaking on a banana, this definitely makes a fun gift!

The back of the Banana Phone
The back of the Banana Phone.

Last Updated on February 5, 2022.

Banana Phone

US$49.99

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Performance

8.5/10

Reception

10.0/10

Microphone/Call Quality

9.5/10

Battery Life

10.0/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Nostalgic banana phone design
  • Easy to use
  • Decent reception and call quality
  • Portion of sale goes to gorilla conservation

Needs work

  • Slippery finish
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Sometimes have to select the speaker in a call, depending on phone
  • Bit pricey
Banana Phone
Previous

Prepare yourselves for a US$20 bump in Amazon Prime fees

Life360 says it will stop selling precise location data

Next

Latest Articles

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap