Y-Phone – iPhone Music Toy for Kids.
Oh look, another pile of rubbish that was designed to look like, and capitalize on, the iPhone. This one is called the Y-Phone and if you say it really fast it almost sounds like the real thing. Very clever. Although it looks like an iPhone, it is not actually a smartphone, or a phone at all for that matter. Rather, it is a kids’ toy that spouts off some canned phrases when you ask it a question or if you simply talk to it, it will repeat back what you said, with a voice filter on it that speeds it up, or slows it down. So ‘y’ am I wasting time reviewing the Y-Phone? ‘Y’ not? Ah man, I’ve got a ton of jokes like this, and if you agree to read the rest of this post, I promise to never tell them.
The design of the Y-Phone is clearly based on the iPhone. In particular, I would say it was based on the iPhone 5c: It has a 4” display and a coloured body with a black front. I personally never had an iPhone 5c so I am not sure if the molesty-looking giraffe is part of the original 5c design, but I presume it is a Y-Phone exclusive.
Hey Kids! Who knows how to keep a secret?
I decided that after I wrote the review of this I was going to palm this pile of crap off on my daughter, so I looked carefully at the various designs and decided on the ‘Minion’ design, since she is a big fan of them. Or at least she was until I gave her the Y-Phone.
The other reason I gave her the minion was because the advert claimed that the device had a cool 3D effect. The illustration makes it look like the image would leap out of the phone and I didn’t want to take any chance with ‘molesto the giraffe’. Luckily it turned out to be a cheap hologram sticker that looks like it has a minor amount of depth when you move it just right. Cute, but nothing that we haven’t all got as a prize from a box of cereal before.
While you can customize the phone colour and front character when you order it, the back of the phone has a completely random and unrelated sticker. Based on the ruggedness of the device (the damn thing broke after 3 days), I presume the sticker is there to hold the stupid thing together.
To be fair (have I been unfair up to this point?), the toy is actually quite interesting. The cheap casing may break at any moment, but the minutes of joy your kid has before that happens will last a lifetime. You can press anywhere on the screen to have it speak a phrase to you. If you hold the screen or press the screen a few times in succession, the reaction is different. They call this the “Fun Pressing Operation” feature, although I could only get the single tap to elicit a response, and when it did it was in Chinese. I presume it told me that it loved me or that it was fun to play outside or some other useless tidbit of information like it was some NPC villager in an RPG…
Yea… like that.
The Y-phone also boasts a ‘Voice repeat Function” where you can tell it all of your darkest secrets and it will then amplify the sound and repeat it back so everyone can hear it at ½x or 2x speed.
Kid: “Hi Y-Phone, I love you.”
Y-Phone: “Hi Y-Phone, I love you.”
Kid: “My daddy shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”
Y-Phone: “My daddy shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”
Kid: “Mr. Giraffe? How come you have 5 legs?”
Parent: “Put that fucking toy down now!”
This part of the phone is pretty fun and my daughter had a good time talking to the phone and hearing the repeated response. Of course as any kid would do (and to be honest, I would have too) she then started dictating stupidities to it, and laughing when the phone repeated it. Not since I discovered Microsoft Sam back in the day have I heard a device proclaim so many times that “I like to eat poop!” Sadly, as with Sam, the novelty wears off pretty fast.
The main draw of the Y-Phone is the “Fun Voice Conversation”. Their words… not mine.
This is the feature where your child can utter one of a few various key phrases and the Y-Phone will respond with one of a few random canned responses. The advert claimed that it can make a distinction between male and female, but I found no evidence of this. Maybe I sound like a girl, I don’t know.
Here is a transcript of the key words and canned responses:
Keyword: “I love you”
Y-Phone: “You are my best friend” / “I love you too” / “Thank you”
Awwww… cute. The fact it can do this on top of the other things actually makes this device worth the $15 bucks it cost me.
Y-Phone: “Okay, the show is over” / “See You” / “I am going to sleep”
On top of this, if you leave it idle for 20 minutes or so, it will automatically ask “Where have you been?” or “Come on!”
Keyword: “How are you?”
Y-Phone: “Hey bro!” / “Good boy” / “Hey pretty girl” / “Boss”
Um.. a little out of context with the question being asked. A little insulting as well to have the device tell you that you have been a ‘good boy’ as though you were a puppy, when all you asked it was how it was doing. Bro? Oh, so we are bros now? Maybe this is a translation thing…
Keyword: “What’s up?
Sounds harmless enough, but the response is so bizarre but clear that I cannot assume it is a translation Issue…
Y-Phone: “Come on, who is scared now?” / “Don’t you believe that I am going to screw you?” / “Please don’t kill me, my hero” / “Please I beg you!” / “I will be good now”
What in the mother of fuck? I swear I am not making this up, here is the packaging that listed out the keyword/response lists I am quoting:
It was as though some Y-Phone developer witnessed and recorded a murder of someone late one night on his walk home from work. The next morning, when he got back to work, opened up his email and was greeted with a strict new deadline to get the Y-Phone into mass production. The only problem was that he didn’t have enough recordings for the final keyword/response program. He better get this thing out if he doesn’t want to get fired! So in a panic, he opened up his recording of the previous night’s events…
Victim: “Please, don’t kill me!”
Thug: “I am going to screw you!”
Victim: “Please, I beg you, I will be good now!”
Thug: “Who’s scared now?”
Developer: “Meh, it’s English, nobody will understand it anyway”
So, is this evidence? Should I turn it in to the police? What happened on that dark fateful night? Is the victim ok? Maybe the giraffe did it!
Mind you a better question would be – What the fuck kind of kids toy is this?
Maybe I am glad this thing broke when it did….
Pros: Not too expensive, has a wide variety of features and a customizable face at the time or ordering
Cons: Cheap build quality – it will not last forever, Contains hidden evidence of a secret murder
What do you think? Is there any educational value to this thing what-so-ever? Would you buy your kids or kids in your family circle the Y-Phone? Leave a comment and let the nerd army know! Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe and let the word of the nerd be heard!