MoPod Novelty GSM Ring Detector

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Here’s an offbeat little gadget that is currently popular in Asia and the United Kingdom. MoPods are little characters that spin and flash to alert you to a call on your GSM phone. This way, you can keep your phone in a bag or pocket, with the ringer turned off, but still know when you’re receiving a call.


MoPods are currently available with six different characters, including a devil, monkey, puppy, monster, penguin and kitten. The folks at sent me the puppy and monster versions of the MoPod.


These little devices are 2.25 inches tall and 1 inch wide. They are made of plastic and are powered by two L1154 coin cell batteries, which are replaceable.


There are no buttons or switches on the MoPod. Their entire purpose is to detect a call to your GSM phone (sorry Verizon, Sprint and other CDMA guys…). When a call is detected, the little guy inside the dome will start spinning, and multi-colored LEDs in the base of the MoPod will flash.

The information on the packaging states that the frequencies that can be detected are 800-1600 MHz. Interestingly, that leaves out T Mobile’s 1900 MHz, which it lists as being compatible along with O2, Orange, Virgin, and Vodaphone. It does say that the Three network carrier is not compatible. I’ve never heard of Three… I tested the two MoPods with my iPhone running on AT&T (850MHz), which worked fine.

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See it in action…

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The MoPods seem to be a bit too sensitive at times as they would start spinning even when no calls were coming in or sometimes they would activate when I would be making a call using my phone. The distance between the phone and the MoPod also made a big difference in call detection. From my brief testing, I found that there really could be no more than 2 feet between a MoPod and my iPhone in order for calls to be detected.

MoPods are inexpensive little gizmos that tweens and teenage girls will appreciate more than adults. They make a unique gift that has at least a little useful benefit.

Questions for all of you

Other than cases and skins, do you use any add-ons similar to the MoPod for your phone?


Product Information

  • GSM phone
  • Unique
  • Alerts you to a call on your GSM phone when you might not hear the ringer
  • Sometimes activates when a call isn't coming in, or when a call is being made

13 thoughts on “MoPod Novelty GSM Ring Detector”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. How do you keep it from going off around any GSM phones? ie, if my friend has a GSM phone and I have one, how does it know that it should react only to mine?

  3. questionfear;21419 wrote:

    How do you keep it from going off around any GSM phones? ie, if my friend has a GSM phone and I have one, how does it know that it should react only to mine?

    It doesn’t, as far as I know. It just reacts to the signal. I used to have a little light-up gizmo that worked the same way. But like she said, it only worked about two feet away, so you only have to worry if your friend’s phone is right next to you.

  4. Questionfear:

    tamaracks is right, you can’t tell the MoPod which phone to trigger on. It will trigger on the one closest to it.

  5. We have had these GSM Detectors in the UK for over 10 years!!!!!

    You may have got the iPhone before us, but we got all the useless junk first.

    Just to let you know Julie, the three network is a phone carrier in this country that provides a high band system.
    They were the first company over here to try and provide us with video phones. You could actually see the person you was calling on your phone!! You could also get video clips sent to your phone and they were trying hard to market it to all the soccer fans in this country by saying that all the winning goals from their team could be sent directly to them in case they missed them.
    That started trying to do it around 7 years ago but the line rental was a bit expensive at the time and it never really took off.
    It seems people do not want to see who they are talking to, and now they can not even be bothered to talk because it seems we send more text messages than we make calls!

  6. The New Version 2 Mopods with 6 new characters are now available.

    Spaceman, Princess, Bird, Seahorse, Panda and Robot.

  7. Does the TARDIS charm work with the iphone?
    maybe light up near one thats getting a call or text?
    maybe if the 3g is off?

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