Pandora: The clamshell cell from hell?

June 19, 2009
Posted by: gruso

Here’s an interesting project. Every month or three, the idea of a “Pandora phone” raises its head in the forums. Each time around, the idea attracts responses from “sure, in theory” to “good god man, why?!”Β  This time around, though, someone’s asking the right question: Why not? That someone is jb0yx, and the project is Pandaphone. He aims to bring full cellphone functionality to Pandora with the help of an external cell modem, offering the following features:

– GPRS/EDGE/3G data connectivity
– Voice based cellular calls
– SMS messaging
– Access to phonebooks stored on SIM card
– BlueTooth connectivity for calls and voice command

It’s all looking more viable than you might think, with a range of off-the-shelf hardware and open source software just waiting to be prodded into compliance. And no, you won’t be expected to hold Pandora against your face like our friend pictured above. Read more and follow progress in the Pandaphone thread.



  1. Perfect. Was looking for something like that.

  2. Nnnnnniceee…

  3. Hilarious yet functional

  4. the possibilities are endless, oh, sorry, is that a slogan?

  5. It would probably look a little better with the Pandora sitting on the table next to the guy wearing a headset with different colored spikey lines shooting up and down on the screen as people in the conversation speak. πŸ™‚

    Seriously though, I’m sure one day fairly soon, just about any call will have the ability to easily convert into a teleconference if needed.

  6. I don’t sms and voice calls, but I’d like to have GPRS/EDGE/3G abilities.

  7. Should have named it Pandaphone.

  8. s/I don’t/I don’t need/

  9. I must be old fashioned. I just don’t understand the urge to either cram a phone into everything, or cram everything into a phone.

  10. I saw the thread last night, I was interested.
    But yeah, right question: Why not?
    They got the pic BACKWARDS, the mic is on the OTHER side of the pandora! πŸ˜›

  11. For those that don’t know, USB 3G modems were tested and confirmed working a while back:


    But no one has had a serious look at regular voice calling functions yet (outside VOIP) which is where this project comes in. And never fear, jb0yx is looking at handsfree use (via wired / bluetooth headsets), not the Pandora-to-head method. πŸ˜‰

  12. @AndyL: The main reason I can think of is if one could use a SIM card from a smartphone (like the iPhone 3G) for both data and calls. In other words, if I can get away with using my iPhone data plan to surf the web from the Pandora while at the same time being able to receive or make phone calls, that would be great. No tethering fees, no missed calls, no separate 3G data plan, etc.

  13. I think the question is not how or why with the pandora, its more of ‘because it can’

  14. “And no, you won’t be expected to hold Pandora against your face like our friend pictured above.”
    DANGIT! well now all excitement has left me.

  15. Bring back Sidetalkin’!!

  16. SMS from the Pandora would probably be the only thing I use this for, at least for a while. I don’t SMS that much but I wont need the 3G internet until I have to leave campus (and at that point mobile email won’t be too important anyway)

    That being said I am very glad someone is making this possible. I had thought it would be good to do for a while now.

  17. i got my lifes fill of sidetalkin in already

  18. Pandaphone? Really? You know, I used to like the name Pandora because it had a dark, mysterious legend behind it, not to mention a basis in Greek Mythology which I’ve always been keen on. Now all I can ever think about is stupid Panda bears. They should sell fuzzy, black and white protective sleeves to put your Pandas in. That’s about how bad the name has been utterly destroyed since conception……IMO.

  19. This I will be watching closely.
    The only thing I’m worried about would be the amount of modding required.

  20. lawl @ the picture, thanks for the press… looking at which pay as you go plans would be the best for this. Looks like it’s between boost mobile and att go phone. decisions decisions…

  21. I laughed imagining me speaking to my pandora on the bus. XD

  22. I want thath! πŸ˜€
    but i want also an headphone.. it seems he is speaking to a ds xD

  23. “Hello Mum. I’ll be late home for tea as I’m having troubles completing the current Quake 3 level”

    We’d need an OLED clamshell cover that played a video to draw the eye of the observer and start to make this idea slightly cool.

  24. We’re already a bit late to this game, since the Openmoko guys have been doing this for years and both the Palm Pre and the iPhone 3GS have Cortex A8 on the inside. Could be a good phone if combined with the camera from the Motorola Motozine or a decent 640×480 video recorder though.

  25. I would put this + a camera + all the other things that couldn’t make into the current pandora in a special edition, maybe called ‘Pandora Pro’, for those who will to pay more money for a device with more hardware/services.

  26. make that an optional upgrade, to be bought any given time if I later feel like “man, I should’ve bought the Pandora Pro…”

  27. I’m with AndyL on this one. I also think that the phone connection is secured by far too much and that this project is unrealistic. (yeh.. coming from a noob making a psp-emu. I had to smile myself πŸ˜‰ )

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