The dumbphone revolution? Minimalist phones are on the rise.

The dumbphone revolution? Minimalist phones are on the rise.

Minimum is maximum

Minimalism is on the up. Making life simpler than ever is the direction many people are taking with their lives. Spending time away from smartphones and all they offer is a movement taking hold in many parts of society. Cell phone companies have taken these social cues to heart and have begun to look at alternatives to the much loved smartphone. Their answer – Minimalist phones; some can even call them dumphones. Beautiful phones that are small on function and big on looks.

“Mobile phones hold symbolic meaning in advanced technological societies” a research team led by Shaini Misra of Virginia Tech University writes, “in their presence, people have the constant urge to seek out information, check for communication and direct their thoughts to other people and worlds. Even without active use, the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections. …” In other words a connected disconnect.

Image right: The Nokia 1112, when your phone was just a phone, and not a major distraction from life.

 

Maybe it’s time for a digital detox
2018 was officially the year of the digital detox. If you want to digitally detox and get back to living and enjoying your life then a new kind of phone may be the way to go. You’ll still have a cell phone that you can hold just like your smartphone. The difference is the functionality of this new, simpler phone. People can still get in touch with you and you with them.

Form over function
Given that their functions are limited, minimalist phone choice relies heavily on design. What do you want your phone to look like? Sleek and sexy, utilitarian and functional, or a combo of both. The Light Phone 2 and Punkt are two phones that fit the form over function criteria with stunning looks and limited functionality.


 

Light Phone 2

 


The Light Phone 2 characterizes itself as – A simple 4G LTE phone with e-ink, messaging & other essential tools—a phone that actually respects you.

The Light Phone 2 is your phone away from phone. It is designed with good looks and the most basic of functions. It’s there when you need to make a call, receive a call or send a text. By allowing you to leave behind your smartphone, Light Phone 2 encourages you to spend quality time doing the things you love the most, without distraction. They call it ‘going light’. The Light Phone 2 brings a few essential tools, like messaging and an alarm clock, so it’s even easier to ditch your Smartphone more often, or for good. It’s “a phone that actually respects you”.

The Light Phone 2 is beautifully designed with a sleek, modern but timeless feel with a black and white matte E-ink display. It’s slick, compact and fits like it belongs in the palm of your hand. You’ll marvel at the simplicity and beauty of the design. A very touchable sexy phone. A device to be proud of, if device pride is even a thing with phones.

Planned pricing – $400, delivering in July 2019

+ Link to Indiegogo page

 

“Productivity at the cost of connectivity”
– Business Insider

 

 


 

Punkt MP02 4G mobile phone

Focus is at a premium in the digital age. The folks at Punkt understand that. The Punkt makes it easier to be where you are, whether that’s a family weekend away or an important business meeting. It gives you freedom from a constant onslaught of designed-for-addiction notifications and other distractions. It puts you in charge. But what if you need to get online? Like the Light 2, the MP02 connects, and tethers. Here’s a blurb from their website:

The Internet as a tool
When it’s time to get online, the MP02’s 4G LTE connection can be shared with a tablet/laptop – which means easier typing in comparison with a smartphone, and a bigger screen. This two-device approach means that the Internet is something you dip into, rather than the other way round.

 

The design combines ruggedness with character and a timeless minimalism that’ll look striking decades from now. Never out of style and always loaded with class. The buttons and shape of this phone are pleasing to touch and to hold, and the overall construction has a high-end feel that belies the primitive hardware and capabilities contained within.

The Punkt has sold out several times since its introduction. Clearly there are several out there who understand a good thing. The Swiss manufacturer of Punkt has combined style with function to create something quite beautiful. They list their attributes includes:
Low key stylish design, industry leading security, bespoke ringtones, rare tactility, minimalistic interface and lof of other interesting features. They refer to the phone as a ‘candy bar type cell phone’ and the original disruptor to the smartphone market.

Average price of Punkt is $250-$300

+ Link to Punkt

 

“The Punkt. MP02 is Android minimalism at its finest”
– The Verge

 


 

Is a digital detox on your horizon?

If it is, a minimalist phone may be the answer. When you buy and use a minimalist phone, you are essentially pushing the reset button on your life. Not a bad thing.

 

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