Ditch your smartphone for a ‘dumbphone’ and start living life
Walk down the sidewalk of any major city and it’s likely you’ll see the same exact scene: Masses of people staring down at their phones instead of interacting with other living, breathing humans. At some point, after the smartphone became an essential part of our lives, push notifications and news feeds have commanded more and more of our attention.
You could just not use a phone, of course, but then you’re completely disconnected. Is there a middle ground between giving in to total digital immersion and being off the grid?
A Swiss technology company called Punkt thinks so. It recently released its retro-inspired “dumbphone,” the MP01. The cool-looking feature phone takes us away from apps as it allows nothing more than texting and calling.
According to App Annie, we collectively spent 900 billion hours using apps in 2016. That’s a ridiculously huge amount of time, but with a dumbphone your personal app tally will be zero. Say “goodbye” to your digital lettered keyboards and “hello, old friend” to those numbered push-button keyboards.
Punkt’s tagline is simple and straightforward: “Offline as the new luxury.” And its MP01 dumbphone is all the rage. It’s generally getting positive reviews, the phone has inspired an active (and very ironic) audience on Twitter.
While it might seem like the end of the world to give up your smartphone, Punkt has some words of wisdom.
“The more our phones do, the more they demand of us. Sometimes its good to take a break. But until now, the only alternative to hyper-connected smartphones has beenthe kind of phone you find at the back of a drawer,” Punkt says on its website. “The Punkt MP 01 is a stylish, well-crafted mobile phone which focuses on modern simplicity, inside and out. It makes phone calls and sends texts. Thats all.”
That’s all. Yeah, you might just actually want to give dumbphone a try now.
As of now, you can only run the 2G phone with T-Mobile in the U.S., but it’s a start. Compatibility throughout the rest of the world is spotty as well, but you check it here. The good news is that Punkt will probably be releasing a new phone (supported by more networks) before T-Mobile ditches 2G in 2020.
Hi there, yes 2G networks are closing in the US and Australia, for this reason we are considering developing a 4G/LTE version of the MP01
Punkt. (@punkt) June 16, 2017
Punkt is making it super easy for all of us to try living a less-connected life. The company is offering hassle-free 30-day return policy. If you give the dumbphone a shot and decide the less-connected lifestyle isn’t one you’re into, Punkt is totally cool with it. Just send it back and return to your endless app scrolling.
Punkt isn’t the only tech company to come out with a dumbphone. The Nokia 3310 that was recently released is a reboot of the company’s 17-year-old phone of the same name. The phone lets you make calls and send text messages. It also has a 2-megapixel camera and calculator app. Oh yeah, and Snake.
One downside of the Punkt is the price tag: It costs $295, which is pretty steep for a phone that can’t even run Twitter. Still, it boasts a very cool design, and given its tagline, it’s clearly trying to create a luxury mobile brand centered around feelings of nostalgia and digital overload. And technically there’s a value factor here while you’ll need replace your iPhone 7 in a year or two, presumably the Punkt will work perfectly until the carriers turn 2G networks off. (If you’re still balking at the cost, the Nokia 3310 is just $65.)
So for whatever reason you’re choosing to pick up a dumbphone, we’re all for it. Punkt may just begin a movement here, and if so, we can’t wait for the Motorolas and LGs of the world to roll out dumbphones of their own.