While smartphone companies make headlines with increasingly larger devices that allegedly increase productivity on work, a Switzerland-based phone company has debuted its own innovation: a phone that makes calls and sends texts. That’s pretty much it.
Punkt. premiered the MP01 at the London Design Festival this week, and at first glance it appears to be the direct descendant of the once-ubiquitous Nokia 3310. The product description offers this: “With no status updates, notifications or multiple alerts, the MP01 focuses on the things that matter. Like communicating.”
However, this new phone boasts among its features the ability to sync 3,000 contacts from your computer via a USB cable, create calendar events, and leave you reminders, in addition to the necessary phone functions, like dialing or pretending to take a call to leave an awkward situation. It connects to your computer with a USB cable.
The MP01 doesn’t reject the necessity or importance of the smartphone. It’s a simple alternative. Keep the iPhone for your business meetings, but take the MP01 out when you’re out for drinks and avoid swiping through Tinder to pass the time. It has what you need to keep your connected life intact, with no further embellishments.
It’s also a beautifully designed piece of hardware. There’s no touchscreen to smudge up. There’s no background to customize with a stock photo of a waterfall. It’s a sleek black matte, and most importantly, it has 20 raised buttons, bringing back and adding texture to touch. There’s something physical with which users can connect. It’s big enough to feel substantial, but not too big to be a burden or constant distraction.
There’s certainly momentum behind the smartphone-averse movement. The Light Phone, for example, is a Kickstarter-backed project for a credit-card-sized phone that does nothing more than make calls. The designers want you to use it as little as possible. Punkt., in contrast, isn’t asking you to ditch your 21st-century lifestyle. It just wants to help you pull the reigns back and focus on what matters. MP01 is the polyamorous marriage of past, present, and future — keeping life simple while simultaneously moving it forward.
Punkt.’s MP01 costs $329 and is promised to be out by Christmas.