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NEW PHONE, WHO DIS?

New minimalist phones eliminate digital distractions

As reported in Cassandra’s The Innovation Outlook, modern youth are prioritizing their digital wellness, seeking out methods and resources that help curb their overdependence on technology. Addressing this, the following brands are offering minimalist phones that pare back the extensive functionalities of smartphones, affording young consumers the control they are seeking over their tech consumption.

PUNKT

Swiss electronics brand Punkt launched the MP02, a phone that is specifically designed to counteract the digital noise inherent to modern life. The MP02’s sleek design only allows for calls and texts (and, interestingly, 4G radio)—there are no attention-grabbing apps or other such agitations to speak of. While the MP02 can turn into a powerful WiFi hotspot, the phone itself does not have internet access. The only notifications that pop up on the display screen are for texts, calls, and low battery alerts, keeping users focused on the task at hand. The digitally-minimalist phone retails for $349.

LIGHT PHONE

Born from the original Light Phone’s successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, the Light Phone 2 is ultra-minimalist, both inside and out. The Light Phone 2 is slightly smaller than a deck of cards, has a special e-ink touch screen and only offers three functions: Phone (for calls and texts, sans images), Alarm, and Settings. Since it’s unrealistic for today’s youth to completely unplug, the company plans on upgrading the Light Phone 2 with maps, ridesharing, music, and hotspot tethering, but will not allow for an additional app installations.

PALM

The Palm phone is essentially the sidekick equivalent of a phone for when users are sick of the myriad of distractions available on their smartphones. Akin to other minimalist phones, this tiny phone allows users to call, text, and use a few other capabilities, but the Palm differentiates itself with “Life Mode,” which encourages users to actually experience life instead of stressing about things in the digital realm. When users activate this Life Mode, a set of Do Not Disturb and Low Battery settings kick in to minimize excess distractions. The Palm is only available via Verizon as an add-on to existing phone plans, and retails for $349.