It’s hard not to notice recent shifts in opinion regarding mobile phones. On the one side there is the quest for ever-increasing function, ergonomics and features. Some of the latest offerings from Apple and Android give you everything including the kitchen sink – and more. On the other there is the minimalist approach, where users want the bare minimum and don’t want to be tied to their device from morning till night.
The Punkt MP02 has the latter philosophy, yet doesn’t abandon the importance of connectivity. It offers a good, secure 4G data connection that can be easily tethered to your tablet, laptop or palm device.
Punkt MP02 Design
In use, after a short readjustment, it’s actually rather good! It’s small, compact, solid and beautifully designed. The large, chunky buttons are intuitive and satisfying to use. It has a simple, yet clever menu which operates using a 3-button combination on the left of the keyboard. After only a couple of minutes it was so easy to get to and use every feature of this clean, well thought out device.
You won’t find any apps here. No WhatsApps, no Facebook, no web browsing, no camera. Not even an organiser or your Google calendar. It really is just a phone. Text messages are back using the T9 keyboard, reminiscent of the old Nokia and Sony early-generation phones. But it’s surprisingly therapeutic to use. Once you’ve made your call or sent your text, it goes back in your pocket and you can look out of the window at the real world that is still out there. It’s not so much a digital detox as CBT for the smartphone addict. It’s almost as though it cuts the ties that none of us realise were there and it teleports you back into the real world with its trees, its architecture, its blue skies and green fields. You’re still there of course, but your focus has changed.
Are there any negatives? Not that I feel are worth dwelling on here, anyway. The Punkt MP02 is a tough, stylish, perfectly functional little mobile phone. It has some clever little design details such as the angled rear speaker, which allows it to be placed on a desk and used hands-free. There is a bluetooth interface for using with other audio extensions, in-car or even phone-to-phone messaging. Yet this is a step-change in what I feel is the right direction. Is our environment really so boring as to need to bury our heads in a tiny screen from morning till night? It frees up the mind and channels our energies into the important things.
It’s not the cheapest ‘dumb phone’ out there, but again, is it really in that category anyway? It gives you an opportunity to stay connected with its 4G tethering, but moves the focus away from the phone itself and becomes more of a portal. It’s extremely well-built and is beautifully designed and stylish to boot.
For those wanting to move away from the bounds that tie you to your existing iPhone or Samsung all-singing, all-dancing techno-wonders, it’s just the ticket. You may find that you’ll never look back!