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A New Cell Phone Dials It Back to Basics

Punkt zaps the apps and general mobile clutter, letting users return to reality

Tired of being glued to a screen day and night—even on the go?

It’s an all too familiar scene: Heads down, scrolling mindlessly through emails that could wait and endless social media feeds, ‘deadwalkers’ everywhere cause sidewalk traffic jams and other, more hazardous streetscape scenarios. With so many distractions at our fingertips, it’s become second nature to waste hours in a fog of fabricated reality at the expense of meaningful discourse. (There’s a reason why so many successful business executives, celebrities and politicians have eschewed smartphones in favor of simpler communication tools.)

Punkt, a Swiss technology brand with a keen focus on pared-down design, has a stylish solution to the smartphone-addiction epidemic. Enter the MP 01—a beautifully simple device that debuted at the London Design Festival this fall. The easy-to-hold mobile phone—weighing just three ounces and measuring a svelte 4.6” x 2.1” x 0.6”—supports calling and texting only. But it does both astonishingly well, bolstered by high-quality audio with noise cancellation, an intuitive text-based interface, Bluetooth connectivity and a full-color high-resolution LCD display protected by anti-reflection, anti-fingerprint Gorilla Glass.

“Technology is a very powerful tool, but as our lives become increasingly complicated, it is important to disconnect and rediscover the simple things,” says Punkt founder and CEO Petter Neby. “A liberating device that removes unnecessary distractions and goes back to the essentials of communication.”

Conceptualized by British industrial designer Jasper Morrison, the MP 01 isn’t totally out of touch. It also boasts a calendar, reminder function, quick-set alarm clock, predictive text input and contacts with note entry and PC/Mac sync support. Its custom ringtones were created by Norwegian sound artist Kjetil Røst Nilsen.

Perhaps best of all? The insane battery life, which allows for 290 minutes of talk time and three weeks on standby. The MP 01 retails for $295 and will be available in two new colors next year.