Keeping it simple: these basic phones will claw back your life... and that of your kids

Keeping it simple: these basic phones will claw back your life... and that of your kids
Haven't you wished sometimes that your smartphone didn't exist, and you didn't have to be constantly present at all times, distracted by chat notifications, push emails, news feeds or location awareness? 

Just good ol' calling and maybe texting, thank you very much. While it's hard to completely unplug, having in your pocket only gear that can make calls or text does help overcome the overconnectedness of your daily existence. Phone calls are more engaging than shooting off chats, and messaging has no read receipt or doesn't have to be answered immediately. 

Those will make you think twice before you reach for the phone, and that's the whole point of the simple, most basic handsets that have proliferated lately, be it as designer products, or crowdfunding endeavors. A few of them are certainly worth your attention, that's why we are listing the simplest of phones that have come up on the mobile scene lately to check out.

Punkt MP01 ($295)


The premise of Punkt's MP01 is to simplify the relationship with your phone to the bones, and still look good in the process. At $300, it's one of the most expensive basic phones you can get, but the boutique designer creation aims for it to be an integral part of your life, not a cheapo basic handset to discard when you see fit. It's made with quality camera paint finish and Gorilla Glass screen, features ergonomic design of the back to aid your grip, and has a clear, text-based interface only.

Punkt promises "no status updates, notifications or multiple alerts," just simple calling and texting, and that's that. You can still connect a Bluetooth headset to it, or use a built-in speaker. The phone maker prides on the call quality in the earpiece, the noise cancellation mics, the powerful audio from the speaker, and the long-lasting battery. The goal is, well... Punkt. One of the meanings of the word is to pinpoint, to focus on what matters the most in your communication, instead of having to endure 15 smileys in a row from someone explaining what a great taco they just had.



Tinitell ($149)


If you want to keep tabs on your child, bit still let it be a kid, the Tinitell wrist phone will come to the rescue. Built into a durable, water-resistant housing, it comes complete with its own microSIM slot, mic, speaker, GPS chip and accelerometer. The Tinitell lets your kid call you with the push of a button, and even sports voice recognition software, so that they can simply say "Call Mom!", instead of fumbling around with dials. 

The adjacent iOS and Android apps can host up to 12 contacts which are authorized to get in touch with the Tinitell on your kid's wrist, and call them back for lunch, for instance. The app also lets you track the whereabouts of your kid on a map, which you can also do from Tinitell's website, and the battery will last for a week on standby, or offer an hour of continuous talk time with your offspring. A simple solution for the recent conundrum how to reach your kids easily short of getting them a smartphone on which they'll play games, instead of playing outside.





The Light Phone is scheduled to start shipping after the spring, but we are giving you a heads-up about its existence, as it is the most basic handset you can imagine, meant for calls and calls only. You can connect your smartphone with the Light Phone via an app to forward calls if you wish, though. As a stand-alone device, it will come with a pre-paid SIM and 500 minutes of talk time. 

The Light Phone is the size of a credit card and nearly as thin at 4mm. Since it is a single-purpose device, even with a small battery, expect a charge to last about 20 days, while the phone will ship with only a charger, and that's that - whether as a standalone calling device, or a perfect companion to your bulky smartphone, the Light Phone sounds like a good save for those who want to keep communication as simple as it gets.


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19 Comments

1. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I would never give up my smartphone for something as basic as these phones just because I use my smartphone a lot. That would be like stopping eating just because I eat too much.

2. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Well...if you eat too much than you certainly should eat less. That's called common sense

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

@Wiencon Not many people have that kind of self control & discipline...

8. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

He meant if you use smartphone too much, just reduce the usage. Not dump it entirely for dumb phones.

23. igorb81

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

you nailed it about the common sense. The problem is there is not much common sense left in general public anymore. It's just a dense crowd of sheep

22. igorb81

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

isn't that the truth. Who would buy this crap and especially considering those prices these "phones" should not cost more than $20 max. Is this early April fools joke? Are there really enough dumb folks to buy this junk? Count me surprised.

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I quote: "Haven't you wished sometimes that your smartphone didn't exist, and you didn't have to be constantly present at all times, distracted by chat notifications, push emails, news feeds or location awareness?" The guy at PhoneArena sure can read my mind... Man, it's scary! My answer is: Yes, HELL YES!!! Well, except of "location awareness" as I'd be a lost sheep otherwise LOLz! But hey, being lost is fun too! Daring, adventurous & sometimes intoxicating!!! I like the Punkt MP01... But it's price @ $295 is pretty steep considering one can get his/her paws on a Nexus 5X (My benchmark!) for just a $100 (or so) more... And secondly, I love "FLIP PHONES"... So, I'd rather have a KYOCERA DURA XV 'Flippo' with military grade material which can really withstand a beating... And honestly, these phones aren't blowing up any air in my skirt, to be honest... G'Day!

5. fancollo

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

cheaper: turn off wifi/mobile data and there you go. a great looking, text based phone for just that call and text - nobody will disturb you since nobody will answer calls or text anymore today. why spend 300 dollars for that..

6. skips

Posts: 471; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

What the actual damn hell damn god are these. WHY DO THEY COST SO MUCH. I mean,you know, there's also a basic ass phone like Nokia 105. Dual SIM, basic as hell, built-in flashlight, FM radio. And guess what --- 20EUR. Oh my actual GOD AND I BET HIPSTERS WILL BE RUNNING ALL OVER THE PLACE TO BUY THESE OVERPRICED POS. WHAT THE HELL. The pricing for these phones are flat out stupid and ridiculous. Why do these even exist.

24. TerryTerius unregistered

The short answer is economies of scale. Being a smaller company means that you cannot afford to charge rock-bottom prices in the same way a larger one can. At least not if you want to make money, and not in an era where you have a product that is not likely to move at high-volumes.

9. DefinitiveKid

Posts: 259; Member since: May 15, 2013

Make one of those with a great camera and I'm in. That's the only thing I'd REALLY miss about smartphones.

10. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I want to see basic phones that take micro and nano sims without adapters. Then it's worth keeping as a backup in the glove compartment.

11. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

I'd still get a $20 Nokia

18. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

YEP. How is Nokia 3310 not included in this list? I'm pretty sure that even the 300 dollar Punkt phone isn't indestructible.

13. vijaysivakula

Posts: 229; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

Just checked the Punkt MP01 site. This mobile is 14.5mm thick. If any smartphone, android or ios or windows mobile were that thick i would get 4 days of battery life with full usage. Hell, I might even abuse it and get 2 days of usage.

19. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

If you see the pictures it's not 14.5mm across the whole device: it's tapered. 14.5 is max thickness.

16. AliGee

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 12, 2014

You have to give them props for the Tinitell kids phone that's pretty good and cheap. Is not great but it looks like it has good potential. Although they are not the first ones to do a kids phone they seem to have it down pretty good. I just wish it showed the time as well like a normal watch. if the kids are going to have something with them at all times they should be able to tell time at least. Like when you make that call as a parent and tell them do you know what time it is...LoL something like that... But it's a good start.

20. lylee73

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Still have the Nokia 110 with me, although I am currently using Asus Zenfone C.

21. frustyak

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

At first glance I thought the MP01 was a calculator.

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