In what is surely the mobile phone handset story of the day, UK electronics company Binatone has unveiled the aptly named Brick (strictly speaking, The Brick) mobile phone which boasts up to 3 months of standby time, 28 hours of talk time and an integrated flashlight, all wrapped up in an extremely compact form factor … for 1991.
Clearly Binatone's tongue is wedged firmly in its cheek (and hoping that prospective buyers will be poised to do the same) by offering a mobile phone design similar to 1992's Motorola International 3200, which just predates the first mass produced mobile handsets.
Specification, too, is straight out of the 1990s. This is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a (don't laugh) 128 x 160 resolution.
There are one or two slightly less ancient characteristics about the thing, though. Bluetooth is built in, so that the device can be used as a handset for an iPhone or Android smartphone should you too embarrassed to pull something so diminutive out of your pocket. There's also a Micro-USB port for connecting peripherals such as headsets and a Micro SD card slot for the playback of music in MP3, AAC, AMR or WAV formats which, alas, can be played out loud from the phone's speaker.
Oh, and you can play Snake on it.
As for its main selling point, the extensive 3-month standby time and 28-hour talk time, that depends on your opting for the Power addition with its 2,000-mAh battery. This version of the phone can be used to charge another mobile device via the Micro-USB connection. The regular Brick instead comes with a 1,000-mAh battery good for a month's standby and 14 hours of yak. A separate XXL Brick battery is said to extend standby time to 6 months.
The Brick is set to hit the UK market in early October, with the regular version priced at £50 and the Power edition at £80 (which translate to US$78 and $126 respectively). A similarly-styled Brick4Home home telephone, with a claimed range of up to 1 km from the base station, is planned for launch at the same time.
Stay tuned, though, on the off chance that some other mobile phone news does emerge today.
Product page: The BrickView gallery - 18 images