Mobile Technology

Brick by name: Massive mobile phone boasts epic standby time

Brick by name: Massive mobile ...
Binatone's Brick mobile phone (Photo: Gizmag)
Binatone's Brick mobile phone (Photo: Gizmag)
View 18 Images
The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time (Photo: Gizmag)
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The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time (Photo: Gizmag)
The Brick is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a 128 x 160 resolution (Photo: Gizmag)
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The Brick is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a 128 x 160 resolution (Photo: Gizmag)
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 (Photo: Gizmag)
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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 (Photo: Gizmag)
Bluetooth is built in, so that the device can be used as a handset for an iPhone or Android smartphone (Photo: Gizmag)
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Bluetooth is built in, so that the device can be used as a handset for an iPhone or Android smartphone (Photo: Gizmag)
The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time (Photo: Gizmag)
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The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time (Photo: Gizmag)
The Brick is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a 128 x 160 resolution (Photo: Gizmag)
6/18
The Brick is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a 128 x 160 resolution (Photo: Gizmag)
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 (Photo: Gizmag)
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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 (Photo: Gizmag)
Bluetooth is built in, so that the device can be used as a handset for an iPhone or Android smartphone (Photo: Gizmag)
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Bluetooth is built in, so that the device can be used as a handset for an iPhone or Android smartphone (Photo: Gizmag)
Binatone's Brick mobile phone (Photo: Gizmag)
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Binatone's Brick mobile phone (Photo: Gizmag)
The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time (Photo: Gizmag)
10/18
The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time (Photo: Gizmag)
The Brick is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a 128 x 160 resolution (Photo: Gizmag)
11/18
The Brick is a 2G GSM/GPRS handset complete with a 1.8-in TFT display with a 128 x 160 resolution (Photo: Gizmag)
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 (Photo: Gizmag)
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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 (Photo: Gizmag)
It has Snake on it, though (Photo: Gizmag)
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It has Snake on it, though (Photo: Gizmag)
Leather cases come in a variety of colors (Photo: Gizmag)
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Leather cases come in a variety of colors (Photo: Gizmag)
The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time
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The Brick Power edition boasts up to 3 months of standby time and 28 hours of talk time
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 (Photo: Gizmag)
16/18
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 (Photo: Gizmag)
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View gallery - 18 images

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 Brick

View gallery - 18 images
18 comments
Fairly Reasoner
LOL. In a year it'll be half the size.
BigGoofyGuy
Fairly Reasoner, perhaps in a year it will be even bigger? I remember earlier phones the size of a small hand bag. With the bigger size would be a longer battery life? (like standby for year and use it to charge / run tablet computers and laptops?). I think it is cool since it is totally retro. It would be neat if one could tether it to a tablet computer or laptop computer. I wonder will it will come to the USA?
Scion
Not a bad idea really. I can think of many applications where a 3 month standby time would be useful. My phone last a couple days, maybe three on standby and so would be useless if I had to travel for any length of time. You could leave this thing in a bush fire shelter or "cabin by the lake" and know you can make that call if you need to even after a week or more without power. Plus it may just be trendy to use if the fashion for massive headphones is anything to go by.
Tony Smale
Hang on. 1000mAh? So it has 60% of the battery size of an iphone...and its eleven hundred times the size. Why not give it 5000mAh and a years standby time. in the same chassis.
Avinash Venkata
It's a great home phone alternative! One can have it as an emergency backup.
Sheldon Cooper
Buying such a brick with its large battery is not the only solution to extended usage - get some spare batteries for your phone, charge them up and take them with you! Something else I have done was to make a dummy battery with flying leads which I can insert into my phone - I then connect the leads to a higher capacity battery (of the correct voltage!). When I get some time I'll fit a jack socket to obviate the wires.
JPAR
Fashion is all about being different and standing out from the crowd. The crowd all have Iphones or Galaxys. In addition, the size of this thing plays into the hands of those who like to show off/stand out. So how do they sell millions of them? Simple, bling it up to the nines, with gold, some diamonds and a designer name.
Tom Phoghat Sobieski
It's not as if alternatives, and much more compact alternatives, exist. External battery packs, hand dynamos, solar back packs. This is something that answers a question nobody asked
ClubDoug
I'm pretty certain they didn't have 1.8" TFT displays in the 90's!
Rogan Rattray
Ah, the 1990's. Where phones were big and hair was still bigger.