Minimalist e-ink phone cuts distractions by ditching the internet
Our phones are amazing pocket-sized supercomputers that instantly connect us to all of our friends and family, as well as the entirety of human knowledge – so it’s no wonder that they can be incredibly distracting. The Mudita Pure is a minimalist phone with an e-ink screen and no internet browser, designed to do the basics of a phone without any of the everyday distractions.
The Mudita Pure looks like a stylized version of a phone from 15 years ago, or an iPod. Most notable is the physical numberpad – which may mean you’ll have to relearn the old Nokia-era method of texting. Menus are navigated with a ring of directional buttons, which also looks quite familiar.
Above that is a screen that’s fairly small by today’s standards – it measures just 2.84 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 600 x 480, with 270 pixels per inch. Rather than a bright, eye-popping color display, this is a simple e-ink screen with 16 shades of grey, like those found on Kindles and other e-readers.
The idea is that this makes text easy to read, and not only is it less distracting but it neatly sidesteps the harsh blue light from other phones and screens that’s been implicated in all kinds of eye problems and messing with our sleep cycle.
But to really cut back on the distractions, the Mudita Pure doesn’t have an internet browser. For people who can’t stop scrolling down their Twitter timeline, or flicking through Facebook, physically removing the option might be the only way to break the habit. This phone is made to be a phone, focusing on making calls and sending text messages.
That said, it can still connect to the internet in a roundabout way. The Mudita Pure can plug into a laptop or other device via USB-C, and act like a modem anywhere there’s cell phone reception.
To really unplug from the digital world, there’s a physical slider on the side of the phone that toggles connectivity to a limited Do Not Disturb mode or go completely offline, muting all incoming calls and texts.
There are a few other basic apps installed too, including a notepad, alarm clock, music player, flashlight, calculator, calendar, voice recorder, and a meditation timer. A Harman speaker is located on the bottom, and it can also connect to headphones through either Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The Mudita Pure recharges via USB-C. Battery life is claimed to be up to five days of normal use, thanks to the power-saving e-ink display (and the fact that you’d be using the phone less often).
We’ve seen other phones try to simplify things using the design language of the past, and to be honest the Mudita Pure looks like one of the most practical. In our experience with the Nokia 3310, the retro throwback was too clumsy for everyday use, while other offerings like the Zanco tiny t1 are far too small to ever be useful.
It won’t be for everyone, but it might just be exactly what those who want to switch off have been looking for.
The Mudita Pure is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, where it’s already more than doubled its US$100,000 goal, with 10 days remaining on the campaign. Pledges start at $295 for the phone itself, and if all goes to plan it’s set to start shipping in April 2020.
Check it out in action in the video below.