Mobile Technology

Minimalist e-ink phone cuts distractions by ditching the internet

Minimalist e-ink phone cuts di...
The Mudita Pure is a phone designed to minimize distractions
The Mudita Pure is a phone designed to minimize distractions
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The Mudita Pure is a phone designed to minimize distractions
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The Mudita Pure is a phone designed to minimize distractions
The Mudita Pure has a small e-ink screen and a physical numberpad
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The Mudita Pure has a small e-ink screen and a physical numberpad
The Mudita Pure has an e-ink screen that is designed to be easy on the eyes and clear to read
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The Mudita Pure has an e-ink screen that is designed to be easy on the eyes and clear to read

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.

The Mudita Pure has an e-ink screen that is designed to be easy on the eyes and clear to read
The Mudita Pure has an e-ink screen that is designed to be easy on the eyes and clear to read

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.

Mudita Pure: Your Minimalist Phone

Source: Mudita

8 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Interesting that they went with physical buttons instead of a touchscreen-based keyboard/pad. I guess this was a cost decision, but it sure makes things go backward when it comes to texting/typing. Besides having the advantage of a larger screen when needed, such as using it as a mini-reader.
paul314
If they had gone to e-ink for the keys too (why, oh why did I misplace my Alias 2) the texting issue would have been much less of a dealbreaker.
ArdisLille
This looks like a promising choice for my impending retirement. For those of us whose "muscle memory" was trained on the Palm Pilot, the mechanical buttons may feel like home. (My husband is still hitting his iPhone like a typewriter, no matter how I remind him that it's heat- not hammer-sensitive.)
Spud Murphy
It's interesting and all that, but that price is nuts, I just bought a Nokia 6.1 for AU$300 (about US$200), which is just so much more phone. I don't know how they can justify this price when there are already plenty of low cost dumb phones available.
Wombat56
No camera. Even if you're not greatly interested in photography, it can be handy to have a basic camera as a recording device, like for when some clown damages your car.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is great for those who only want a phone and not be involved with all those other features they would probably never use. I think the E-Ink screen would make the battery last a lot longer; IMO.
ljaques
I'll bet those 927 backers are seniors who don't need the internet and other bells and whistles on a phone. The price is too high for what you get. Smart phones can be had for $65 now, and I paid $109 for my 5.5" Posh Ultra L550, which even comes with a built-in FM radio. Good luck getting the other 90% of users, who are hooked on their phone like heroin addicts. The concept is right for the phone, but the price will keep it from being widely accepted for what it is: a Luddite phone.
Phileaux
I also had an Alias 2, excellent phone design to be reborn. Correct! This tech is (relatively) ancient and shouldn't sell for more than $99. Should be thinner and treated as "out of the office" phone.