Gadget Advisor

The Punkt MP01 is the Newest Digital Detox Gadget

You can now (again, if you’re that old) party like it’s 1992. That’s the year the first text message was sent from a computer to a cell phone and now, 25 years later, you can go back to basics with the Punkt MP01 phone. The small gadget retails for $295 and only lets you do two social things: text and phone. Sure, it has an alarm clock, calendar and contacts list, but that’s about the extent of its functionality. It’s a digital detox tool, remember? No social media, no web browsing, no touch screen. It’s legit old school. And it’s a popular new fad trend with celebrities and minimalists to boost.

It DOES feature very cool alarm sounds. This reviewer described his chosen ring tone as “…an eerily realistic bird chirp…” and the sound you hear as you press the buttons “…the crisp “click” of each digit input” satisfying. So is the sleek finish and enhanced audio (thanks to a curved back casing), which might explain why this arcane based piece of technology is so expensive for the little it does for its users. Maybe.

The phone was designed by a Swiss tech company and operates on 2G networks exclusively, which means that it cannot be used in a great many countries of this world, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia as of September 2017. Canada’s last 2G provider is set to drop the service next year. In the United States, you’d have to be a T-Mobile customer to use the Punkt MP01, and then they only guarantee 2G coverage until 2020. After that, it’s a hope and a prayer for Punkt users.

The display is monochrome, and in order to text, you need to go back to basics. Remember how you used numbers repeatedly to input letters on your old flip phone? That’s what the text function works on the Punkt MP01. Three taps on the ‘1’ for a ‘C’, and so on. It’ll get your thumb muscles right back on track though. Or it might mean you text a whole less than you used to on your smart phone.

But hey, that’s the whole idea. Text less, go out more, meet people, speak face to face. Don’t bury your head in social media, get out there and BE social. If you can leave Facebook and GPS and Pinterest behind, but still want to be in touch with what really matters, maybe the Punkt MP01 is just the dumb smart phone for you.