• Top 10 Awesome Minimal Phones

    Top 10 Awesome Minimal Phones

    When you don’t want all the distractions or something great for kids.

    Keep It Simple Header Graphic

    (These aren’t in any particular order, just a collection of awesome minimal phones for those who want to simplify they device they use.)

     

    1. Light Phone(s)

    Light Phone

     

    We know this list features 10 but we will squeeze another (kinda) into the “Light Phones”.  They are very minimalistic devices built to work with an existing phone but taking on the core functionality and leaving all the rest of the clutter behind.  The first model was originally a Kickstarter project which ended up gaining $415,127 in funding through 3,187 backers.  The company describes it as “a casual, secondary phone that encourages you to leave behind your smartphone and enjoy quality time doing the things you love most”.  Because of this, we tossed it on the list for being so minimal/clean and aesthetically pleasing while being solely for making and receiving calls.  Since the success of the first model they successfully pushed the 2nd model in Indiegogo which adds more commonly used features or tools while still minimizing the clutter and annoying aspects of a smartphone.

    Cost:

    Version 1: Originally $100 on Kickstarter, sold out at the time of writing this.

    Version 2:  $300 on IndieGoGo at the time of writing this.

    Pros:

    • minimalistic/clean design
    • can only send/receive calls (and keep 9 speed dials)

    Cons:

    • many users would want additional features (they are coming via the Light Phone 2)
    • needs an existing phone to work
    • one of the more expensive options, especially if you go for the Light Phone 2

     

    2. Nokia 3310

    Nokia 3310

    Like a blast from the past, Nokia has given us a phone that may have been some of our first ones in 2000.  This phone has been rebooted with some more current tech and features an FM radio, MP3 player, and 2MP rear-facing camera.

    Cost:

    $60

    Pros:

    • cute design with a modern yet retro feel
    • cuts back on functions while still having some apps like music and video playing

    Cons:

    • utilizes old Bluetooth technology
    • limited network support

     

    3. Greatcall Jitterbug Flip

    Greatcall Jitterbug Flip

    For fans of a flip-phone style device, the Jitterbug does the trick.  It seems to be aimed more at seniors but would be adequately simple and easy to use for someone wanting to cut back on the distractions or easy for a child to have on hand.

    Cost:

    $74.99

    Pros:

    • large, easy to read buttons
    • built-in camera+flash

    Cons:

    • some users report issues with coverage

     

    4. TracFone LG 109c (prepaid)

    TracFone LG 109c

    On a budget this is about as cheap as you can get and as you would expect the device is a bit clunky and awkward to use yet functional.  Unlocking the phone isn’t intuitive but it does feature some basic apps such as a calculator, calendar, and contacts that a kid or student may benefit from.

    Cost:

    $15-$20

    Pros:

    • low cost
    • some useful apps
    • solid build quality

    Cons

    • not intuitive
    • clunky

     

    5. Unihertz Jelly Pro

    Unihertz Jelly Pro

    This one is the closest to a normal smartphone but features a minimal design and smaller form-factor.  The device runs on Android 7.0 so you won’t lose any of your normal functionality but the smaller form factor makes it easy to fit in a pocket, on a workout armband or small bag as well.

    Cost:

    $125

    Pros:

    • 4g compatible
    • normal smartphone functionality (maybe a con depending on what you are looking for)
    • gyroscope
    • mp3 player and gps

    Cons

    • This won’t let you cut out functions/distractions as it has a normal android OS

     

    6. Punkt Mp01

    Punkt Mp01

    The Mp01 is a similar device to the Light Phone 2 where it strips down features to give the user just a core set of functions and tools.

    Cost:

    $229.98

    Pros:

    • Core tools  (alarm clock, calendar, reminders)
    • Rugged build with Gorilla Glass screen
    • Standby time: 500 hours in optimal conditions

    Cons

    • it is utilizing Quad-band GSM (2G)
    • higher price for limited features

     

    7. Janus One

    Janus One

    A cellphone small enough to fit in your wallet, powerful enough to last three months without recharging, and smart enough to both connect with and charge your existing smartphone.

    Cost:

    $48.54

    Pros:

    • Core tools  (alarm clock, calendar, reminders)
    • Utilize a sim card or Bluetooth to an existing phone
    • Backlit keys

    Cons:

    • it is utilizing Quad-band GSM (2G)
    • Rough reviews on Amazon

     

    8.  Johns Phone

    Johns Phone

    John’s Phone Business is the world’s simplest black cell phone: no frills nor unnecessary features such as a camera, text messaging and an endless number of ringtones. You just call, hang up, and that’s it. John’s Phone is easy to use wherever you go.

    Cost:

    sold out currently

    Pros:

    • Minimal design and functions.

    Cons:

    • mixed reviews
    • hard to find currently sold out

     

    9.  Fsmart M5 mini

    Fsmart M5 mini

    A small low-cost option with a clean design aimed at a more traditional physical interface.

    Cost:

    $18.99

    Pros:

    • Minimal design and functions.

    Cons:

    • mixed reviews

     

    10.  Vphone S8

    Vphone S8

    A small low-cost option with a clean design aimed at those who prefer the minimal/touchscreen interface.

    Cost:

    $18.99

    Pros:

    • Minimal design and functions.

    Cons:

    • mixed reviews

     

    The small/minimal secondary (or primary) phone is an interesting trend that has been popping up here and there between Kickstarter/indie gogo pitches and carriers offering lower end/simple devices to meet that need and demographics.   We were surprised to find so many options and at different price levels ranging from a small $15-20 investment to $300 and up.  The devices aimed at being the second phone seem the most intriguing since the user doesn’t completely give up the main device but maybe tucks it away in a bag or pocket and reaches for a simplified device offering only the essentials.  So whether you want a device to look clean and minimal for business or pleasure we aimed to have a bit of everything in this list, we haven’t tried all of them but are tempted to jump on a couple after researching.  Be sure to let us know which devices you are most interested in or already have.

     

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