Punkt MP01: A Nostalgic Nuance of Nothingness

Kamran Yunus/Staff Illustrator

Matthew Lee

Punkt, a Swiss company that specializes in consumer electronics, prides itself on the design of the MP01, a cellular device that focuses on simplicity and necessities. The company claims that smartphones in the modern age have become items of distraction and procrastination rather than useful devices. Punkt’s MP01 is a basic functional cell phone with one focus and one focus only: cutting away games, videos, photos and everything else besides calling and texting.

The design of the MP01 really cuts down on the unnecessary aspects of the phones we have today. From a modern perspective, it really seems like Punkt is reverting time and going back to the days of old, but who’s to say the ways of the past were ever wrong?

The phone can appeal to users that don’t need or want the extra features that a smartphone has to offer, such as mobile data, photos and various apps. Truth be told, Punkt is right to think that the general population is distracted with technology, as it is not hard to spot young people glued to their phones in public or at home.

The phone has twenty buttons that include the ten digits, asterisk and pound, as well as different functionality buttons, volume up/down, call, end-call, contacts and texts. The MP01 is also lightweight and sports a minimalistic design with a slim form-factor and rugged skin. Punkt didn’t just take a cell phone from the early 2000’s and rebrand it, as the MP01 comes equipped with Bluetooth for hands-free usage and Gorilla Glass for accidental damage protection.

As expected, the anti-smartphone’s battery lasts longer than smartphones and won’t overheat as often because of its low power consumption. The MP01 also caters to users who want to put down their smartphone in the workplace, but have access to it for recreational use.

Although the MP01 sounds like a promising and nostalgic redesign of a cell phone from the past decade, it really doesn’t offer anything new to the consumer market. Companies such as Samsung and LG still produce regular flip phones that work better than the MP01 because of its lack of a QWERTY keyboard.

Although it is a blast from the past, the MP01 still has a price tag of around $300, which unfortunately rivals the costs of smartphones from a generation or two ago. The idea of a distraction-free phone may appeal to older consumers, but for its price, one would rather have the options for extra features such as internet and photos.

Punkt is essentially trying to repackage an old concept of a cellular phone; no distractions, just calling and texting. However, is there ever a time people spend large sums of money to purchase items from the past, given that the items aren’t rare or antique?

The MP01 takes away the added features of the smartphone and promises a minimalistic lifestyle with no distraction. But at its price point, there’s nothing it offers (or doesn’t offer for that matter) which can persuade users to buy it, rather than stick to the free throw-away phones you can easily find at your local wireless mobile phone shop.