Earlier this year Justine Haupt showed off a Rotary Cellphone designed for making phone calls and not much else. With a retro-style 10-digit dialer, a few speed-dial buttons, LED lights, and a small ePaper display for showing missed calls or contact info, the phone is a response to the do-everything approach of modern smartphones.
Haupt released the design files and instructions for folks who wanted to build their own, and a few days later she also started taking orders for DIY kits with a 3D printed case + buttons selling for $50 and a mainboard going for $90.
But some assembly is still required. So if you dig the idea of a single-purpose phone but don’t want to have to build it yourself, Haupt says she plans to begin selling a fully-assembled version in September.
In addition to requiring no additional work, the new model also has a few other upgrades. Currently called the “mark 2” version, the new Rotary Cellphone will:
- Support 4G networks (the original was 3G-only)
- Have a mechanical ringer bell
- Support silent vibrations
- Have a large ePaper display
- Have an easily accessible SD card slot
- Support contacts added by editing a text file stored on an SD card
- Feature a new rotary dialer
Haupt says moving to 4G means that you should be able to continue using the phone for at least a decade. Even though cellular network operators are rolling out 5G, the older technology will continue to be supported for quite a while… but 3G only has a few years left to live.
Since the phone is designed for voice rather than data, there’s little need to adopt the newer 5G standard.
The 4G Rotary Cellphone is also designed to be easily repairable, which should also help extend its useful life.
You can find more details at Haupt’s Sky’s Edge website, where you can also find out how to sign up for email updates on the project as they become available. In the meantime, if you want a closer look at the original 3G model, Haupt provided a detailed look at the project in this video from March: