There are a lot of things you can do with a modern smartphone. It’s a portable media player, a web browsing tool, a social media madness machine, a text messaging utility, and I suppose you could use it to make phone calls from time to time… but who does that anymore?
Punkt is banking o the idea that somebody wants a phone that’s designed first and foremost to make calls. Because that’s what the company’s new Punkt MP02 4G mobile phone is designed for.
It’s a compact phone with a small screen, a physical keypad, a simple user interface, and support for just a few features including phone calls, text messages, and mobile hotspot functionality.
But it’s also got a few nifty features that might help justify the Punk MP02’s $350 price tag.
For less than that price you could pick up an Essential PH-1 smartphone with significantly better specs and far more features. But the point of the MP02 is to offer fewer features rather than more.
This isn’t a phone designed for Snapchatting, gaming, or photography. It’s designed for making phone calls… and a few other things.
The MP02 features BlackBerry Secure software, a black an white sunlight readable display, support for 4G LTE networks. You can use it to make Voice over LTE phone calls, and the phone can also serve as a mobile hotspot that connects to your other gadgets by WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB.
It measures 4.6″ x 2″ x 0.6″ and weighs just 3.5 ounces. The phone has a polycarbonate case with a textured coating, and anodized aluminum power button (and SIM card tray), and backlit number, call, and arrow keys on the front, plus a few other special function keys.
Above the keypad there’s a 2 inch, 320 x 240 pixel transflective, high contrast display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a fingerprint-resistant coating.
There’s a front speaker for handheld use and a 1.5 watt rear speaker for hands-free use. The phone also has a vibration motor, and front and rear microphones (the one on the back of the phone is used for noise cancellation).
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 2GB of LPDDR3 memory, and 16GB of eMMC 4.5 storage. It has a 1,280 mAh battery that the company says offers up to 4.2 hours of talk time or up to 12.5 days of standby time. And the phone charges via a USB 2.0 Type-C connector.
It supports 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 and Punkt offers a choice of a model with support for US and Canadian 4G networks or one with support for networks in Europe, Australia, and Japan.
Despite the simplified user interface, the MP02 is actually running an operating system based on Android 8.1. While I suspect most Android apps would run poorly on this device, if they run at all, that does open the door to the possibility of running third-party apps on this device.
Out of the box, it supports phone calls, text messaging (with predictive text support), and a few other core applications including Clock, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, and Contacts apps.
The Punk MP02 is up for pre-order for $349 starting today.