Our phones are wonderful compact supercomputers that immediately connect us to all of our family and friends, as well as the entireness of human knowledge – so it’s no wonder that they can be extremely sidetracking. The Mudita Pure is a minimalist phone with no internet browser and an e-ink screen planned to do the fundamentals of a phone without any of the everyday diversions.
The Mudita Pure looks like a polished version of a phone from 15 years ago or an iPod. Most prominent is the physical number pad – which may mean you’ll have to brush up the old Nokia-era method of texting. Menus are browsed with a ring of directional buttons, which also seems quite acquainted.
More on, there is a screen that’s quite small by today’s standards – it has a resolution of 600 x 480, with 270 pixels per inch and measures only 2.84 inches diagonally. Instead of a vivid, eye-popping colour display, this is a simple e-ink screen with 16 shades of grey, like those available on Kindles and other e-readers.
The idea is that this makes text readable, and not only is it less diverting but it neatly evades the harsh blue light from screens and other phones that’s been involved in all kinds of disturbance of our sleep cycle and eye-sight problems.
But what actually reduce the distractions? The Mudita Pure doesn’t possess an internet browser. For people who can’t stop scanning down their Twitter timeline, or navigating through Facebook, physically eliminating the choice might be the only way to breakdown the habit. This phone is actually a phone, aiming at sending text messages and making calls.
That said, it can still connect to the internet in an indirect way. The Mudita Pure can be attached to a laptop or other device via USB-C, and act as a modem anywhere there’s cell phone reception.
To really disconnect from the digital world, there’s a physical slider on the side of the phone that switches connectivity to a limited Do Not Disturb mode or go entirely offline, muting all incoming calls and texts.
There are a few added basic apps installed too, including a flashlight, music player, notepad, alarm clock, flashlight, calendar, calculator, voice recorder, and a meditation timer. A Harman speaker is located at the bottom, and it can also connect to headphones through either a 3.5 mm audio jack or Bluetooth.
The Mudita Pure recharges through USB-C. Battery life is stated to be up to five days of normal use, thanks to the power-saving e-ink display and the fact that the phone would be used less often.
Amidst many other phones who tried to simplify things using the design language of the past, Mudita Pure stands out as the most practical one. In our encounter with the Nokia 3310, the old-fashioned throwback was too inept for everyday use, while other phones like the Zanco tiny t1 are tiny to be useful ever.
It may not appeal to anyone but those who want to disconnect from the constant distraction of the “smart world”, this is exactly the one they want.
The Mudita Pure was seeking financing on Kickstarter, where it’s already more than doubled over its US$100,000 goal, and on Indiegogo where it has raised over $350,000. You can pre-order the phone for $295. Distribution was set to begin in April 2020 but has been set back with delays. As of the end of last month (June 2020), production was very close but the battery capacity had to be reduced slightly.