Your everyday companion in this era, your mobile phone is probably with you day and night, and in front of you more than you’d like to admit, we wanted to showcase not just phones that are minimal in aesthetics but also those that are minimal in the way they interact with your lifestyle. In a time where technological overload is a real problem, some of those in the list are aimed at combating first world problems like too much screen time with deliberately lesser features.
If the first ever phone was designed with modern standards, the MP 01 Phone would be it. Designed by Jasper Morrison for Switzerland-based Punkt, the phone loses everything extra to accentuate the core mobile phone experience, messages and conversations. This gives you the much needed social and screen-time detox. It does come with Gorilla Glass, bluetooth, and an excellent battery life where you can charge only every few weeks like you used to with your Nokia 3310.
“The world’s simplest cellphone.” is a bold claim. Brave enough to strip away touchscreen displays, cameras, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and even GPRS data. Not even text messaging was spared from the relentless reduction. The only thing you can do is call or receive calls. Anything more basic, it will be a block of wood.
The device truly embraces the word “minimal”. You will forget it’s a phone until you need it. It even comes with its own SIM as an unlocked 2G GSM phone that’s ready to be used right of out the box for that extra level of simplicity. It’s made so that you call forward from your smartphone. You get three free months of service, and then it’s only $5 a month afterwards (U.S. only).
Roughly the shape of a credit card and only a bit thicker, you can fit it into your jean pocket along side your wallet without an unsightly bulge. You can add 10 contacts for quick dialing. The simple, classic design is bound to appeal to the minimalist in everyone.
iPhones through the generations always have a level of class to them. But when Apple got rid of the home button and gave the iPhone X wireless charging, the phone goes into a different category of minimalism with a product that looks more or less like a single piece of glass (we know, we don’t like the notch too). This not just the looks that makes it the most minimalist smartphone at the moment, features exclusive to iOS like Face ID also help elevate that.
Our only Android (and one of two smartphones) on this list, the Essential Phone’s stunning edge-to-edge display fits “just nice” into the palm of your hand. This phone to us is the only worthy competitor to the iPhone X in the Android corner. Probably no surprise since this is made by the Godfather of all Android phones, Android co-creator Andy Rubin. The phone uses premium materials such as titanium and ceramic to resists damage better than most phone to last a long time.
While no longer available for sale, we admire the original X-Ray phone by Japanese telecom AU. Designed by one of our favorite designers, Tokujin Yoshioka, the “dumbphone” exudes a classic, timeless style, while flaunting a little edge with the see-through cover.