Dumbphone

Tyron Love

On Christmas Day 2022 I got my iPhone stolen. The story of how it got stolen is both embarrassing and infuriating!

Despite that horrible situation the incident resulted in me having to get a new phone and I purchased this dumbphone.

It's a Punkt MP02 New Generation 4G voice phone. It makes calls, sends text messages and is supposed to have a custom app called Pigeon which uses the Signal protocol to make calls and send encrypted messages. It doesn't work, which is a shame. But, the actual phone works fantastically, calls are clear and the construction of the device is excellent.

I've been using the Punkt MP02 as my mobile device for a couple of weeks now. It confuses people, a teller at the supermarket said "oh, sorry" when I explained that I couldn't download their coupon app to my phone, because it doesn't have apps, and my insurance initially rejected the phone as a mobile device because they thought it was a calculator.

It also confuses my brain! I want to use the phone all the time. Whenever there's a tiny gap in my day I used to take out my iPhone and scroll through social media or check email or Slack.

When I had to wait for the barista to make my coffee I would be head down scrolling, hunting for the little hits of dopamine these big tech companies spew out on their addictive platforms.

Due to the Punkt MP02s awesome design and tactility I wanted to have an excuse to use the dumbphone, but the Punkt MP02 is designed to force you not to use it for anything other than making and taking calls and the T9 keyboard is so fiddly I didn't want to use it much, I would rather just phone someone than text them.

All these little designed annoyances worked! The Punkt MP02 spends most of its life in my pocket and not in my hands, forcing me to look at the world around me.