Rotary Un-Smartphone

Why a rotary cellphone? Because in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting. 

The point isn't to be anachronistic. It's to show that it's possible to have a perfectly usable phone that goes as far from having a touchscreen as I can imagine, and which in some ways may actually be more functional. More functional how? 

Real, removable antenna with an SMA connector. Receptions is excellent, and if I really want to I could always attach a directional antenna.

When I want a phone I don't have to navigate through menus to get to the phone "application". That's bullshit.

If I want to call my husband, I can do so by pressing a single dedicated physical key which is dedicated to him. No menus. The point isn't to use the rotary dial every single time I want to make a call, which would get tiresome for daily use. The people I call most often are stored, and if I have to dial a new number or do something like set the volume, then I can use the fun and satisfying-to-use rotary dial.

Nearly instantaneous, high resolution display of signal strength and battery level. No signal metering lag, and my LED bargraph gives 10 increments of resolution instead of just 4.

The ePaper display is bistatic, meaning it doesn't take any energy to display a fixed message.

When I want to change something about the phone's behavior, I just do it.

The power switch is an actual slide switch. No holding down a stupid button to make it turn off and not being sure it really is turning off or what.

So it's not just a show-and-tell piece... My intent is to use it as my primary phone. It fits in a pocket; It's reasonably compact; calling the people I most often call is faster than with my old phone, and the battery lasts almost 24 hours.

  • Pocket-sized
  • Full LTE connectivity. Obsolescence-proof for at least another decade.
  • Access and call your personal contacts faster than with a smartphone
  • Use your own SIM card with your favorite carrier's "Bring Your Own Device" option
  • Real (mechanical) ringer bell made gold or silver-coated brass; externally visible
  • Receive basic SMS messages and send pre-typed messages and numeric strings
  • 2 displays: Front-side OLED and back-side ePaper
  • Physical disconnect switch for the microphone
  • Mechanical power switch
  • MicroSD card stores contacts list as a text file
  • TRRS headset jack
  • USB-C charging port; USB Micro-B port also available
  • Incandescent-like indicator LEDs
  • Weighs 174g [6oz]
  • Injection molded parts available in several striking colors
  • Internal antenna; expansion space for user-supplied external antenna

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Dec 23,2021
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