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Cell Phone Rotary Dial
Photo credit: Justine Haupt
Engineer Justine Haupt hated all the distractions that modern smartphones have, so she came up with an unusual solution: a basic cell phone with a rotary dial. How do you use it? Just like you would a normal rotary phone by placing a finger in the desired number and then turning it until the dial touches the metal clip before letting go. Read more for additional pictures and information.

L8STAR BM60 Mini Smallest Flip Phone
Looking for a novelty phone, or just something to use as backup when traveling? If so, then look no further than the L8STAR BM60 Mini, which is touted as the “world’s smallest mini flip phone”. It’s designed to be used as a basic cell phone and music player, so you won’t find a fancy touchscreen display on this device, but rather just a 1.14-inch TFT screen. On the bright side, a full charge should last you around 3-days of use. Read more for a hands-on look and additional information.

MIT RFocus Smart Surface Mobile Phone
Photo credit: Jason Dorfman | CSAIL
Yes, 5G is claimed to be taking over the world soon, and it has indeed been slowly rolling out worldwide, but there are many barriers that remain, preventing widespread adoption. One big problem is that we can’t get faster internet speeds without more efficient ways of delivering wireless signals, whether it be adding antennas to either the transmitter (i.e., Wi-Fi access points and cell towers) or the receiver (such as a phone or laptop). MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) researchers have developed RFocus, a software-controlled “smart surface” that uses more than 3,000 antennas to maximize the strength of the signal at the receiver, to solve it. Read more for another picture and additional information.

Mudita Pure Phone E-Ink
Remember the classic candy bar-style phones from the late 1990s – early 2000s? Mudita Pure is a “modern take on a classic phone” by ditching all of the unnecessary features found in most smartphones today. To start, it features an E-ink display that reduces blue-light exposure while boasting an ultralow SAR value (the measured amount of radio waves absorbed by the body of the carrier). It may not have 4G / 5G connectivity, but when connected to a computer via USB-C, it doubles as WiFi hotspot. Read more for a video and additional information.

Nokia 2720 Flip
Photo credit: The Verge
If you love flip phones, and only need the most essential functions, then you might want to check out the Nokia 2720 Flip. In addition to integrated AI technology and familiar flip-phone design that combines simplicity and reliability in a durable device, the 2720 also comes with WhatsApp and Facebook pre-installed on KaiOS to make sure you’re connected to what matters. Read more for a hands-on video and additional information.

Nokia 800 Tough
HMD Global’s Nokia 800 Tough is the first rugged phone from the company, and it’s not only water / dust proof, but also protected against drops as well as being designed to withstand extreme temperatures, making it an ideal worksites or travels. Despite its basic looks, the mobile phone still has Google Assistant, WhatsApp Facebook, 4G connectivity and more. Read more for a hands-on video, additional pictures and information.

Roller Coaster Mobile Phone Catch
There are roller coaster enthusiasts all over the world, but rarely do you hear a story like this one. Samuel Kempf, who lives in New Zealand, visited PortAventura World theme park in Catalonia, Spain and showed off his lightning-quick reflexes by accident when he caught a stranger’s mobile phone while riding a coaster. It just so happened that the on-ride camera captured the exact moment Kempf caught the phone while riding the 80-mph coaster. Read more for the clip and additional information.

Supreme Mobile Phone
In Supreme’s fall / winter 2019 catalog, you’ll find a “burner phone” manufactured by Blu. It drops on August 22nd, and unfortunately, there’s no smart functions at all on the device. This 3G only mobile phone features a 2.4-inch screen, 128MB of internal storage, a 16GB memory card, and yes, there’s even a built-in camera. Read more for another picture and additional information.

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Medals
The opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may be in one year, but the medal designs have just been unveiled. Nearly 80,000 tons of mobile phones as well as electronic devices were collected from all around Japan, and will be used in the handcrafting every gold, silver and bronze Olympic and Paralympic medal awarded to athletes at next year’s games. There expect to be approximately 5,000 medals handed out between the two games. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Switch to Flip Phone Contest

Frontier Communications is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first ever flip-phone, so the Utah-based ISP decided to offer $1,000 to someone willing to ditch their modern smartphone for a week. There are a few requirements for the winner, and they include recording how long it takes them to do simple tasks such as texting, sending emails, how much sleep they get, and whether their productivity increases during the experiment. Read more for another video and additional information on how to enter.