What you need to know
- The Minimal Phone is a concept device that takes cues from E Ink products and Blackberry smartphones.
- The device only recently concluded the design phase, so it will be a long while before you can buy or back it.
- It's the latest of many E Ink and minimalist products that have popped up over the last few years.
It seems like a minimalist concept phone pops up every once in a while trying to convince us to ditch our recent flagship. It's easy to see why, too. Smartphones and technology take up a lot of our lives and have caused mental health issues and declining attention spans for some.
The latest minimalist phone concept to debut is aptly-named the Minimal Phone, and it was first spotted by Android Police. The device promises an E Ink screen, a tactile keyboard, and an impressive four-day battery life. Right now, it's important to remember that it's just a concept — albeit a cool one.
Andre Youkhna, the founder and CEO of Minimal Company, did an AMA on Reddit chronicling the Minimal Phone so far. In the comments, Youkhna said that the Minimal Phone passed the design phase. However, the company is only starting the research and development process for actually creating the smartphone.
That means that it'll be a while before this concept hits the market, if it ever does. Youkhna has said that a major manufacturer and Google have already been in talks with the Minimal Company, though.
There are some aspects of the Minimal Phone that sound appealing. It will run a custom version of Android, a much lighter one, called MinimalOS. Even though it will be minimal and simplistic, the renders do show third-party apps like Uber available. This isn't too unlike the Boox Palma, a smartphone-sized Android-powered e-reader that has access to the Play Store, although sans a SIM tray.
Aside from that, there's the E Ink display. Paired with MinimalOS, the Minimal Phone's E Ink display is claimed to provide four-day battery life with the 4,000 mAh battery. E Ink displays, in general, are starting to gain popularity, and they would probably look great on a product like this.
The problem with minimalist smartphones such as the Minimal Phone is usually the price. There's a very small market of people that will replace modern smartphones with something like the Minimal Phone. Instead, a better sell for a minimalist phone is to serve as a secondary device.
That means if you're going camping or want to spend more time with family, you can take the Minimal Phone with you. That way, you stay connected in case of an emergency without feeling the need to waste time on your phone.
However, early targets for Minimal Phone pricing put the device at around $400, which could be a tough sell for potential buyers. Either way, we're curious to see what comes of the Minimal Phone in the future.
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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.