The un-iPhone

Motorola Motofone F3How is it possible that I only found out about the “all it does is make calls”, “electronic ink screen”, “not purposefully designed for the elderly” Motorola MOTOFONE F3 today?

I overheard Ivan asking Jonathan when his new phone was arriving, and he started describing this mythical minimalist cellphone. I was completely flabbergasted that such a chimera actually existed (and wasn’t a Jitterbug).

According to Wikipedia, it’s been around since 2006, but was built for developing countries, so it hasn’t been available in US (though it can be ordered online). It kind of sounds like the OLPC of cell phones.

The electronic ink display doesn’t require power to keep an image visible which translates into insanely long battery life (300 hours on standby, 8 hours of talk time). Apparently the special screen also makes the phone thinner and lighter. And less complexity overall means lower cost (~$45 unlocked), good for developing and developed countries alike.

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