The Minimal Phone: a QWERTY e-ink Android phone

Minimal Phone

If you look at major cell phone releases these days, it seems its a race to get the biggest screen or craziest camera array. They’re great gadgets, don’t get us wrong. If you were wishing your phone got a battery life more akin to your eReader, there have been some options that use eInk screens. Those aren’t great for touch typing on, which is why the Minimal Phone gives you a hardware QWERTY keyboard.

Minimal Phone: what is it?

At its core, the Minimal Phone is an Android 14 with both front and rear cameras, fingerprint unlock, 6 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. In other words, its everything you would want in a modern phone to get you through your day. Where it differs from, say, the latest Galaxy release is in the form factor. For those who have been around phones long enough, this will remind you of a Blackberry or maybe even a Treo.

  • Minimal Phone

The screen tech

The screen on the Minimal Phone is very familiar eInk screen (think what you have on your Kindle or Kobo eReader). These are great for battery life, because it can set the pixels once, and then there’s no power draw to keep the screen “active”. Which means you could actually have something up on this phone screen, and not worry about it killing the battery, unlike the latest smartphone screen. With a 300 dpi resolution, this will show images with decent clarity. Where it’s really going to shine those is in reproducing text in a document. And you know, since it’s an Android implementation, you can probably get the eReader app of your choice going. Reading on a 3″ screen may be a bit cramped, but it would be worth a try.

Minimal Phone

The keyboard

For an eInk smartphone, a hardware keyboard is basically a requirement. For anyone who has ever tried typing in a search term on their Kindle, you know that those screens are not the fastest in terms of response time when you’re typing on them. While this is a touch sensitive screen (good for scrolling), the physical keys are going to be a welcome input.

Getting yours

The Minimal Phone was an Indiegogo project, which is now currently in an InDemand phase of funding. This means the project has funded and is underway, and you can place an order for one. Coming in at $390, you’re right at the midrange of a featured smartphone that comes unlocked. These should be shipping in August, so your wait won’t be too long. You can check out the campaign on Indiegogo, or at their site:

Minimal Phone Tech Specs

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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