This Is Likely the World’s First-Ever “Smart” Phone with a Rotary Dial

Fitting a larger screen in a smaller body has become a priority for the majority of phone makers out there, and most of their efforts are supposed to help increase the available screen estate, improve cameras, and boost performance.

On the other hand, feature phones, which many people also refer to as dumb phones, continue to be popular choices for those not necessarily interested in modern technology and specifically looking into features like a longer battery life.

Engineer Justine Haupt, however, has created a device that can very well be placed between the two categories, but using a feature that we originally loved on our traditional phones.

This cellphone with a rotary dial was created in an attempt to build a usable phone without a touchscreen, the engineer says.

“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?” Haupt explains.

So the phone is equipped with simple features like an ePaper display that is bistatic, which means it doesn’t require any energy to display a fixed message. Instead of a power switch, it sports a slide switch, while the signal strength and battery level are displayed using an LED bargraph.

One-day battery life

Speed dial buttons are also available to call certain contacts, but without any 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,” Haupt says.

The phone uses a real antenna with an SMA connector, and the engineer says a directional antenna can be attached as well.

“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,” the engineer adds.

More information on how this device was built is available here if you’re interested in creating such a cellphone yourselves as well.

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