1 title: Giving The Dumbphone A Whirl 2 author: Daniel Moch 3 copyright: 2021, Daniel Moch 4 date: 2021-04-20 19:50:00 UTC-04:00 5 category: technology 6 description: It's quiet uptown ... or anywhere else you don't take your smartphone. 7 8 Less has really started to seem like more for me lately. In a pique 9 of frustration over how distracted and low-key anxious I have felt, 10 I deleted my social media accounts (except for one, which I need 11 for work) and switched to a dumbphone. It hasn't been life changing, 12 but the feeling has been something akin to stepping outside of a 13 crowded building and taking off your COVID mask to breathe the 14 crisp, autumn air. I've sort of eased into it over the past few 15 weeks, but right now I don't miss it. 16 17 The particular phone I settled on was the Punkt MP-02. It's an 18 elegant device, the VoLTE capability of which is supported by my 19 carrier. It also supports tethering. A dumbphone that supports 20 tethering fills a pretty valuable niche in my opinion, since it 21 allows me to connect my laptop to my cell provider if I'm in a 22 pinch. The killer feature, though, is that their most recent software 23 update has added support for secure messaging via Signal. (Their 24 implementation is called Pigeon, although it interoperates with the 25 same Signal service smartphone users are familiar with. I assume 26 the name was changed because the app was done by Punkt.) Because 27 it's a dumbphone, this turns out to be the only way to do group 28 messaging on the MP-02. 29 30 The only other thing I'll say about the phone is that complaints 31 about the software quality, while they may have been accurate at 32 the time, ring hollow today. Presumably they've managed to work out 33 a lot of the early bugs, the device having been out for well over 34 a year now. I'm not expecting much in the way of new features, but 35 that is itself a feature. 36 37 If not for the MP-02's Signal compatibility, I likely would have 38 ended up with the much cheaper Nokia 6300 4G. I'd be curious to 39 hear from anyone using that phone about their experience, as I'd 40 like to be able to recommend something to folks bit by the same bug 41 I've caught, but who don't find Signal compatability worth thrice 42 the price.