In the world of touchscreen-based smartphones, there are handset makers who have given old mobile phones (or cellphone as it is refer over in the States) a modern spin. This cellphone, the Rotary Cellphone, is not that. It is more.
There’s no doubt that this retro-infused cellphone, conceived and made by maker Justine Haupt, has modern innards, but on the outside, it is rocking an e-ink display, an adjustable (and replaceable) antenna, and a rotary dial.
For you kids out there, rotary dial was how numbers were dialed (hence, the expression “dialing the numbers”). It predates button numbers that predates touchscreen buttons.
Frustrated with the touchscreen devices that has a phone’s primary function buried away under menus after menus, Justine decided to create her own phone with a retro twist – like, quite literally.
The thoughtful feature with this Rotary Cellphone is, you don’t have to dial the numbers all the time. There’s actually a single dedicated physical key for one-touch quick dial.
Beyond that, new numbers or volume adjustments are all done in the old fashion, tactile way. There’s also a physical sliding power switch too, thus eliminating a modern phone woe of “no holding down a stupid button to make it turn off and not being sure it really is turning off or what.” Snazzy!
I am guessing this device will only appeal to those who actually know what a rotary dial phone is. In any case, you can’t buy it. However, she has openly share the schematics and the original design file, so that anyone who has the technical know-how can build their very own one-of-the-kind cellphone.
And yes, this phone is totally functional. Justine is using it as her daily communication device of choice. Rotary Cellphone, however, is not the first rotary dial cellphone we have seen, but it is for sure the most retro.
Images: Justine Haupt.