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Mobile phones for minimalists

Dear John's phone

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

John's Phone, from the designer firm John Doe Amsterdam, could be the greatest grandparent phone of all time. It is certainly an interesting minimalist experiment in usability.

Ten centimetres tall and weighing 95g, John's Phone cuts the crap so pretty much all that remains is a basic box with a standard keypad.

A screen along the top displays incoming and outgoing phone numbers, as well as battery status. But how useful is a screen you can't see while dialling and where's the address book?

John's Phone

Built into the back is a removable pen and pad, so numbers can be stored old-school style, ideal for grumbling "it's not as good as it used to be" fogeys. It is possible to set up ten speed-dials though, one for each number.

There's no choice of ring tone, but a switch sets the volume between loud, normal and quiet. A vibration setting is also included, which according to the Dutch website, "works in all positions" - Don't you just love translation software?

With barely any functions and a 1200mAh battery, standby lasts longer than three weeks.

John's Phone is quad-band and comes with hands-free earphones. Available in several colours, prices start at €70 (£58). ®

A tip of the hat to Tim Russell, who brought this to our attention.

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