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Heineken, the beer company, just launched a phone


What happens when Human Mobile Devices (HMD), Heineken beer, and a Boston-based streetwear brand named Bodega meet over some Lithium lager and discuss humanity’s unhealthy digital obsession? They make a phone. And they decide to call it the “Boring Phone.”

Is this just another attempt to capitalize on the latest dumb phone trend that even had The New Yorker spilling digital ink over it? Yes. Is it the most stunning retro-modern gizmo to come out after the Pocket Analogue, and will it make any nerd lose their sleep? Also yes.

It’s also transparent. Remember the Nothing Phone? This is The Boring Phone, sans any snazzy LED light strips. But there is so much going on here. Right underneath the cover screen of this glorious Nokia-wannabe flip phone, you can see a green motherboard. That color scheme blends perfectly with the green backlight of the screens, the one outside and the larger one inside. I won’t call it Heineken green, as much as I’d like to name-drop The Matrix here, because that’s what the green T9 keyboard screams.

No features, just swag

HMD's Boring phone front and rear faces.

What’s the purpose of this phone? “Heineken and Bodega present a phone made to take you back to a time when smartphones weren’t a thing,” says Heineken. It wants you to communicate with friends using SMS instead of losing it over the green-blue bubble bias; no social media, no notification avalanche apps.

The Boring Phone wants you to revel in the monochrome joy of Quick Snake instead of screaming into the mic while playing Call of Duty with terribly skill-devoid teammates. It also hopes you will click wonderfully pixelated images of good moments with friends rather than obsess over things like exposure, life-like colors, etc.

The Boring Phone can also survive a few drops without cracking with an expensive thud like the modern-day iPhones. There are some neat features like speed dialing (which I forgot was even a thing once), design customization with 3D stickers, and the satisfaction of disconnecting calls with a snap.

HMD, Heineken, and Bodega's Boring Phone.

The phone was showcased at Milan Design Week, but it seems there is no sticker price for this one. Priceless, eh? “Devices will be given away to revelers around the world, so they can disconnect, reclaim quality time with friends, family and loved ones, and dial up their nights out,” says the company.

The whole idea behind the phone is to send a message that there’s life beyond smartphones. Sometimes, less digital engagement means more taste of reality. And what better way to accomplish that than a phone that does just the bare minimum? That’s the Boring Phone.

We don’t care about the specs here, and neither should the lucky few who score this phone.

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Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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