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Monohm now accepting pre-orders for Runcible, a circular-shaped phone

By Shawn Knight · 8 replies
Jun 15, 2016
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  1. There are literally thousands of smartphones to choose from at this point but they all generally follow the same design guidelines – a rectangular slab of metal / plastic / glass. Innovation has slowed tremendously over the last several years and looking ahead, the only far-reaching advancements we have to look forward to are bendable displays and modular components.

    A company by the name of Monohm Inc., however, is taking an entirely different approach with its phone.

    First unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2015, the Runcible is a circular-shaped smartphone that was originally slated to arrive late last year. A series of unfortunate events – namely Mozilla’s decision to kill off Firefox OS and the target processor being discontinued – forced the company to rethink several aspects of the project, including whether or not they even wanted to continue development.

    The team agreed to carry on and rebuild the operating system with Android. The hardware also received a significant upgrade as the device will now be powered by Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 410 SoC, Adreno 306 graphics, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of local storage. There’s also Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and a 7-megapixel rear camera but the real star of the show is the display which measures 2.5-inches and features a resolution of 640 x 640 (256 PPI).

    The specs won’t knock your socks off but that’s by design as the Runcible isn’t really meant for power users. As The Verge notes, the press material even describes it as an anti-smartphone. This thinking carries over to the OS as well. For example, the maps application will suggest more scenic – and thus, less direct – routes to reach your destination. There’s also no access to the Google Play Store.

    Convincing consumers to pay $399 for a minimalist device may be a tough proposition, even with its intriguing design. A potential saving grace is the fact that the device is designed to be easily repaired or upgraded, the latter of course is assuming the company stays in business long enough. Monohm even concedes that it’s not sure how many people will actually want to buy its device which is a bit unnerving.

    Nevertheless, Monohm is now accepting pre-orders through Indiegogo for the Runcible through June 30.

    Permalink to story.

  2. lol
    sorry...I know it's not April 1st. You can't fool me! :p
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    L M A O at junk like this. Fad much ?
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    A SD 410 chipset & 1GB RAM is a "significant upgrade?" It's a good thing they never publically revealed the original spec for those 400 balloons.
  5. Lailoken

    Lailoken TS Rookie

    "There’s also no access to the Google Play Store."

    Are they trying to fail?

    I suppose a person could root it, however...
  6. liammac002

    liammac002 TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +8

    Hipsters love it!!! Everyone else hates it!!! The $400 dollar device with a bad display, an SOC from a $100 phone, no access to the only thing that makes a smartphone worth having, and a round display for absolutely no practical reason!!! Literally I got an LG Tribute from Best Buy for $30 with the same CPU and GPU.
  7. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 978   +324

    That looks like it will be seriously uncomfortable to hold for long amounts of time and seems like it will be a dropping hazard.
    mantissteam likes this.
  8. Badvok

    Badvok TS Maniac Posts: 296   +152

    Actually seems like a good idea, we had pocket watches for ages and this is trying to link back to that style era which could work. Unfortunately the outright deception in the video shows how likely this concept is to succeed. They barely show the front, focusing almost entirely on the back. In the three places they do show the front we have a snapshot with a tiny bezel (good) then a brief view of two apps, a compass and the most appropriate watch face showing a slightly larger bezel (not so good) and finally a shot again of the watch app with a ridiculously wide bezel (absolutely terrible).
    If they could get this working with the tiny bezel then I'd probably buy one.
  9. mattfrompa

    mattfrompa TS Evangelist Posts: 576   +73

    Not even for $100...

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