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article imageMonohm's circular smartphone now available for preorder

By Michael Thomas     Jun 15, 2016 in Technology
First announced a year ago at the Mobile World Congress, Monohm has now officially released its "anti-smartphone," the circular Runcible, for pre-order.
The app ecosystem of a modern smartphone can be overwhelming a lot of the time — they clutter screens with icons and notifications. As a response to the increasingly dense landscape of premium phones, California company Monohm last year announced the Runcible. Unlike any other phone on the market, it's completely circular.
The Runcible will be available in a few models: the $399 base model and the $499 "adventure" model. The base model is made out of "reclaimed ocean plastic fished out of the Great Pacific Plastic Island." The premium model will be made out of sustainable madrone wood, looking closer to the model first shown at MWC in 2015.
The Runcible Lovelace
The Runcible Lovelace
The phones have a 2.5-inch display and 640 x 640 pixel resolution. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of storage. The biggest change between the initial announcement and now is that the Runcible will no longer run on Mozilla OS, which Mozilla abandoned in early 2016. Instead, it will run on BuniOS, Monohm's own operating system based off of the Android Open Source project.
The phone will also feature a 7-megapixel rear-facing camera and connectivity with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Anderson said the models could feature LTE if there are enough pre-orders to support the cost of implementing it.
These specs don't stack up to premium smartphones from the likes of Apple and Samsung, and that's intentional. Monohm founder Aubrey Anderson wants to build a more relaxing smartphone experience that won't interrupt your life constantly. It has a few basic features like a compass, a photo viewer and an analog clock.
Finally, the Runcible can also be taken apart to add extra functionality; it will feature connection points for audio and USB, among others.
Monohm plans to start shipping the Runcible in September.
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