By Gregory Han
Minimalist doctrine dictates we liberate ourselves from things, all in the hopes of preventing these things from perpetually owning our attention. It’s a thoughtful ideal many of us aspire to. But in reality it isn’t a multitude of “things” consuming our attention, but one specific thing: our phones. The Blloc smartphone proposes we give up something seemingly essential – color – offering a monochromatic experience to deliver a more focused relationship between user and device.
The Blloc isn’t the first attempt to address device-induced attention deficit disorder. The Light Phone 2 and the Nokia 8110 banana phone both subtract features from the smartphone template down to the bare minimum. But like a Pandora’s Box, once one has become accustomed to the multitude of features of modern smartphones, it’s difficult to return to using a device only capable of calls and short messages. We may aspire toward simplicity, but not simple.
Thus, instead of attempting to compromise our expectations, Blloc attempts to redirect our attention, offering a full fledged smartphone experience filtered through a monochromatic user interface. Blloc OS is built on top of Android 8.1, loaded with an essentials list of “commonly used services and apps” optimized to keep in tune with the Blloc OS experience (an experience so thorough, the majority of the Blloc website adhere to its greyscale aesthetic).
With everything in shades of grey, the incessant temptation modern UIs are designed to elicit is decreased. Noting life nor apps operate solely in black and white, the 5.5” LCD IPS, 421ppi display can be switched into color mode with the touch of the fingerprint sensor when needed – a necessity using the phone’s full color Sony 13MP camera (capable of RAW output and 4k video at 30fps). Other important specs: 4 GB RAM memory, 64 GB storage, SD card slot, USB Type C connector, and an always welcome 3.5mm headphone jack. Perhaps the most surprising and welcome feature included with the Blloc is its 12 month insurance policy covering the device from a variety of common accidents, and even theft.
The Blloc is available for reservations today with an expected delivery in Fall 2018.