Monohm’s circular smartphone is designed to look like a pocket watch
Samsung’s three-sided display may make the Galaxy S6 Edge a little different, but it won’t be the most unique smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.
Monohm, a company based in Berkeley, California, that makes “heirloom electronics,” will announce a perfectly round smartphone called the Runcible that’s designed to look like a pocket watch.
The Runcible, which sports a convexed wooden back and was created by former Apple and Sony employees Aubrey Anderson, George Arriola, and Jason Proctor, will run Mozilla’s Firefox OS.
You won’t be able to install your favorite Android apps on it, then, but it isn’t aimed at smartphone users who need apps. CNET reports it doesn’t even have a home screen — though it does have a circular display — but rather a virtual watch face instead.
The Runcible will let you browse the web, and you’ll be able to access web apps built with HTML5. Monohm reportedly wants to make photography a major feature, but it’s currently unclear what kind of camera sensor the Runcible is packing.
The device will have all of the wireless connectivity options you would expect from a regular smartphone, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 4G LTE, but it will only help you stay connected when you want to be.
Monohm says the Runcible, which hopes to resemble “the pocket watch, the compact, the compass, the magical stone in your hand,” according to the company’s website, “will never beep, alert, or otherwise interrupt you.”
Nothing about the Runcible was designed to be conventional. “For example, its map won’t display a typical top-down grid of streets,” CNET explains. “Instead, the device displays a compass with a red arrow pointing toward your destination.”
Just like a traditional pocket watch, the Runcible can be attached to a chain and it will support third-party clasp covers that will flick open. It will reportedly cost “a little less than the typical full-priced smartphone,” and it will initially go on sale in Japan through local carrier KDDI.
Monohm is in talks with carriers to bring the device to other markets.