"There’s something fascinating about miniature-sized versions of everyday objects. Even as a kid, I just loved tiny versions of things, evidenced by my once neighborhood-famous Kitchen Littles collection and boxed display of miniature trinkets that hung on my bedroom wall. As a Kansas City native, I was also fortunate enough to live near the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (which has recently been renovated and is still a very cool attraction, if you get the chance). I come by it honestly. So, you can probably imagine the spark of excitement that ignited when I came across this Kickstarter for the Zanco Tiny T1, the world’s smallest functional phone.
Actually, I first experienced déjà vu when I was reading about it. You see, back in the day, there was another small cell phone making headlines that caught my eye as well: the Pantech C300. Unfortunately, that tiny phone was an AT&T (ahem, Cingular) exclusive and I didn’t use Cingular, so I was only able to admire it’s small, cute form from afar.
Not anymore, though. The Zanco Tiny T1 gives a girl with broken dreams hope again. Well, sort of.
The difference between the Zanco Tiny T1 and the Pantech C300 is that while the C300 was small and fully functional, it wasn’t so tiny that it was necessarily uncomfortable to use. As a flip phone, it doubled in size when in use. The Zanco Tiny T1, on the other hand, is a candybar style device – what you see is all that you’re going to get, which is a device that is “smaller than your thumb, lighter than a coin, and ridiculously cute”. Agreed.
Although it seems like the Tiny T1’s only purpose is to serve as a conversational piece or a gag gift, it actually can serve a higher purpose such as a backup phone, a phone for when you’re out exercising and a large smartphone isn’t as convenient to carry around, or a phone for when you’re out and you don’t want to risk losing your daily driver that likely cost hundreds of dollars. Of course, this is all dependent on whether your carrier still uses 2G networks or not, because that’s all the Tiny T1 can use (which makes sense, as all you can do is make calls and – surprisingly – text).
Unfortunately, such a cute device doesn’t come cheap, at least not as cheap as you might expect something that’s about the same size as a flash drive to cost. Early backers can back the Tiny T1 for £35, which equals about $47 in US currency, which includes a device once it launches. Whether the minuscule device, which lasts up to 3 hours of talk time and 3 days on standby, is worth that much is up to you; I’m probably just going to stick with the Nokia 3310, which costs about $13 more but can arguably do more (and still manages to serve as a decent conversational piece, albeit not as eye-catching as the Tiny T1).
I’d still consider the Tiny T1 worth a gander, considering how adorable it is and can fit virtually anywhere.
Readers, what are your thoughts on this unusual cell phone? Do you think you’ll be picking one up for yourself?