back to article Xperia Pureness: The oddest mobile phone ever?

Sony Ericsson has designed what may be the strangest phone ever. It certainly challenges the last ten years of conventional wisdom in phone design. The Xperia Pureness is a real curiosity. Functionality is as unabashedly as rock-bottom basic as you can get on a contemporary phone. It makes calls and texts, has a music player …


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  1. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    Looks great.

    All I want is a phone that does voice, has a keyboard and does text.

    It also needs a decent comms module that is sensitive enough to not drop calls.

    If I wanted to code on the train I'd take a laptop.

    I hope the 'feel' of the keyboard is as good as it looks.

    Good work Sony Ericsson.

  2. Jimmy Floyd

    Pretentious marketing hype - but never mind

    Ah, why not? It may be a bit weird but you can't blame Sven^H^H^H^H Sony Ericsson for trying something different. I'd be a bit concerned about damaging that screen but at least this way I can read a text message while still watching TV.

  3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    So what do you do when the sun goes down?

    The people want to know.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Fasion accessory

    If the translucent screen makes it more usable during the day with bright sunlight, then it could have a niche - but OLED phones seems to be gaining in this environment. Maybe they could but in some augmented reality stuff into the phone to make some use of the screen other than as a gimmick. Other than that, it is very niche and more as a fashion accessory - but then phones are fashion nowadays - just look at the iPhone.

    Paris because she knows something about fashion.

  5. exit...quit...bye...quitbye.ctrl-C..ctrlX.ctrl-alt-X...aarrrr*slam*
    Thumb Down

    If this is as basic as it gets...

    If this is as basic as it gets - I´ll keep my motofone F3.

    One tool - one job. The UNIX way.

  6. Matthew Anderson

    Yer money or yer life.

    Perhaps they are testing the market to see if those who have not bitten will bite. "Oi, Granma. Even you could use this"

    Not really though, tis just marketing. Hence the fuzzy pics, the sweet scent of something unusual, the allure of a new and trendy pocket hugging gadget.

    Get yet wallets out ere folks.

  7. vegister

    I like it

    ..but how much does it cost? I'm hoping not very much.

    My phones are usually hand-me-downs from the wife. My K700i still feels quite new!

  8. Andy Watt

    "Phone design wisdom"

    I'm an unabashed smartphone user - been using P series SEs for a while, getting thoroughly sick of Symbian UI layers (UIQ/S60) and their unreliable, sluggish responses) - and I'm getting an iPhone because a) it seems apple are actually interested in the user experience and b) it's a "dumb" smartphone - their dev strategy has been to expand it carefully over time when features are ready, which is admirable in comparison to Nokia & SE's "for god's sake, get it out of the door, they can upgrade it later" strategy.

    I'm not at all surprised that simple phones have enduring appeal - the more complex ones (apart from the aformentioned iPhone, it seems) display a total contempt for basic usability which utterly befuddles your average user and gets them running a mile for something more familiar.

    Apple really seem to have shaken things up in the sector. Good on 'em, it bloody needed it. I worked for Panasonic for 7 years and they didn't have a clue (the UK office did, mind, we had some great ideas).

  9. Code Monkey

    NIce concept, daft phone

    I like stylish phones that just do call and text, but not this one. The part black, part translucent look doesn't do it for me at all.

  10. Fihart

    Simple is good.

    There's nothing wrong with my £10 LG pay-go phone that does no more than voice and text -- except its quite unnecessary colour screen is invisible in direct sunlight .

    If this new model is no more complex -- and the screen works in sunlight -- I'd go for it.

    Assuming it's cheap.

  11. The Original Ash


    I've had mine for around 8 years, and take it when going camping.

    I've dropped it in puddles, a peat bog, I've kicked it, thrown it at a wall in a rage (and dented the wall), I've put it in a bag with keys and a penknife rattling against it, and the screen is still almost scratch free (still completely legible), all of the keys work, the battery lasts one week while on constantly (including an alarm for me waking up and a call and a few text messages a day, when I get signal) and I've no reason not to believe that it won't continue to work for another 8 years.

    I paid £50 for that phone on a £30 a month contract while I was at college; A fortune. Looking back, I've not had a better value phone in my life.

    This SE phone is a tech demo. Keep it in the lab, boys. Gimmicks are great, but don't expect volume shipping.

  12. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!

    The clock on it reminds me of battlezone

    Yeah, the display makes me think of a vector graphics display from a really old arcade game.

    I wonder if that kind of display could ever come back into fashion again, not just the normal pixel display stuff, but a genuine vector display like with an old CRT but done as flat screen.

    I don't know if the technology even exists. But it would look retro and funky.

    Anyhow this phone looks ok.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I quite like it... can replace my Motorola W220, which can do err calls, txt and a few other things, like alarm, calander,couple of games, a stopwatch and I think that's about it.

    Oh it has a radio I've just found...

  14. adnim

    Seems to me

    that even backward people can read your texts, contact information etc. without leaning over your shoulder and making it obvious that they are spying.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Rude RAW Possibilities and Opportunities in LOVE's Games with Heavenly Trials

    ... for the Sweetest Surrender into Leading Alternative Control.*

    Now if Sony Ericsson were to Provide a Discrete Public Private Professional Service by Simple Texts that Talks - but do talk and text very well - would they require a MetaDataBase Store of Private Personal Professional Information in Order to Match Heavy Demand with Plentiful Supply for the Singularity of Mutual Satisfaction with Further Traction and Distractions/Attractions. :-) A Hot VPN in Deed, indeed, for Sony Ericsson San.

    *Alt ER Native ..... Hmmm? Now there's a Darned Impertinence and Inconvenient Impudence for them Upstairs to Climb Over if they want to See Higher.

  16. Anonymous Bastard

    Nokia 6310

    Truly the greatest phone ever. Bring back changeable covers!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Dirty Ericsson

    "The Pureness "reflects the purity of water and offers a sense of calmness when not in use," according to the blurb."

    Sony Ericsson have been going overboard on this kind of Nordic nature shit recently (usually the preserve of Nokia and their bland brand posturing), what with their "green" handset that they claim will "save the planet" or some such nonsense. It's all very well using supposedly "green" plastic, but let's see the bill of materials and work out which evil mineral plundering activities are being propped up by such supposedly "kind" products.

    Cue excuse from executives akin to claiming that taking a dump in a reservoir is acceptable if you pay someone else to do it.

  18. Steve X


    Vector displays worked by bending the beam (aka the cathode ray) directly, so that it scribbled on the screen like a pencil, rather than scanning regularly across in successive lines and changing the brightness to draw a dot. It inherently requires CRT technology. Which reminds me, apropos of nothing, that I still have a brand-new long persistance radar tube somewhere, for a never-built slowscan TV system. Wonder if it still has vacuum?

  19. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Actually, the V3i was also good

    The OS and usability of the phone could do with improvement, but the mechanical dimensions of the Motorola v3i have not been matched by any device ever since. I've had a few stars over the years.

    I had the NEC P3 (not re-chipped :-) in my jacket when everyone else in London was showing off the Motorola brick, I had the first flip Microtac, I had several of the 6310s (still have one, hangs off a server to send SMS if there's a power), and I had the v3i. I need to find an outfit that can reprogram the thing and fix the mechanics so I can use it again.

    I have a Sony Ericsson P1i which does what I need, but the v3i is very handy in a suit. It's slim, folds at just the right place and is as phones go also visually balanced. I just would like to have a serious word with whoever came up with the idea to make one person appear as 3 entries (home, work and mobile)..

    I like the iPhone as well, but it's a lot heavier and has no replaceable battery - that's a major NO for me.

  20. Apocalypse Later

    Odd but not oddest

    The Siemens Xelibris take the cake for oddness. They were also meant to be fashion statements. Mine is the Xelibri 3, a kind of pendant with earphone, no keyboard (just a rocker button), meant to be voice activated, but you can rock your way through number and even text entry if you have the patience. Also has the most unintuitive box design- takes ages to figure out how to open it. The other Xelibri models are similarly peculiar, and all very different from each other.

  21. It'sa Mea... Mario
    Thumb Up

    Re: "Phone design wisdom"

    I had a P800i the day it came out in the UK, and have a P990i - Great phones, but I am back on the P800 because the P990i has died and SE have not updated the range :-(

    I do find it funny that it's several years later and only since the iPhone came out that the other manufactures have jumped on the 'touch screen' band wagon.

    In the 'basic phone' arena, my fave was the Sony J5 - excellent form factor and (iirc) one of the first with polyphonic ring tones - theres baisc and theres basic, I doubt many folks would really want to go back to pre-mp3 playing let alone pre-polyphonic!

    SE please do an update to the P series and update the J5 (OLED, very similar form factor, lose the arial (like those Russian J5 pics around at the time) ) I'd probably get both!

    As it is I 'want' an iPhone for the same reasons as mentioned by Andy Watt but I will not get one on O2! (roll on the iPhonei lol!!)

    I remember often visiting J5 and P800 fansites back in the day but no other phone has inspired me to do so!

  22. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Down


    I have an Xperia X1, and whilst I love the slide out keyboard, using all the additional features like bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and media player are impossible as the battery life is so pathetic. Even on standby without using any of these features the battery only lasts 12 hours at best.

    The fiddly bastard that is Windows mobile doesn't help either when actually trying to use it for anything productive.

    All in all - thinking of going back to my sweet little Nokia 6100.

  23. Swarthy
    Thumb Up

    I might actually be interested

    If the price is good, and the battery life what you would expect from a minimalist phone, this would be awesome, and spiffy-looking.

    Of course, being in the states, the question then becomes "But is it available on my network?"

  24. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


    Nokia had a decent crack at a mad, useless style item with the 7280 and 7380.

    No keypad - genius.

  25. h 6
    Thumb Up

    Nice pic

    It is a very cool, well composed photo, tho.

  26. Nigel Wright

    It's a gimmick

    Fail - the screen is a gimmick. If they wanted simple it would be like one of those venerable Nokias.

    I want a simple phone:

    B&W lcd display so I can read it in bright sunlight.

    Decent sized keys.

    Calls, txt, maybe a radio and/or mp3 player

    MicroSD slot for mp3s

    No camera

    Robust case

    7-10 days battery life on standby.

  27. Andy Dent 2

    SMS whilst Driving?

    It seems obvious to me - translucent screen = "yes officer, I had my eyes on the road at all times" defence

  28. PerfectBlue


    "Odd", this this irony a work? I was expecting a suppository phone or something equally freakish.

    I've a perfectly normal serviceable simple phone that makes calls and sends text messages. My mother would probably quite like a nice simple phone such as that. In fact I'm considering telling her about it.

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