Video shows Android smartphone from German start-up with distraction-free interface

A video has emerged showing the Android interface of Blloc, a German start-up releasing a smartphone designed to free users from distraction. The interface has no main menu and three screens, with apps, notifications and a bar where users can enter commands.

The Blloc Zero 18’s notifications screen combines notifications from various apps, such as hubs in Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10, among others. As with Windows Phone, all apps are on tiles, to which Blloc can add interactive elements, such as buttons to pause music or skip to the next song on Spotify. In the search bar on the third page, users can enter what they want to see, such as ‘news’ or ‘weather’, and the software will display results.

The interface is monochrome to minimize distractions, while there is also an option to display apps in color by placing your finger on the fingerprint scanner on the back. The interface is somewhat reminiscent of that of MeeGo Harmattan of the Nokia N9 from 2011, which also omitted the main menu and the notification bar in favor of three screens side by side.

The interface should minimize the distraction of the smartphone. According to the company, normal smartphone interfaces with bright colors and attention-grabbing elements distract the user, who therefore pays too much attention to his or her smartphone. Google and Apple, among others, have recognized this same problem and have built measures against excessive smartphone use in iOS 12 and Android 9.0 Pie.

The Bllock Zero 18 has dimensions of 147.8×72.5mm and is 7.7mm thick, while the 173g heavy housing contains a 3000mAh battery. The screen is an LCD of 5.88 “with 2280×1080 pixels. The processor is a Helio P23 from MediaTek, to which Blloc has added 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The Zero 18 will be released next month for 359 euros.