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MIT student builds wooden DIY cellphone for $150

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A PhD student from MIT has built a cellphone prototype with a wood body and $150 worth of parts.

Flickr MIT DIY phone
Flickr MIT DIY phone

If you're looking for a new phone with a unique look and a modest price tag, MIT's High-Low Tech research group has just the thing for you — a DIY cellphone made of wood. PhD student David Mellis decided to build the phone to "explore and expand the limits" of DIY, and the first prototype features a 1.8-inch, 160 x 128 TFT LCD display, and works with a standard SIM card and any GSM network. It also has a body made of laser-cut plywood with flexures beneath the surface so that you can press buttons. All told the DIY phone is made up of around $150 worth of parts, and right now it only has the ability to make phone calls. Engadget managed to go hands-on with the phone and found that the call quality was actually pretty solid, though the lack of any other features does limit its appeal. However, Mellis says that text messaging and other features could eventually be added using the exact same hardware — though it probably won't ever be able to run Angry Birds.