If you have switched, what did you switch to? If you’re looking to switch, what are you considering?
The downside is maps would be useful sometimes, especially once google cancelled their free text-for-directions service. On the upside, I don't have to charge it but once every few days and if I still got a good 12 hours of battery once it gets to the low mark.
My next phone I will probably do the same, and because im only spending 10-20 bucks, I figure if I don't like it enough I can easily get a new one. The one thing I would make sure is that you can use a microsd card to put a different ringtone, all the default tones are like the screeching of satan's dirty asshole.
I wonder how hard it would be to set up a server connected to twilio, get the directions from google maps (or Open Street maps) and text it back. I might add that to my growing list of projects I'll likely never make.
They had other features as well but it was discontinued in 2013 if memory serves correctly.
There are now costs associated with Google Maps; Directions have two costs: basic (0.005) and advanced (0.010) - the advanced includes traffic. You also need to factor in the cost for sms delivery and short codes, to make it easier, so you'd need to monetize from the start unless you want to lose money.
Hardest part is parsing the commands eg current location and destination as folks make mistakes and you might need to have a back and forth dialogue via sms to get further details.
To get a concept off the ground wouldn't take much time but to perfect it and refine the parsing of commands would take some effort.
I've had it for 2-3 years now and it's been pretty great. Granted service can be kinda spotty because it's 2G and I'm not sure how much longer it will be viable when 2G is phased out. It's also very expensive compared to dumb alternatives but I don't know of any other phone on the market that is so clean in terms of physical design and UX.
Punkt is making an MP-02 which will run on 4G I believe but I'm not sure if it will be as minimal. I think they're partnering with Blackberry to bring like secure email or messaging or something, which to me seems anti-dumphone, but I guess people expressed demand in a user survey...
Fortunately they have announced a 4G model coming soon which I am keeping my eye on: https://www.punkt.ch/en/mp02-4g-mobile-phone/
...in favor of the 90s calculator retro-look behind
I'd need a big push to trust this phone, just based on its design aesthetic... its very close to "first thing I could think of, for modern dumbphone"
Its easy to imagine the rest of the engineering is similarly complex; I wouldn't be surprised if the higher cost was purely resulting from mistakes on their part
I'd dream of something like this embracing 5G and open source firmware so users could add native encryption and other utility as they please.
Also, "Hashtag Key"
What I ended up doing was going on Amazon, to their Cell Phone section, pulling up the list of unlocked phones, and limiting the search to $50 or less. That got me a BLU Tank model (which does not run Android, and was not one of the "sends data back to the manufacturer" models) for something like $25.
It's interesting, though, in that although my phone doesn't do apps, or email, it still supports multimedia (music, images, video, via a microSD card). Also (like, I understand, many phones mainly used in the APAC region) it has an FM tuner, and includes dual SIM support.
To be clear, though, this is just a backup phone. I keep it charged, and I turn it on once in a while, but I don't use it regularly. Still, redoing my Amazon search shows that there are alot of models to choose from!
Well, that's what `dumb/feature` phones was doing at their times. There were Java applications, that could access the web/mail/stuff but I wouldn't consider them as real "mail/whatever support" as there were no notifications, background sync and stuff.
My suggestion to OP:
Buy refurbished Nokia 5310.
- it looks beautiful
- it's size is just right
- it works very fast, including multimedia
- it has dedicated multimedia keys
- good battery time (as every dump phone should have, comparing to smartphones)
- cheap (Aliexpress prices are starting at $25, but see Cons before you buy)
- watch out for bad quality refurbs. Ask seller for real photo, this is an example of bad refurb: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Nokia/724717466.html - metal parts replaced with cheap looking plastic, both numeric keyboard and multimedia buttons looks not-solid
- multimedia keys can be fragile from putting phone into your pants pockets. If metal part around the buttons sticks out - it will hook your pants material and start to stick out even more. I had used this phone few years and it was ok, but seen some people that had this problem
Suggestion number 2:
There are A LOT of dumb phones produced by sometimes not-well-known brands, but they are good ones. They are cheap and you can choose from many models. Get a friend from Europe to help you if you are located in US (I assume you are, maybe wrongly)
At some point I don’t understand the difference between this product and a smartphone. Want to remove yourself from “feeds”? Don’t download the apps that house them.
Disclaimer: recently signed up for lightphone 2 pre-order. Personally, I just super like the minimalist e-ink display and I hope it will help me disconnect from the news cycle.
I remember long time ago I read a paper which suggest news is more addicted then drugs or porn. News include anything from Financial, Politics, Entertainment, etc. At the time I thought it was lots of BS. Now I am starting to believe we spent too much time in the "news cycle" from Twitter, Facebook or whatever it is distracting us.
I can justify deleting social media (Facebook, Reddit) because 95% of my use of it is garbage. But the news is useful, engaging. It's "entertainment with a higher purpose". Can I really justify not reading the NYTimes at all because I just "read too much"? (I was reading the news from various sites for 3 or 4 hours a day.) In the end, I decided that yes, I had to block news sites, because it was a ridiculous use of my time for a software engineer.
On the other hand, I know of no one else in my life who's had this problem.
That is my case as well. But this also remind me they really don't know much else apart from their domain. Housing Policy? They don't care they got a house already. Zoning? None of their business. Universal Health Care? They can afford their own. Tax reform etc? Just choose one that benefits them most. K-Pop, Kids new interest? They had no idea.
I have been thinking whether generation gap is partly a age and experience problem, and partly because older generation ( as compared to kids ) just don't give a damn about what is going on with the world any more.
 I do not visit Facebook or Twitter nor do I have their apps on my smartphone. I do visit HN though.
Personally, I mapped addictive sites like reddit to 0.0.0.0 in the hostfile, so I could have just the right amount of internet.
For folks like that any kind of smartphone with "off-the-shelf" software is a non-starter-- too many options, too small, not tactile.
The problem with "dumb" flip-phones is that they tend to be small and slippery. An arthritic octogenarian will have a hard time even opening a flip phone.
The ones that are "designed" for old folks tend to be setup as "medical alert" devices-- a big red button on the back and all the drawbacks of a regular flip phone. They're more designed for paranoid family members than the actual users.
The phone I purchased for my octogenarian mother is an Alcatel "GO Flip". She has difficulty opening it and the buttons are too small. As a work around I programmed numbers "1","2","3","4" as a speed-dial to me and the rest as a speed dial to my brother. She knows to press "1" for me and "9" for my brother. I tell her to hold down the number until she sees my (or my brother's) picture. $75~ for the phone, $20/month for no-contract unlimited talk/text (she doesn't use text)-- that's it. That's the best I can do.
Bonus tip - if you have a couple of genarians, drop same phones with different colors on them, they can help each other a lot. If any sales exec is reading this - sell them like that.
I don't understand why there isn't more focus in assistant to support elderly people because there is a huge market. (but maybe I missed it because I am not affected yet)
There are also mobility concerns. Something like an echo/assistant would still need to have a "satellite" handset or have microphones and speakers that are good enough for communication with an elderly person in another part of the room.
I think anyone developing a communication product for the elderly should definitely spend serious time inside nursing homes. These are challenging problems.
But note that KaiOS itself doesn't ship devices, so we can't publish some of the code used by OEMs to do full builds.
While I agree that we took too long to publish this code, we were not legally infringing any license contrary to what some (even at Mozilla, lol) pretend.
Works great on T-Mobile, with one exception: it cannot receive MMS, so you don't get notified if someone sends a photo or group text.
I use Chrome with file:/// to view docs and play media files while in the super low power mode.
Very effective. Standby is measured in days, and I have played audio files while camping for many hours without even coming close to a low battery.
My favorite feature on Samsung.
If so, it might be a very worthwhile alternative.
Last week in Europe I got an unlocked Nokia 105 Dual Sim for $12. It's the dumbest phone but with 30(!) days stand-by time on a single charge.
edit: added "unlocked"
I’m not sure why the EU hasn’t done the same though.
3G will probably be closed before 2G.
Google invested in KaiOS to get its services pre-installed. Soon, you won't be able to get a phone without Google, unless it's targeted at Chinese market or is made by Apple.
I agree with your concern, but I can report there are alternatives:
* SailfishOS (version 3 is due), successor or Maemo/MeeGo, uses Mer and official ports have Android emulation 
* LineageOS (with or without MicroG)  
* UBPorts, a community project continuation of Ubuntu Touch 
* PureOS 
And then there's CopperheadOS though it has imploded last time I checked, and PostmarketOS which is a nice alternative if all else isn't updated anymore or otherwise fails.
I'm using LineageOS with MicroG on a FP2. If anyone got questions about that, shoot.
But also to your bubble. SailfishOS targets upcoming markets such as India and Russia. So no, you won't find those on Amazon. I wouldn't use Amazon as the sole holy grail in this regard. Also, you can buy a Sony Xperia X and buy a SailfishOS license for it. You can run in on a device such as a FP2.
In order for mostly-dumb phone like that to be useful for me there are a few small things I'd need to sort out via software, but they won't allow it.
Stallman was right etc.
And it plays Snake.
The cons are the setup, which may or may no be canceled out by the geek-cred from having AT modem commands whiz by.
The pro is the usually longer battery life of a dumb phone which means you can be fully online, anywhere, for the duration of your laptop battery.
Don’t want to be distracted? Turn off notifications. Don’t want access to email? Don’t set up the email account.
I have hardly any notifications, my phone is perpetually on silent with vibrate disabled (I often miss calls and texts), and I have no “social media” apps beyond iMessage/Signal. But I still reach for it at every idle moment (most time being spent in the browser).
The one app I truly need is a keepass client. Not sure how I will overcome that without a smartphone.
I have found this sufficient.
Edit: oops didn't see your list wasn't exhaustive.
This is the only method I've found that can completely crush smartphone addiction. Re-enabling the browser and waiting to install updates seems to be a big enough hurdle to prevent any casual browsing.
- More expensive
- Lower battery life
- More fragile
- No physical buttons (might be a positive if you like touch keyboards)
- Temptation to use the features anyway
Suprisingly i probably doubled battery life when i rooted phone and added some battery managment apps like greenify. Also with firewall you are pretty good blocking all outgoing stuff.
Of course if you don't mind just buy OnePlus where everything it is very easy (i had OnePlus one before).
Maybe this is not the phone for your usages. I do not expect to type much on it, only brief SMS and calls only.
> Limited memory forces you to delete previous reminders and sms conversations. Deleting them is done with a menu system that is inconsistent; the same command jumps to different positions.
It has 128MiB internal memory and an SD card slot for expanded storage. Do you have a version of the phone with less storage?
> Mms does not work with my provider.
Why would MMS not work? There are known issues switching from iPhone to non-iPhone due to Apple switching to use iMessage between iPhones. Going back results in missed messages. Could that be your issue?
Earlier incarnations of this phone did not have 3G support and also not quad-band.
> With some types of phones i call, there is some weird feedback of electronic noise that is only audible on my side.
Perhaps you got a bad build? Get a replacement and try again? Do some process of elimination: try with a headset and see if it goes away.
Overall I am lowering my expectations going to a phone like this, as one should. I only expect to do calls, simple SMS, and slow typing. But I have high expectations for long battery life and I will get this.
It's just a telephone.
(Dat multiweek battery life. Haven't tested the "indestructable 3310" myth on this new version yet though)
I haven't used that phone in 6 months or so because I switched to an Apple Watch series 3. I've never had a smartphone as my actual phone. I synced it to my SIM on my wife's phone with my Apple ID, then reset her phone back to her stuff.
The watch works great as my only phone. Eats batter power, about 15 hours per charge, less if I talk or listen to music more than a couple hours per day. Looking forward to watchOS 5 because it will the phone self-manage wifi settings, which should fix a lot of the battery issues. Right now I can only connect to one wifi network (since I don't have a phone to sync to that manages it). Once I can connect to my home and office wifi, battery life will improve.
Not having a phone in my pocket ever again is a great feeling. Just the default apps on it. Wish I could stream podcasts. I still keep the dumbphone around the house in case I need to take an SMS (Apple Watch apparently doesn't handle those either, just Apple Messages).
My S1 definitely does text messages, not just iMessages, but like I said, it is tethered. If the LTE model cannot do standalone texts, that is a bit unfortunate -- I do get normal text messages periodically and I would hate to give those up entirely.
Essentially everything you'd want from a dumbphone, small screen, no real apps, basic phone functions and maybe email.
I am actually thinking I might pick up an LTE apple watch in a couple months when the next generation comes out, exactly for the reason of leaving my iphone at home pretty often. Less distraction, less willpower required to stay off it.
Although I don't know if it really fits the bill. You still need to pay for data access, it is far more expensive, and no private calls without some bluetooth headphones.
The charge still lasts 3-4 days with a moderate amount of texting and it's built like a tank.
My only complaint is only allows you to save a couple hundred texts and then you need to clear it out but it does have a micro SD card that you can keep in to drastically improve that.
I'm not sure why it's so expensive now. When I got it, it was $25.
I'm sure you could find something better nowadays. That one was released 6-7 years ago according to Google.
I ended up getting rid of it because going back to T9 for texting was just too painful, and I'd rather have access to WhatsApp/Signal for messaging. It seems any LTE-capable feature phones are also using some custom version of Android without the ability to install apps, or generally get any updates, which makes me generally skeptical of their security.
Have switched to using a burner iPhone SE for travel.
While there aren't necessarily a lot of new "dumbphones" being advertised, this doesn't mean they don't exist in the market. You can pick a ton of such basic phones released over the last 10 years on Amazon/eBay for as little as $10-$25 which will do all of this and more (or less, if you like).
It's sold by Caterpillar, but actually built by Bullit Mobile, who specialize in rugged phones.
The B100 is completely waterproof, and very rugged. It's perfect when I'm going camping for the weekend, because it's safe in the elements, I can go days without charging the battery, and it's not distracting me from the world around me. It's still got Google Maps and can do SMS / MMS, so it's practical. The FM radio is surprisingly useful, too—something I'd forgotten about since it's not as common on phones anymore.
Sadly, it's been discontinued, but it's still pretty easy to find them for sale. I really love mine, I plan to keep using it as long as the cell networks still work with it.
It would probably be as good. I prefer the look of the B100, but I bet the B30 is nice, too.
I got one of these for my Dad, and he loves it. He likes to garden and putter around in the work shop, and he hated that he always had to worry about keeping his hands clean in order to use the iPhone.
Now... if only there was a way to disable all texting, he'd be in bliss. A simple message to people, "I don't text, call me." Would be great for any phone, really. Some people hate texting.
You can also buy an adapter to convert the smaller SIM to the larger ones...
last year when we had a snow storm, the power went out. my UPC system ran my internet for about 4 hours I was able to turn on LTE data for the prepaid phone and I bought something like 5-10gb of data and watched movies, had internet, and lights off of my deep cycle batteries and solar until they were able to fix the power pole a week later
I miss the days when phones were small enough to comfortably fit in one's pockets. I always favored flip phones over candy bar phones not due any particular function, simply because of their compactness. Ah, the past!
I don't think either major OS maker will do that. Those silly tools they're coming up with for tracking your time are ridiculous and it's just to appease the smartphone addiction bad press.
- High input latency. Makes texting quite painful. I’m usually one or two button presses ahead of the display.
- Very limited storage capacity for texts. It seems to be some fixed limit and it won’t use free space useable by e.g. the camera.
- Terrible call quality.
I’m still using it because the phone has charm, but that’s the only redeeming quality in my opinion.
I almost bought one for my mom after her moto g1 battery died. I thought the 3210 2017 would be simple, latency free, sturdy tool.. apparently it's worse than the original.
I'm sure there's a comfy market for faux-dumbphones, aka dumbphone ergonomics (buttons, simple display) but with just a tad of internet and processing (say transportation/directions for instance)
Nokia is like the Apple of dumbphones, and the 3310 is the original iPhone!
That's just a completely arbitrary rephrasing to fit your supposed punch line, but describes nobody and nothing real.
> rather than use some self control
Oh. This one, again.
2. The Joy of Missing Out™.
2. Services that are intentionally designed to be addictive. That may be easy for you. It isn't for hundreds of millions of other human beings. A dumb-phone precludes the possibility of access, so you don't have to exercise any willpower.
It’s old school, and it does the basics. I recommend.