I couldn't find that exact one but a bit of searching turns up similar models:
It is a bit surprising at first to see such enormous feature phones still in mass production, but it makes sense that the conditions in developing countries would favour more rugged designs and versatile physical features; in that environment a thin touchscreen smartphone made of mostly glass and metal would be an overly fragile piece of kit with little advantage.
Really, you need to actually go out and meet the world around you. It isn't all wine and roses I assure you, but it is better than living in a bubble, those burst, you know. If you decide to travel to South America and go by Bogotá, contact me and I'll show you around the good, the bad and the ugly.
Just walk into an alley at night in Manhattan or Chicago or Boston or Los Angeles or (surprise!) San Franciso and you'll know... Seriously, read the newspapers of any more or less poor third world country and you will find many notes about people mugged and killed, stabbed or shot to death, to steal them some US$75 chinese MediaTek shitphone you can find in Amazon.
I'll give you some newspapers in Latin American cities that range from 6 to 25 million inhabitans:
As always, Google Translate is your friend.
I am still trying to figure out if that is actually the reason or just an opinion. The links didn't provide info about that but thanks for trying.
Now, if they were paired with some kind of api/dev-kit so one could rip out the "snapchat"-stuff and bundle something useful, like xmpp+otr, a bare bones rss client... email... that kind of thing.
XMPP+OTR is just about the last thing I'd want as a messaging service on my phone.
My other friends and I made fun of him. He always had his ridiculously large, power-guzzling phone plugged into it. But he insisted that he had it because it could jump-start a car (he's a mechanic, but with no formal training and only a high school education, and he said he had never used the device himself). I and another friend, me with a masters degree in electrical engineering, and he with a PhD in an engineering field, thought the idea preposterous: Surely one could not draw enough cranking amps from such a device to start a car, and could it even hold enough energy to do so?
I received, by way of my own carelessness, an opportunity to test this out when I found my car's battery dead one day in the middle of winter. My friend lent me his battery pack, and I set it up, leaving it connected to the car's battery for 30 seconds before attempting to start the car. Lo and behold, the car started.
I felt chagrined, but I also thought this was really cool. With the price and availability of lithium batteries as they are, why _should_ you need a 50-100 lb lead-acid battery to jump start a car?
Also, maybe I should learn a little more about cars.
 I couldn't find the Amazon listing back, but this is in the same product category: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00D42AFS8
I think the reason why lead-acid is still common are:
1) WAY cheaper per capacity, by a TREMENDOUS margin (10x+).
2) Better low-temperature performance.
3) Better tolerance to being abused (overvolted, run dead).
The headlamps on a moped probably flicker because it uses a magneto instead of an alternator as its power source.
You are slowly recharging the existing car's battery so that it has enough charge to start the car.
If you disconnected the car's battery this wouldn't work.
The big battery (and leads) that your mechanic uses does have sufficient capacity and peak current to jump start the car, even if the car's battery was disconnected.
An old, old trick is to recharge your car battery in an emergency with a bunch of dry cells (eg torch batteries).
While I respect that you seem to have read a more circumscribed version of my comment, I'm not sure what your quibble is. A two-pound battery pack that can be used to jump-start your car seems like a heck of a win for most people.
Yes, you can start your car by disconnecting your battery and connecting a charged lead-acid battery. That seems pretty obvious. I can't think of a reason you'd need to do this, though, unless your car's main battery has gone bad. And if that's the case you will need to call a mechanic anyway.
Leave alone that the lithium batteries mentioned above are advertised to supply 400 amps, enough to start many cars.
The video at the lower right shows the Jeep starting with the vehicle battery disconnected (the booster is clamped to the disconnected positive lead).
I wouldn't recommend it for your cell phone but it's way more convenient an emergency kit than jumper cables.
It would be completely different story having the lithium battery pack connected as the main and ONLY battery and cranking with it four times a day.
A typical car battery can begin at 55 Ah 12 V, this is for a European downsized petrol engine (larger engine requires more, diesel requires more, electric accessories require more) from before the advent of start-stop systems (start-stop requires better batteries or even two of them).
That is 660 Wh.
I guess the weight and volume of this in li-ion would be similar to or slightly better than lead-acid (imagine roughly 10x laptop battery or 75x 18650 cell), but the cost would be a multiple even at manufacturing prices.
Next, the car battery can sit in freezing cold for several days to weeks at -20 °C and still crank or it can be frying itself all day under direct sunlight. This is deadly for li-ion. Electric cars have heating and cooling systems for the battery packs even when the car sits still in a parking lot.
Also, while driving, the battery sits next to hot engine. You can move the battery elsewhere (driver seat or trunk, like the second battery for start-stop systems), but you need high-energy leads and the engine heat is actually a benefit for recharging the lead-acid in winter.
Compare all these complications to price, simplicity and reliability of nicely recyclable lead-acid box...
I have replaced a few wet Pb batteries in my vehicles during the past couple years and the average lifetime I got from them is 9.5 years.
It took us a good 20-30 cranks to eventually narrow it down to the ignition switch (when we bypassed it it started). I couldn't believe that little paperback-sized box was capable of doing that.
And it was a relatively big, high-compression engine.
I almost still don't believe it.
Clearly they're being pragmatical, it's all about battery time and a small set of features.
PS: My old Blackberry can do 2.5+ days on a charge since I mashed the earphone socket and can't use it to listen to music. The music application seems to drain the battery for some reason.
I personally still don't understand how flagship phones costing $100s barely make it through the day but still get rave reviews. I can't count the number of times Galaxy and iphone touting friends have become unreachable in the evenings because of this - I would have trashed those in a review, who cares about fancy features if you can't even call your friends on a night out because the battery doesn't make it past 10pm...
The point being, people have the power to make that choice with their current hardware, and they vote overwhelmingly to accept the lower battery life for higher functionality tradeoff.
It essentially disconnects data when screen is off (the algorithm is a bit more complex, but that's the basic idea). Especially in areas where my phone passes between 2G/3G/noSignal often, I see much improved battery life.
Only drawback is that background downloads get canceled when the screen dies but i don't have any downloads outlasting my active usage sessions anyway so i don't care really. Many people wouldn't like missing the push notifications from the mailbox but for me that is just another good reason to activate it.
Plus, programming in the Tasker UI is fiddly.
If this is how reviews go, it's not surprising we see impractical tradeoffs.
Imagine what the reviews would be if the next iPhone is twice as thick and double the weight. That it goes 3 days without a charge for most people would be a footnote to an otherwise poor review.
For a good example of this look at the new "portless wonder" Macbook and all the controversy around it...
With smartphones, the fact that I've seen many people put theirs in huge thick cases - and some of those cases have batteries too - indicates that we've probably passed the point of optimal size already. Personally I find it hard to pick one up or hold it comfortably by the edges if it's below ~10mm in thickness.
Of course, even if they designed an iPhone only twice as thick with triple the battery life and no need for a case, it would still be panned.
Anecdotal (as an iOS dev), yes, but how hard would it be to add back a fraction of a mm in casing above the screen to protect from falls?
Less volume means less mass, which means less kinetic energy that must be absorbed by the frame when dropped on the floor.
Thin and light phones don't need a protective case like thick and heavy phones do.
5/5s was better than 4/4s, but not dramatically so.
the typical user has wifi on, bluetooth on, full brightness, taking and 4G-uploading photos and videos, browsing the web and messaging non-stop for hours on end. let's not forget the ridiculous gaggle of background apps that track everything constantly. oh, and it's a phone.
try not doing any of that, and you'll find that your phone lasts for 2 or 3 days just fine. i've stretched it for longer than that when i'm on vacation and need only analog cell and text messages.
The smart part being the one that's missing, you can't power multiple radio antennas and systems (GSM, GPS, bluetooth, WIFI, ...) for 4 weeks, let alone multiple antenna bound to a gigantic, bright and power hungry screen and a CPU which wouldn't have been out of place in a desktop computer 10 years back which keeps being woken up to fetch new data. We just don't have the battery technology.
Hell, if you just shut off all the smart part off and keep the thing in your pocket without powering the screen you'll get multiple days out of the average smartphone easy. No reason to buy one though, you can just get a $20 candybar it'll do the job better.
> I can't count the number of times Galaxy and iphone touting friends have become unreachable in the evenings because of this - I would have trashed those in a review, who cares about fancy features if you can't even call your friends on a night out because the battery doesn't make it past 10pm…
Well that's great, you've got your priorities and they've got theirs. Nobody's forcing you to get a smartphone.
Edit: I paid $9.99 for the phone.
You can, however, pick up a phone with long battery life if you want. The Nokia 106 for example – specced for over a month on standby, 10 hours talking.
I think there is a market for these types of phones again. Even if it was ugly it was durable and functional. There is definitely a market for a phone that can be dropped and still function.
At the time it only had a 650 mAh battery. And while it is a very small phone, similarly small phones today can easily get double that in the same physical dimensions.
So I guess what I am saying is, if someone actually made a 8210 today and REALLY tried they could likely double its already insane battery life.
Interestingly, the claimed talk time, at 7 hours, was no better, and in fact possibly a bit worse, than a modern iPhone. Draw your own conclusions.
Battery lasts for ages, I'm not afraid to drop it, I don't get distracted by social apps and notifications all the time, and it just works.
But I don't think there is a market for either my old calculator, or candy bar phones, outside of nostalgic ebay purchases.
If you just need a reliable phone, I'm sure they're still out there.
And functional life as well. iOS 8 crippled A5 devices which had previously chugging along quite decently. Planned obsolescence sucks (in iDevices' case, it also affects present performance, i.e. Safari constantly having to reload tabs because the device has little RAM to spare). Unlike a smartphone, a simpler device won't be reduced to be unable to perform its more basic functionality decently a few years down the road...
As others have mentioned, the new Nokia branded basic phones have good battery lifetimes, although the build quality is basic and I find the buttons quite plasticky
Technically, your phone does, too, but access to it has been blocked.
wireless carriers are dragging their feet and won’t activate the FM chips that are in every smartphone
So it's probably something similar to SIM-locking, and what happens if you buy a phone from a carrier.
My experience has been the same with Asian no-name smartphones, in that they all come unlocked and with FM radio. The reference platform has the feature, and the manufacturers wouldn't bother removing it because doing so would mean extra work and one less bullet-point in the feature list.
Many of the examples you listed did the same. Different for the sake of being different doesn't work out.
I've used a BLU phone before (the recently released Win HD LTE) and I wasn't impressed with the build quality; my phone suffered severe touch lag and an inexplicable lack of multi-touch capability, to the point that typing was impossible. It also suffered frequent stuttering and crashes that even my old Lumia 521 didn't have. I promptly returned it and went back to using Android for the time being, and now I'd hesitate to get another BLU. But the Energy does look like a nice concept.
It's been great. I can still call or text my friends when we're out and need to find each other. I'm not reading reddit everywhere I go. I can still do USB tethering with my laptop. It has an MP3 player built in, as well as a radio. It even has Opera Mini, which does well in a pinch for settling bets via wikipedia. The only thing I really miss is maps.
But by far, the best part has been that it simply doesn't die. I charge it about every 4 days. It charges in an hour or less.
Do we have an equivalent of that in software world?
Of course, he then gave a knowing look and applied the same metrics to the USA.
Edit: my mistake, the phone is 10,000 mAh. Impressive indeed!
Panasonic's best 18650s have a capacity of 3350mAh, which sets an upper bound of 6700mAh for the pack:
Those "5000mAh" 18650s you find on eBay come from Chinese manufacturers who stick random numbers on cylinders, so the actual capacity is probably off by a factor of 3-5:
It's 10,000 mAh.
The worst part about most phones of any era is that they become ruined with sinister bloatware, designed to funnel you into dark patterns of paying for garbage that burns any trust you might invest into a device, until it's a charred unregocnizable mess.
Unfortunately, even now, if they made a device that was purported to be "dumb" and no-frills, I probably wouldn't believe that the phone were as pared-down as I might wish to believe, simply because I'd be sure that the chipsets available to manufacturers might actually possess far greater power under the hood, than some simple throwback of a handset might seem to house.
You'd probably get a 32-bit ARM at a few hundred MHz, with several MB of RAM, like this:
I don't know if that counts as being minimal to you, but they're certainly not putting even low-end smartphone SoCs in these. Interesting that a low-end smartphone costs roughly the same, with all the smart features, but not as much ruggedness:
On the other side, chances for these applications to be legit seem quite low considering that nobody seems to have any clue where and by whom these phones are manufactured. This constitutes a big opportunity for a serious widespread scam scheme being built up (or already operational).
Any security folks looking into it?
About the "absence of a proper multitasking OS", well, that's what many/most non-smart phones have even today. I think my first phone that supported J2ME software would not properly receive messages while the JVM was running, and the handling of phone calls was jerky. If you received a call the application/game would be terminated abruptly, causing any state to be lost. Yeah, that's how most phones worked ten years ago - forget any sort of background tasks, be them Java apps or music (MIDI!) playing. Not all phones were as bad, though: Symbian-based ones, for example had some sort of multitasking IIRC, but these also tended to be more expensive.
Lugging around a huge, fragile, power hungry screen just to play music and receive texts and being tied to a charger is moving in the wrong direction for me.
EDIT: Specifically that exact design, there's something about it..
Kindly let me know if you'd like me to get it and courier it to you: equartey at gmail.