So if you've seen my opinions page, you might know that I'm not the biggest fan of smartphones. I don't really want to be connected to everything on-line 24/7, and though I've done quite well recently at reducing my usage of my iPhone, it's still not enough, and I don't want the pressure of always being on this app or that app. And so, I'm planning to, at some point in the not-super-distant future, eschew my iPhone in favour of a dumb phone!
I will admit that part of it, just like my original desire to buy an iPod, is out of just thinking that dumb phones are cool, but I also think it could be a really useful lifestyle change for me. It might partially be my rose-tinted way of viewing the past, but I feel like everybody was (kind of ironically) so much more connected to each other before smartphones and especially before social media became prevalent. I've long been sick of spending hours a day using my iPhone and whilst I've partially rectified that, I still don't want something that'll keep tempting me and pulling me in. I just want to live in peace!
But yeah, the main reason why I think dumbphones are better than smartphones is the simplicity! Unless boys are blowing up your phone or whatever, you're not going to have it constantly buzzing with notifcations, and you're certainly not going to have it keep drawing you in to use social media and to scroll endelessly. It's really a cool lifestyle change and I look forward to implementing it in my own life!
My Ideal Dumbphone
Since the modern dumbphone industry isn't as diverse as it used to be, there's not very much variety in terms of dumbphones, and there isn't a 100% perfect one for me, so I'll list some of the features that would be in my ideal dumbphone, and let's hope somebody eventually makes it one day!
- Form factor: Flip or a Blackberry-style QWERTY device. Since a QWERTY dumbphone seems pretty unlikely at the present, I'm going to assume I'm talking about a flip phone for the rest of this, though many could apply to both.
- Colour options (including purple, preferably lavender)
- Doesn't have those weird ridges that many flip phones have, at least not on the top half. (I'm okay with the bottom half having them for grippability.) They're just kinda weird and honestly ugly. Beyond that, I'd prefer the back of the top half to be shiny and smooth, but that's not necessary, just a nice-to-have.
- It should preferably charge and transfer data with USB-C.
- It should preferably be pretty repairable and indestructable, with replaceable batteries, etc, and should have good build quality. I'd also like a microSD card slot!
- This is pretty much a given, but one of the external display thingies that shows you how many texts and calls you have, and the time, etc.
- This should be a given, but texting that has group texting that works properly, unlike many KaiOS phones. Also, it should just work properly in general.
- No app store and no social media. A lot of dumbphones today, except some of the overly minimalist ones like the Light Phone, seem to try and be half-smart, half-dumb, with app stores and social media shortcuts included. Even Nokia's 225, which doesn't run KaiOS, has Twitter and Facebook shortcuts, which really sucks because I'm trying to get away from those. As long as it has the weather, it'll be okay.
- A good camera. I don't need some sort of Samsung S50++ ten-camera setup, but I would like a camera that takes nice pictures. I could take an actual camera around, I guess, but I think a built-in camera is a nice-to-have that's not too distracting.
- Following from that, I want an easy way to sync photos from the cell phone into the photo library on my computer.
- A couple of basic tools, like a notepad programme and a calculator programme. Also, I would like some way to sync address book entries from my computer, but it's not a must.
My Favourite Dumbphones!
As of late 2022, when I'm writing this, the dumbphone market is scant but growing. These are the dumbphones that I'd like most as I'm writing this, but as more and more people seem to be switching to dumbphones, I feel like there will only be more and more!
My most wanted dumbphone is probably the Sunbeam F1 Orchid! It's made by Sunbeam, a small company from Missouri (represent!) and is made to have extras like maps and weather, but no Internet or apps, which is really useful, since a lot of dumb phones nowadays run KaiOS, which has apps and social media, and like I already said, I'm tired of all that. It's also a small company, which is nice, and it's the prettiest modern dumbphone I've seen so far, though that's not saying much. Also, although it only comes in black, the company makes colourful little plates that double as protection! I really love the lavender and mint green ones.