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  • 10 Ways a “Dumb” Phone is Better Than a Smartphone

    When we shop for a mobile phone these days most of us will probably look for a smartphone with a big shiny touch screen, and a bazillion apps ready to go from the app store. Carriers and mobile shops as well as the tech media are certainly helping this trend. Everybody talks about smartphones and everybody is trying to sell them, often as part of a relatively expensive two year contract.

    So when we look at those old style small mobile phones with tiny keyboards, small screens, and relatively primitive interfaces they seem downright unfashionable, and indeed, dumb! It’s kind of funny how they’ve retroactively earned that title; dumbphone. You might remember thinking exactly the opposite when you were getting a new one back in the day. “Look at all those features! It’s practically a small computer, and it can even play real MP3 files!”. It seemed kinda.. smart!

    But that’s how technology goes. Rapid advancement makes previously impressive gadgets look so funny in comparison. And yet, even in this day and age there is a lot to be said of the persisting advantages of these dumbphones, or “feature phones”, as they’re also known as. Many of them have to do with the tradeoffs that we have so willingly made and quickly forgotten in our rush towards smartphones.

    So here are 10 ways in which a simple cheap dumbphone can sometimes be a smarter choice than a smartphone.

    Battery low

    1. Battery Life

    Remember the time your phone battery lasted for more than a day, sometimes almost an entire week? Then you bought a smartphone and had to learn a habit of charging your phone pretty much every night.

    This is probably the biggest advantage of a dumbphone. Compared to smartphones it seems to last forever! You can forget to charge it before you go off on a day trip and still have a great chance of it surviving all the way through.

    This isn’t because their batteries are so much better because they’re not. It’s simply down to the fact that they spend far less energy. The small screen is incredibly power efficient, and they don’t have powerful processors running fancy apps to drain their battery juice. So they can do much less than a typical smartphone, but you’ve got a phone that is useful as a phone for much longer on a single charge.

    Photo by Martin Abegglen. Some Rights Reserved.

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    1. Kris

      4 May, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      I am carrying my dumb phone (was on sale for $4) along my smartphone. I get distracted as soon as I used the smartphone, so I now switch it off when at work. The battery life is definitely the biggest advantage as this article claims. The only disadvantage is that once in a while you might forget your dumb phone at home, so you need to carry it in your favorite pocket.

    2. Tommy Bolton

      17 May, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Got a Samsung SCH-S336C that has taken a beating and keeps on ticking. Survived a trip in the kitchen oven (helping wife with supper, dropped phone into the oven, took 5 mins to fish it out); numerous wettings, it is Louisiana and we do have a very humid environment; has been slung across the house more than I can count (it’s kinda hard to hang on to); and the little thing, despite the bumps and bruises, will make a call, text, without hesitation. It’s the Eveready bunny minus the ears and tail !

    3. Bram vandenbroeck

      15 January, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Well, i actually did the last point, and i actually carried my dumb phone and smartphone together, and and the end of the journey, i left my smartphone at home because its giving me less headaches, no messenger, no viber, no whatsapp, no battery life issues . . . Have to say that i own a very special “dumb” phone, i have the Nokia 3220 Disco phone, and you know what?? I get more attention from the girls than a guy with an iphone 7 plus, just because when i receive a phone call or a text message, my phone flashes from the sights in some very fancy colors, and that draws more attention from the beauty’s than a iphone 7 plus, coz i aint a snob that has to have the nicest, biggest phone that i can get, but its makes them understand that i am different and that i like to be noticed . . . And that fact alone is a MAJOR overhaul to the females 😉 so damn you smartphone users, my phone is UNIQUE just like I AM!!

      • Kris

        4 May, 2018 at 1:52 pm

        haha, I had a good laugh when I read your comment, Bram! I think a dumb phone does not exclude that you carry a smartphone (as a “computer”, rather than a phone when you need it). I might want to get a disco-Nokia-phone like yours (grappig!), even though I doubt that it will get me any more or less girls… 😉

      • Bryce

        10 August, 2019 at 12:07 am

        I’m a smartphone user and I act just like you because I’m not on my smartphone a lot.I like my smartphone but I’m not addicted like somepeople are.It will be cool if you and me were friends because even tho I’m a smartphone user,I still pay attention to my surroundings.

    4. susan_weber7

      23 July, 2015 at 6:47 pm
    5. Guest

      23 April, 2015 at 3:11 pm


    6. mliblover

      8 August, 2014 at 1:53 am

      Nice article. Seems like today’s “smart-phones” do everything but work reliably as a phone.

      • Bram vandenbroeck

        15 January, 2017 at 2:07 am

        You are so right!!

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