A collection of simple, dumb, smartphones

Dumb Phone, Smart Answer?

Is it time to embrace the brick?

Looking to get a grip on your smartphone use?  Want your next vacation to be free from the distractions of social media?  Or just nostalgic for a time when you didn’t have to charge your phone battery every day?  

Well, if sales of so-called ‘dumbphones’ are any guide, you’re not alone.  

So is it time you dumbed down?  Here’s what you need to know.

“OK, first question – a ‘what’-phone?!

Dumbphone. Yes, it’s a pretty weak play on “smartphone”.  But really, it’s just a cell-phone with only very basic features.  Think of the old Nokia ‘candy bar’ or Motorola flip phones that people walked around with in the nineties.  Some dumbphones are “dumber” than others –the ‘dumbest’ just make calls, while others have messaging or limited internet connectivity.  But how dumb you go is up to you.

Why buy something dumb if I’ve got something smart?  

We get it.  Why buy an abacus to go with your calculator, right?  But bear with us.  

There’s lots of reasons for cutting back on our smartphone use, from mental and physical health benefits to reclaiming the time lost to social media to do something better.

But it’s not easy, particularly with apps being designed specifically to keep us hooked. 

So a dumbphone is really just a helping hand.  You’re still contactable (and able to contact people) in an emergency, but you’re freed from the constant distractions and the temptation to fill any gap in time by reaching for your phone. 

Still need convincing?  What if we told you some have batteries that last a month

Isn’t this just a waste of money – and plastic?

It’s true that dumbphones, while cheaper, aren’t free.  And the last thing we need is more plastic.  So if you can take control of your smartphone use without buying a second phone, do it.  Check out our guide to digital detoxing for ways to do just that. 

But who knows, if you do go dumb, you might never go back, meaning you can recycle your old smartphone and ditch that $80-a-month contract.

Won’t we just get hooked on Snake again, just like we did in the nineties?

Quite possibly.  After all, you’re only human.

Dumb or dumberer?