Smartphones put the world at our fingertips, but unfettered access to dopamine can sometimes be too much. What if there was a way to get the best out of a smartphone without all the distractions? Enter “simple” phones.
The first iPhone was announced in 2007, and smartphones have slowly consumed us ever since. This oversaturation made people feel like they simply couldn’t go back to the “dumb” phone when the smartphone got too much. A new type of device tried to solve this “problem”.
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What is a simple phone?
As glamorous as smartphones sometimes feel, they have become quite useful – similar to owning a car in certain parts of the world. A smartphone may be just a tool at its core, but it is one of the most distracting ones in your toolbox.
People feel like them need to To own a smartphone is present in modern society. In the process, we have become addicted to services like Google Maps, Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Instagram, and many others. The idea of ”breaking up” evolved to mean something different.
You may have heard someone say, “I’d like to go back to the foldable phone, but I can’t live without Google Maps.” This is exactly what Mini Phones aims to provide – a smaller smartphone experience. You can still get to the basics – but nothing else.
A simple phone falls somewhere between a classic “dumb” phone, like a foldable phone, and a full-fledged smartphone with a touchscreen. Basically, it’s a smartphone with a set of intentional limitations. For people who want some subtleties of smartphone without the distraction of smartphone.
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go cold turkey
The natural question to ask is: “Why can’t you use a normal smartphone like this?” Well, you are absolutely right. Smartphone distractions don’t come from the phone itself, it’s how the phone owner sets it up.
You can definitely get a “simple phone” experience from any smartphone. There is also an Android app that can turn your phone into a simple phone. However, this simply does not work for some people. The temptation is too great to overcome.
Simple Phone is a “go to cold turkey” approach to smartphone detoxing. Some people can eat one cookie at a time, while others slowly eat the whole carton in one night. Everyone has different levels of self-control. If you feel like you always fail to implement healthy phone usage habits, maybe the simple phone is worth a look.
Simplified Phone Options
Simple phones are a very niche market, but there are some interesting options. We’ll start with some devices that are specifically designed to be simple phones.
The Light Phone II ($299) is a small phone with an e-ink display. It runs the proprietary “Light OS”, which includes a few very basic applications, which Light calls “gadgets”. Basic tools include phone calls, text messages, alarm, maps, calculator, music players, simple podcasts, and a notes tool.
Next up is Wisphone ($399). This is much closer to the actual smartphone experience because it is literally a smartphone. The device has a 6.2-inch screen, 13-megapixel camera, and 32GB of storage. It runs the custom Wisephone OS, which currently contains the Clock, Calculator, Maps, Messages, Phone, Camera, Flashlight, and Photo apps.
Moving on to custom minimal phones, there are some devices that have become popular choices for people looking for a secondary “detox” phone. The Nokia 6300 4G ($70) is one such device. It looks like a classic “dumb” phone, but it has Google Maps, Google Assistant, WhatsApp, and some other KaiOS apps.
Nokia 6300 4G
The Nokia 6300 4G runs KaiOS, an operating system for feature phones. It has some basic apps, such as Google Maps, Assistant, WhatsApp, and more.
Another popular option is the Unihertz Jelly 2 ($178). This is actually an Android phone, but it has a small 3 inch screen. The small form factor makes it ideal for running a few basic applications, but you don’t want to actually use it full-time.
Unihertz Jelly 2
This phone runs the full Android OS, but its small 3-inch display makes it a great choice as a distraction-free secondary phone.
This is the story on simple phones. It’s the cold turkey way for people who are addicted to their smartphones. When digital luxury and focus mode don’t get done, it might be time to get over the problem with a second phone.