What happens when your smartphone breaks, and you have to use a $23 dumbphone.


This is my new phone:

After my beloved smartphone passed on to a better place last week, I was required to find a substitute phone to tide me over until my smartphone came back from some far-flung country where it had been sent for repairs. For about five minutes, I even thought that using a dumbphone might be an interesting challenge.

You see, people who hate smartphones like to romanticise Nokia bricks.

“I don’t need all those new fandangled apps and internet access,” they cry, “All I need is a phone that can send text messages and make phone calls.”

And then they pull out their portable record player and start playing some vinyl.

If you’re anything like me, maybe you’ve always felt a little intimidated by these people. Maybe the fact that they can’t access Facebook at every minute of the day is a testament to the strength of their character? Maybe their “dumbphone” is a sign of their almost Buddhist-like commitment to the rejection of material goods? Maybe their Nokia makes them a better person?

Well, after the last seven days, I think I can safely call bullshit on the supposed benefits of a dumbphone.

I’ll never listen to anyone who romanticises a retro, brick-like mobile phone again. Here’s why:

1. It takes about 23 minutes to write a text message.

Does everyone remember the pain of the 2000s, where you had to press the ‘7’ key four times, just to make the letter ‘s’ show up for your message?

To type the phrase ‘Hey Rosie’, for example, I have to hit the keys 21 times. TWENTY-ONE TIMES.


2. It takes an additional three minutes to actually send a text message.

This is what happens for another few minutes after I press send:

Total time trying to communicate via text message: 26 minutes.

3. When I drop this phone on my foot, it actually kind of hurts.

4. The size of the screen is impossible.

How can one be expected to play PacMan under these conditions?

What is this, a screen for ANTS?

5. This phone model is so old, it doesn’t understand simple things like voicemail.

The other day I was attempting to listen to my saved voicemail messages, so I could take down somebody’s phone number.

“To listen to your messages, press seven.” I pressed seven.

My phone then asked me if I wanted to CALL THE NUMBER SEVEN.

6. Turns out, the internet is actually really useful.

You can use it to do things like check movie times on the go, transfer funds between bank accounts, and double-check meeting times on your work email.

Or, hypothetically, it allows you to use Google maps so you don’t end up getting lost and aimlessly wandering the streets while looking for the restaurant where you were supposed to meet your friends 30 minutes ago. Sorry, Katherine.

On the upside….

It cost $23.

Do you still use a dumbphone, or do you love your smartphone? Are you a little intimidated by the dumbphone advocates, too?