I don’t own a smartphone. Not even a sort-of-smart phone. Instead I use a dumbphone, a Nokia 1100 to be precise, that I have been using for over a year now.
It’s 2012, I am a tech-savvy person who builds web applications for a living: why would I want to use a dumbphone? I have the following reasons not to want a smartphone:
- They have very poor battery life. Batteries need to be charged every day, and people can’t go on a weekend holiday without also having to take their chargers with them (and expect electricity to be available).
- I know I’m going to lose it. I am the kind of person that forgets to take stuff with them. I’ll leave it at the pub, the public transport, the swimming pool… somewhere. It would be too precious and expensive to run that risk.
- Similar to the point above, I know I’m going to drop it. Smartphones are also fragile. I wouldn’t be at ease carrying one around every day.
- Not only the terminals are expensive, but also there are high usage costs. Often involving contracts that bind you to an operator for over a year.
- Smartphone technology moves quickly, and terminals are continuously going out of date. There’s a new iPhone every year, and approximately a new “blessed” Android phone every year too. Eventually (even more true with Androids) software updates stop happening and you end up with an outdated phone anyway.
- Modern phones are ridiculously large. Honestly, I still think that the iPhone is too large. I don’t want to carry a brick around. And don’t even get me started on the Samsung Galaxy Note…
- With great power comes great responsibility, in this case in the form of a security risk. There have been reports of apps and phones (some popular) doing dodgy things behind the user’s back. Also, imagine the damage if I lost my phone and somebody accessed sensitive information.
Of course this is a tradeoff. Smartphones are a great technology, and mobile apps can be really useful. But honestly, I really don’t see a need for them in my life. Incidentally, I find this makes me more organised: I check maps, timetables, and any other information in advance. I arrive in places knowing what to do, because I have done my homework. I am not so dependent on technology as users of smartphones seem to be, so often checking their maps, social network statuses (this one really irks me), calendars and God knows what.
I don’t need any of that. I want a simple phone. Mine gives me this:
- Voice calls and text messages. (Incredible technology!).
- The terminal was so cheap I bought two just in case. The total cost of purchase was £35.99, with one charger.
- My current plan gives me more minutes and texts than I can use, for about £5 a month. And I can leave anytime
- A fully charged battery can go on for five days
- It’s durable and sturdy. I can drop it and nothing will happen.
- It’s compact and fits my pockets easily
- Nobody is going to be tempted to steal it
Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that I won’t end up owning a smartphone one day, although I am not in a rush. For now, I would like to wait until I see a reasonably-priced, small terminal with battery life of at least 3 days.