In the developed world, pretty much everyone has at least one smart device, and with numerous phone manufacturers already talking about connecting the ‘next billion’, this is a phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down. Many big names in tech-circles insist there soon won’t be a market for basic-feature phones, and instead cheaper smartphone models will replace them. Yet despite the big perks to the smartphone generation, there are at least a few reasons you might prefer to keep your good old basic-feature phone.
1. The cost
A few years ago an expensive phone would set you back £300. Now, companies like Apple and Sony can charge you over half a grand and particularly fancy but no more functional Vertu phones costs thousands!
Not only do these phones leave you destitute, but a further consequence of this is that they leave you far more vulnerable to sharp-eyed criminals. Because of this, while a £30 feature phone may not be the coolest accessory, its value extends far beyond the initial saving.
2. They’re idiot proof
To those who aren’t tech savvy, using a smartphone can be daunting. There are more operating systems then you can shake a stick at and even the most popular OS, Android, features no uniformity across manufacturers’ devices. Every company under the sun seems hell-bent on adding their own touch to the OS, with HTC loading its custom sense user interface onto its handsets and Samsung with its Touchwiz skin.
To some users even making a phone call is a task in itself. For this reason we can fully understand why some people chose to opt for a far simpler experience offered on basic-feature phones.
Most top-end handsets are made of metal and feature sophisticated crystal glass screens. Despite this, how often on a daily basis do you see chipped and cracked iPhones? Smartphones aren’t tough. Feature phones like the Nokia 105 are robust and able to survive drops and accidental spills with ease, meaning that – for clumsy users – they are still a better choice.
4. Reasonably sized
Back in the early 2000s, phone makers were desperate to make their handsets as small as possible. This resulted in some ridiculously tiny phones that were all but unusable to larger-handed individuals. Since then the plus-sized hand community has revolted, forcing phone makers to create increasingly large smartphones. Recently this trend has come close to becoming farce, with the arrival of Sony’s 6.4inch Xperia Z Ultra. Undeniably these devices are great for media consumption, but operating on a daily basis as just a phone is another thing entirely.
5. Google and Apple don’t own you
The growing hold that powerhouse tech companies such as Google and Apple have on the mobile market has become increasingly concerning to some advocacy and rights groups. This is down to the amount of data their smart devices collect on their users.
Smartphones and tablets now track everything from their users’ web search habits to their physical location. While this allows them to offer great push update services, like the Android platform’s Google Now, it also means you’ve pretty much destroyed your ability to be wiped off the cyber map. Because of this, for users keen on the right to be forgotten, a feature phone is still the only practical choice – though even these store some data and can be tracked.
6. You can use them with gloves
The ability to use your phone while wearing gloves is a core feature that many phone makers are desperately trying to add to their devices. Finnish phone maker Nokia started the trend with its Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 920 and since then Android powerhouse Samsung has since followed suit with its new Galaxy S4 smartphone.
For users in cold climates like here in the North East the ability to use their phone while wearing gloves is of course a massive boon, however, it’s one that feature phones with their physical keyboards and non-touchscreens have offered users for years now.
7. It’s impossible to put something stupid on Twitter and Facebook
Smartphones are great for sharing ideas, featuring a raft of social network apps for popular services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This, combined with the super-speedy 3G and 4G connectivity currently on offer in the UK, means smartphone owners can share what’s on their mind, wherever and whenever they feel like it.
They also let you easily share things you probably shouldn’t. Every other day we hear some cautionary tale about an employee being fired for saying something unseemly on Twitter or Facebook. For this reason, those prone to bursts of emotion may find a feature phone a safer option.
8. You’ll start talking to people again
Smartphones are meant to make you more social, letting you connect with people via text, telephone or even video. But in many ways they’ve made us less social, with their shiny HD displays and constant stream of social media alerts making it all but impossible for most people to go more than a few minutes without looking at them. Next time you visit a coffee shop or pub, take a look around and you’ll doubtless spot at least one table with two people not talking, glued to their smartphones.
If you went back 10 years to when feature phones were the norm, this situation would never have occurred. Back then, the idea of taking a call or even getting your phone out while in company was considered the height of bad manners.
9. The batteries are decent
Battery life is a key consideration for many smartphone buyers and although mobile technology has taken bold leaps since the original iPhone was unveiled half a decade ago, the battery life in your everyday handset hasn’t progressed.
Wonderfully bright and crisp HD, Super Amoled and Retina display screens with super-fast multiple core processors and more software and application innovations than you can shake a stick at all have an impact upon your smartphones battery life and phone makers are yet to figure out how to make a battery that can deal with the increased power demand.
Worse still, it seems the problem gets worse every year and now users must charge their phones daily. Here’s hoping phone makers figure out a way to add the week-long battery life seen on old feature phones, like the Nokia 3210, to their ultra-powerful top-end smartphones soon.
10. They’re more secure
These days, smartphones are basically pocket computers, featuring powerful quad-core processors that make laptops released even half a decade ago look archaic. But for these perks, users also have to open themselves up to the dangers of the internet.
Hackers and cyber criminals are becoming increasingly interested in mobile ecosystems and the opportunities they present. Every day reports break of some new Trojanised app or phishing scam targeting the Android platform with money and data-stealing malware. Because of this, while they don’t let you check your email or Facebook every waking second, internet-free feature phones are still the safest mobile choice out there.
If you’re not quite ready to give up that smartphone then the likelihood is that you, like us, may enjoy a good app. To find out more about Wolf’s mobile app development visit our Software pages.