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Are there any 2G internet phones that can't display JPGs?
October 14, 2012 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Are there any 2G internet phones that can't process JPGs?

Hello,

I'm interested in purchasing a very basic internet phone for browsing newspaper websites. I'll be sharing this phone with another person, so I don't want a phone that can display JPGs or run EXE files.

I used to have a very basic I-Mode phone that couldn't display JPGs. Are there any phones available at the moment that have similar capabilities?

Thanks in advance.
posted by Why did I buy a tin gorilla? to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, there are 2G Internet phones that can't display JPGs, but you will have to go back to something very old like the Samsung Q105. You will also need to ensure that whatever phone you buy is compatible with the GSM/GPRS frequency bands used by the network on which you intend to use it.

I, for one, do not understand why you don't want the phone to be able to display JPGs. If you could elaborate on that a bit, perhaps I or others may be better able to help find something that would suit your needs.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 11:44 AM on October 14, 2012


Phone browsers typically have an option to disable downloading images, in case it's the bandwidth usage you're worried about. Is that enough, or do you need a phone that's actually incapable of processing images at all?
posted by teraflop at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2012


Anything that can run Opera's mobile browser can turn off image loading, I think.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:05 PM on October 14, 2012


I'm worried about the phone getting a virus by way of malicious JPG viruses or an EXE file. So I'd like a phone that simply can't display JPGs at all. Either that, or if someone can explain how I can get a phone configured so it doesn't have the option of enabling JPGs? (Some kind of Unix hack? Where would I get that from a reputable company?)

Thanks in advance.
posted by Why did I buy a tin gorilla? at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2012


You basically have a zero chance of ever getting a virus on any mobile phone at this point in time. Stop worrying about it.
posted by cellphone at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Phones physically cannot be infected by "normal" Windows viruses contained in .exes or .jpgs. This is because the computer CPU inside the phone is not the same kind as the CPU inside your PC. There may be some smartphone viruses out there, but they won't infect a simple 2G phone, so you have no need to worry.
posted by monotreme at 12:27 PM on October 14, 2012


As another computer-y person, I nth that you can't get a virus on a phone -- especially not an ancient one!
posted by katrielalex at 12:39 PM on October 14, 2012


I'm an IT security guy - I deal with computer security for a living - and I can categorically say that JPGs and EXEs are not a vector for smartphones being infected by viruses. Yes, smartphone viruses do exist, mostly in the Android space, and they are almost always acquired by downloading ... questionable ... apps, either from the Google Play store or from less-savory third-party app stores. If security is truly your concern here, get an IOS device (not that they are entirely free of security risk, but their walled-garden app model greatly reduces the main channel of infection) or get a cheaper phone that will still view JPGs, etc, but doesn't run a full Android or IOS or Windows Phone OS. You'll be fine. And probably have a lot better luck viewing most current news websites with something that will support images.
posted by jferg at 12:41 PM on October 14, 2012


Your fears are unfounded. Your phone can't get viruses in the way that you think they can because executables simply cannot run on any of the mobile operating systems out there. The only conceivable way to get malware onto a phone is to purchase a suspect app and that is so rare that it's typically not even discussed by most people. You are more in danger of falling for a phishing scam.

Go to your local Verizon or ATT store and take a look at what those salespeople say is their most basic smartphone and rest assured that you will not ever get a virus.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:42 PM on October 14, 2012


Well, thanks for your answers. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that people can get viruses on smartphones "because they forget they are computers." Out of interest, is there any way to get a phone hacked so it simply won't display JPGs?
posted by Why did I buy a tin gorilla? at 1:51 PM on October 14, 2012


On my cheapo Android phone you can disable "Load Images" in the browser settings, which will cause it to only load images when specifically requested.

As others have said, the chance of getting a virus from a JPG is virtually null, although it is a theoretical possibility. That said, disabling images makes sense if you're trying to conserve bandwidth (esp. if you're using 2G, which is excruciatingly slow).
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 2:04 PM on October 14, 2012


Well, thanks for your answers. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that people can get viruses on smartphones "because they forget they are computers." Out of interest, is there any way to get a phone hacked so it simply won't display JPGs?

A cell phone will not get a virus from rendering a JPG. Full stop.

You can turn off image display in almost any phone's web browser, but you would have to trust the person with whom you are sharing the phone not to turn it back on.

Would that be sufficient to meet your needs? I am getting the feeling it would not, but in that case I am not exactly sure what the specific problem is, so I don't really know what else to suggest.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:28 PM on October 14, 2012


As others have said, the chance of getting a virus from a JPG is virtually null, although it is a theoretical possibility.

This is why we scientists can't seem to communicate with "normal" people very well.

By "theoretical possibility", think: "The chance of you, on Mars, in a spacesuit, getting a virus from someone in China sneezing in their scuba diving suit inside a block of solid lead 3 miles underwater twenty minutes earlier is virtually null, although it is a theoretical possibility."

Stop worrying about this. It is impossible.
posted by dmd at 6:35 PM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, I once had a mobile phone that got eaten by a virus, so I don't think my fears are unfounded.
posted by Why did I buy a tin gorilla? at 11:02 AM on October 21, 2012


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