(UK) How can I ditch my smartphone in the most convenient way possible?
March 20, 2017 4:07 AM   Subscribe

So I'd dearly like my concentration back. Two things are stopping me from ditching my aging iPhone and getting a used dumbphone on eBay.

1) I want to have access to my smartphone at work (or at least, I think I do. Maybe I should go the whole hog). In Scandinavia I would just get a "twin SIM" which would cause both phones to ring on incoming calls and send SMS to both phones. Such an innovation doesn't seem to be available in the UK. So I'd be left to swap SIMs over, wouldn't I?

2) I'm not sure WHAT dumphone to buy. I am tempted by a clamshell but I also want SMS sending to be as quick as possible. I had a Nokia 6310i in 2003 which was brilliant. I guess I'd love something with the ease of use of the 6310i but the form factor of a clamshell - if it exists.

many thanks.

Other tips on regaining concentration would be much appreciated. I used to read for hours - now I can barely manage a page or two. I also don't want my kids to grow up without the image of their father being his nose embedded into his iPhone...
posted by dance to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nokia makes some pretty great dumbphones now. What network are you with? If you need real inconvenience, get pay as you go.
posted by parmanparman at 4:48 AM on March 20


parmanparman, I'm probably going to switch the SIM in my iPhone (using an adaptor) into a 6310i - was more after tips from people who've gone down this route before me and how they managed the transition. I think with things like whatsapp and imessage it is a bit hard to disconnect without leaving those trying to contact you banging their heads against a wall...!
posted by dance at 6:11 AM on March 20


Have you tried intermediate steps like using Freedom or a similar app? You can pretty easily lock yourself out of every app on your smartphone during non-work hours, or leave a selection (iMessage, WhatsApp) open. Freedom's not perfect, though, and sometimes does require a tiny bump of willpower for you to turn it on. Once your session starts, though, it's hard to turn it off if you have it set in "Locked Mode."
posted by mskyle at 7:16 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


I use a dumb phone and am really happy with it.

My current phone is a Nokia Shorty that I dug out of the junk drawer, which I supplement with a wifi-only Android tablet, and I plan to replace the phone with one of the new versions of the Nokia 3310 when they're available in the second quarter this year, because the downsides are that it's got a weird charger cable that doesn't work with regular portable chargers, and a bunch of deprecated features you have to scroll through to get to text messaging. Currently, I have an extra battery that I keep charged, in my wallet, for when my battery dies when I'm out, and I just don't use the texting unless i have to. These should both be resolved with the new 3310, though.

The unresolved downside is that I have multiple different numbers to get in touch with me, but the cell number is the default. Notably, I do not have a small kid anymore, so I worry a lot less about urgent messages. It's also a little complicated at first because I have several different contact points, but most people choose one and stick with it most of the time. And it didn't take me long to get used to it, really.

It works well for me because, based on my usage, most of the time, I'm either home where I have a landline that I can't get rid of, or I have wifi. The cell phone mostly just covers the times I'm either in transit or at a one-off location where I don't have wifi. Every once in a blue moon, I'll come across some situation where I need to look something up on my phone, but I figure if you have the option to use slow internet on your dumb (sorry, "feature") phone, that should work. I actually can't remember right now whether I can even get to the internet on my current phone because I haven't needed it in the six months to a year I've been using it.

And at least for me, I'm really happy with my solution. It works and my specific setup is cheap as dirt. It should also be relatively undistracting unless you're really, really into Snake.
posted by ernielundquist at 7:36 AM on March 20


Other tips on regaining concentration would be much appreciated.

I have a no-screens day once a week (like the Sabbath, but not necessarily religious). Unplug the modem, turn off the smartphone. If you don't have a landline, forward your number to a dumbphone so spouse/kids can call you in an emergency. If you have no willpower, have someone else change the wifi password and the passcode to your phone (turn off Touch ID first if applicable).

You'll itch for the first few hours without that dopamine hit of constantly refreshing Twitter, but then you'll get used to it. I read an entire book yesterday, went grocery shopping, went for a walk, and got some chores done.

Why is SMS crucial? Isn't having a Pavlovian response to the message "ding" the same as Facebook alerts or whatever else you do on your phone?
posted by AFABulous at 8:40 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


and I plan to replace the phone with one of the new versions of the Nokia 3310 when they're available in the second quarter this year

Be careful with this. The 3310 is for developing markets. It only supports 2.5G and many first world phone companies either have garbage 2G compared to WCDMA or they've already shut the networks down.

Qualcomm just yesterday launched the 205 platform which is going to introduce LTE to the dumbphone market. I would wait to see which 205 devices launch and then grab one of the better ones on the grey market.
posted by Talez at 9:24 AM on March 20


I own a Nokia 105 I bought from eBay for under £20 brand new. It's dual-SIM, has an impressive battery life and works fine in the UK. Is that the kind of thing you're after?
posted by mushhushshu at 12:27 PM on March 20


Why is SMS crucial? Isn't having a Pavlovian response to the message "ding" the same as Facebook alerts or whatever else you do on your phone?

Not really. SMS tends to be important on the same order as an actual phone call. I'm still rocking a dumbphone and it's pretty much an SMS-only device. I rarely get/make actual phone calls on it.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:26 PM on March 20


@mushhushshu - can you explain how you use your dual SIM setup? Thanks
posted by dance at 4:42 AM on March 21


« Older Was my girlfriend kidnapped?   |   Rogue One, et al. Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments