Feature phones to replace the dumbphones we use
I needed a feature phone last month when I decided to resume my daily walks at the nearby trail so I landed on the Nokia 6300 4G. It's a good phone for the price ($70 USD) but I tried de-googling it with no success but here are some phones that I've come across that are worth a mention.
Enjoy Life. Offline.
Your Modern Minimalist Phone. Mindful design, essential functionalities, an eye-friendly E Ink display, an open source OS and ultralow SAR value.
- E Ink display
- Ultralow SAR
- Music - Harman loudspeaker
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Headphone jack plug
- Meditation Timer
- Desktop apps (Windows/MacOS/Linux) to manage the phone (SMS, file transfer, etc.)
- Dual Nano-SIM slots
- Long Battery Life ~1600mAh
- MuditaOS (Open Source)
- Made in the EU
Full Specs: https://mudita.com/products/pure/specs/
The Light Phone II is an unlocked, 4G LTE mobile phone. It's a simple phone with a few essential tools. It uses a unique e-ink display and has a completely custom typographic-based interface.
It's a phone, it calls and texts. There is a customizable menu of simple tools, and a dashboard website to manage everything. There is a headphone jack, bluetooth, and it can be used as a personal hotspot.
Available tools currently include an alarm, a calculator, a simple music player, and a podcasts tool. The phone also supports hotspot tethering.
Weird website - browse through their FAQ to read the tech specs: https://www.thelightphone.com/faq
- Tough build - reinforced with glass-fibre, Gorilla Glass 3 screen
- 4G LTE connection & Bluetooth 4.1
- OS: AOSP 8.1
- Sunlight-readable display (Transflective LCD)
- Digital security - BlackBerry Secure
- Pigeon, Signal-Compatible
- Splashproof to IP52
- 2GB RAM, 16GB Storage
- 180 hrs Standby time
scooke last edited by
Super cool and useful post. I've been thinking of something like this just recently, but the few such phones on the lower racks in their huge plastic packaging at FNAC or Darty just weren't appealing. These are!
@scooke Thanks. It's weird that these phones don't come up in a regular search. I was browsing through r/dumbphones and all you see are reviews for crappy ones but in the comments a mod mentioned "de-googled" phones and listed some of the above.
I forgot to post the TLDR for each phone so here goes:
Mudita Pure: connectivity (desktop apps and bluetooth) & low SAR
Light Phone II: really limited (by design) for those that want the simplicity
Punkt MP02: dedicated buttons for the most used tools and Pigeon (Signal Protocol)
There's also another phone that I should have included in the list and it's the SunBeam F1. The phone has three different models with each having a bit more tools than the rest (same price tag though).
It has all the bells and whistles you'd expect but it also has GPS/Navigation!
scooke last edited by
@humptydumpty While perusing the site of the phone you posted last, I had some flashbacks! Way back when, in 2003, I had just bought my first mobile phone, some kind of Nokia, that came with a belt pouch. Believe it or not, as I walked around and occasionally used it, people would comment and be all impressed.
Well, one day, while getting off of an Aquabus at Granville Island in Vancouver, with my bike, the passage was narrow and the phone got stuck on the side, and since it was rather new to me still, I just just pushed forward, not realizing what was stuck. All of a sudden, just as I realized it was my phone in its pouch that was stuck, the belt latch popped loose. It didn't just pop loose and fall; that sucker flew upwards into the air! Everyone around me saw it - someone screamed as though witnessing a baby falling, and since I was hold my bike with both hands, all I could do was watch my phone's parabolic path up, into the air, and then down, splashing into the water. It was gone.
All was silent. The Aquabus pilot put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm sorry, man." I looked up, and the crowd was in various states of shock, some covering their mouths with their hands still, looking at me sympathetically. I resumed getting off, passing through the crowd, hearing people quietly offer condolences. A few also put their hands on my shoulder as I passed. They were all complete strangers, but for a few moments we were united in my loss.
I've never bought a phone pouch since.
I would definitely recommend flashing CalyxOS without microG enabled for a good middle ground between usability and privacy. I use microG but hey, if you really want to 100% avoid google thats the way to go.
@atridad I have an iphone XR (it's my first iphone) and before that I've had mid range Android devices (Moto G, Nokia 7.1, etc.) and flashing custom ROMs were problematic or non-existent for my devices which was a bummer. Most of the ROMs I've come across work mostly on high end phones and more specifically, Pixel phones but that's not the reason why I prefer feature phones. Maybe it's nostalgia but I like the lighter/smaller size of phones when I'm out and about.
@scooke I have a story to share about my last "old" Nokia phone too but it has a better ending than yours. I forgot the model but it was a flip phone and I had a thin transparent hard cover for it. It was quiet Sunday afternoon and I was driving downhill for a joy ride and had the phone in my hand while sticking my arm out of the window. I must have relaxed my grip too much and I dropped it. I ran it over and it continued to slide down the road before coming to a stop. I pull aside and retrieved it to find that it was still alive. The outer cover broke and the phone suffered from minor scratches but that was the extent of the damage. Nokia quality at its best.
ruihildt last edited by
@atridad Afaik, you can use MicroG without using google at all.
@ruihildt technically it still.communicates with google for notifications buy anonymises your data
ruihildt last edited by
@atridad This is optional. I'm using microG without push notifications.
So I still can install most apps from Play Store without Google involved, through Aurora Store.
@ruihildt True! I cannot stand missing notifications so I leave them on but its all optional yeah
jdaviescoates last edited by
Nice selection of phones.
My existing phone is slowly dying. When it does finally die I'm probably going to get a second hand Samsung S9+ and install /e/ on it which sounds like the best non-Google version of Android:
Ideally I'd like to get a Fairphone 3 but there aren't enough available second hand yet.
timconsidine last edited by timconsidine
@humptydumpty I applaud all the developments of alternative phone manufacturers and alternative OS choices, edging towards real consumer choice and undermining the dominance of BigTech. While Raspberry Pi has little widespread impact, it's an important principle - we have to return to days of 'build your own computer' with freedom on component choice. Why not with phones too ?
Having said that, I'm frustrated with so many alternative phones seeming to be stuck in either 'coming soon' mode or 'only available in US' mode (nice to see Mudita in Europe).
India is touted as a non-China source, but they seem to be infected with sub-licensed Chinese products, so not sure it is that free or indepedent.
So wanting progress NOW, instead I bit the bullet and bought (ironically but I like the irony) a Google Pixel 4 and de-googled it, putting GrapheneOS on it. Still porting my usage, but once proven, I will de-google my OnePlus 7. All as interim steps waiting for the day of the generally available free phone / feature phone.
Just my 2p.
@jdaviescoates I'm loving the concept of having a modular phone. Fairphone seems great but I'd like to have the PCB/Mobo replaceable too.
@timconsidine I totally agree with you. Speaking of computer parts, I won the lottery yesterday with EVGA and got picked for a RTX 3060. I've been on that damn waiting list for months. Almost cried yesterday
timconsidine last edited by
@humptydumpty Nice!!!!! Anything but a GT 710 or an RX 6900 are hard to come by now. Theres no in-between.