17 June 2016

Dumbing down

For the past few years I have been struggling to love my smartphone, but I have finally admitted failure. Over that time, I have gradually amassed the following list of pet hates about them:

  • Poor battery life: I want a phone that can stay on standby for days, not just a few hours.
  • Ludicrously small virtual keyboards: OK, I suppose I could dealt with this by getting a bigger phone, but for me one of the important features of a mobile phone is its mobility.
  • Unnecessary duplication: If I want to take photographs, I’ll use my DSLR. I have no need for a camera on my phone. And, come to think of it, all the apps I might consider running on a smartphone run better and are easier to use on my mini-tablet.
  • Slow . . . slow . . . slow: I want to be able to press a button and be ready to make a phone call. I don’t appreciate having to wait several minutes while the phone wakes up from standby; and I despise keyboards that can’t keep up with my typing.

I could have addressed three out of my four pet hates by throwing money at the problem and investing in the latest top-of-the-range smartphone. But I’m perfectly happy with my existing tablet, so why should I effectively buy a new tablet with the added extra of a built-in phone? So, instead I have downgraded my smartphone to a brand new dumbphone, a Doro PhoneEasy 508. Look at what my new toy can do:

  • It can stay on standby for a fortnight between charges.
  • It is instantly ready to make phone calls.
  • It has a real numerical keypad that doesn’t lag when I type in a number.
  • It makes phone calls and allows me to send text messages. It does not attempt to do things that my laptop, tablet, and DSLR can do better.

1 comment:

Doc Herbst said...

Hi Lawrence, from Paris (France), from an ex-avid Idealist 3.0 user.

If you want one day to change your mind, you should test a OnePlus smartphone. Reviews of models 1, 3, 3t and 5 are awfully good.

I bought a OnePlus 3T in March 2017. Its battery charges up to 100% in some 20 minutes and always lasts more than 24h (provided you don't play video games nor watch Youtube alll day, of course). Generally, mine stays awake for 36h without recharging (each day, I make or receive some 20 phone calls, write dozens of emails, write and publish a lot on the web, take a few photos each days, listen to no music, watch Youtube 15 mn and plays video games form maybe 30 mn). 48h is a maximum.

It has the biggest screen a real smartphone (not a phablet) can have and still remain usable with one (not two) hand. It is awfully quick. The RAM of the chip is never used above 50%, even by the latest video games. The memory reaches 128 GB !!!

It is made and repaired too in China. So a 2 month delay is the norm in case of a serious pb.

Its model's price remains inferior to the Samsung and iPhone ones (OnePlus 3T was -- and its OnePlus 5 successor is also -- around 560 euros).