Phone suggestions


I have only had dumbphones and I like them. But the touch interface on newer smartphones is such a well engineered interface and they have dsp libraries too. A while ago I got to borrow an iPhone 5c that was literary just lying around for now use and I got intrigued about developing an app for it, so one hand I can do without a smartphone and still manage my communication needs and on the other I get excited about the possibilites for creating software for these smartphones. I just don’t want anyone to turn into a zombie.


What networks are you using @pxxlhxslxn? Telstra (alas) the only option in the regions I live and work in…and they, I thought, were rolling everything onto 4G and newer networks at a fair pace?


right there with you. this is admittedly sad but I set a goal of never having my phone in my bedroom, which is great when I stick to it (I lapse sometimes, like flossing hahah) - but I’d highly recommend it as a starting point. It makes it so that it’s never the first or last thing I see in a day, which makes a huge difference.


This is a great idea, I use mine as my alarm but that also means it’s the first thing I pick up in the morning. Might have to try doing this, it’ll be liberating to force myself into the scary situation of having my phone away from me for a bit lol


Apparently the LitePhone 2 is going to cost over $200, which I understand is due to economy of scale but still seems totally ridiculous when you can get a very good smartphone these days for $100. It wouldn’t be too hard to duplicate its functionality by flashing a clean version of Android with no play store and only the required apps installed.


I love the idea of these minimalist phones… but at this price you’re really just buying will power. You could get a simple android phone for less money and not install apps or setup accounts.

This is totally hard to do, but I’ve thought about doing it. I.e. an iPhone that just does messaging, maps, clock, calculator, etc… but no email, FB/Tw/etc…


This is probably also relevant for some other discussions here on the forums, but since a lot of Facebook goes through people’s smartphones, it feels like a good place to post this.

According to the below article Facebook has been caught a couple of times experimenting with its user’s moods to fine tune the ways it can influence people’s decisions and actions.
To be more specific:

Facebook is using sophisticated algorithms to identify and exploit Australians as young as 14, by allowing advertisers to target them at their most vulnerable, including when they feel “worthless” and “insecure”, secret internal documents reveal.

and they did it by

[…] monitoring posts, pictures, interactions and internet activity in real time, Facebook can work out when young people feel ‘stressed’, ‘defeated’, ‘overwhelmed’, ‘anxious’, ‘nervous’, ‘stupid’, ‘silly’, ‘useless’ and a ‘failure’, the document states.

Apparently they have done that in the past and it seems to be pretty much a goal to follow on this road, it’s a lengthy article but probably worth reading:


25 bucks, no apps, no contract, easy texting:


Did this last night and it was liberating! Pretty sure I got 2 more hours of sleep by leaving the phone off and in another room. Instead of browsing and reading pixels, keeping myself awake with that addictive blue light, I just plopped down in bed and passed out. Woke up this morning and simply got up instead of spending another hour in bed on my phone. Not that I was surprised by the result, but it was still revealing of how little value my phone adds to sleep…

For real. I was getting pretty hyped on the minimalist phone myself, but wouldn’t be simpler to “dumb down” your current phone? Identify which apps suck up the majority of your time and either remove them from your phone or make them inconvenient to use.

-simply removing apps from your home screen
-signing out of social media apps
-placing apps deep in folders so you have to dig to open them up

It seems kind of silly that we (I) would need to setup a kind of anti-booby trap to spend less time on our phone’s, but it’s most helpful to create goals, write them down, and remind yourself why they’re important.


I use Flux for Mac and Windows, and a similar app for Android called Twilight. They make a big difference for me, though the biggest difference is when I was more disciplined about no screens for 1+ hours before bed and no phones in the bedroom, like @madeofoak mentioned. It seems like a small thing (and it really is) but it makes a really big difference for me. Now, to actually start doing that again…!


This! You are correct, there is a degree of desire for a corporation to provide something to mitigate our collective lack of capacity or will to resist the same corporate interests will to control/manipulate!


After all these recommendations, I followed my friend’s advice and just bought whatever clamshell was available at the verizon store-- one of the those instances where it’s easy to get caught up looking for the best option and end up getting stuck with nothing at all.

So I have a Kyocera DuraXV-- they had a sale price at the store to drop the ridiculously retail high price to something more to scale with other flip phones.
Features include

  • T9 texting
  • 16GB internal memory + sd slot
  • mp3 player
  • lo-fi audio recorder + camera (5MP!)
  • 8 days of battery life
  • waterproof
  • 3G/4G international antenna set

now I just need to get all my friends to stop texting me over iMessage :laughing:


Short version: I got a Fairphone 2 and am pretty happy with it so far!

Long version: After my Nokia clamshell died I went with an old iPhone (3G I think). It was old enough so that it would not install any apps and was pretty much a similar experience as the Nokia, (just with the downsides of having to use a touchscreen :smiley: ). When this one also dies a week ago (it didn’t like the contact with the floor at a speed higher than normal… my bad) I faced the big decision: look for some cheap non-smartphone (Nokia still makes them, and so do others) or find another smartphone.
The decision was made easier by a couple of factors that came into play: thinking about it, I was totally fed up with phones breaking and little options for me to fix them myself. Also on the functional side I wanted a phone that would be as much as possible open (as in not vendor-locked-in) but would offer a decent, syncable calendar option… which is one of the main things I use the phone for, besides calling and texting.
So, while I didn’t really want a smartphone, and also didn’t want to come up with the money for it, some functionality is impossible to find on anything else.
This basically left me with only a few choices, the Fairphone 2 being the closest to what I need.

Now for the part that might interest you more. First thing I did was flash it with FP Open, Fairphone’s open-source, de-googlized version of Android (I did want some sort of Android, to be able to run the Pisound app on it). Flashing was a 30s job and did work without a hitch.
FP Open will force you to rely on alternate apps and basically depends on f-droid, which you do have to install yourself, but fortunately that’s just a matter of visiting a website, downloading the apk and installing that.
If one depends heavily on Google apps that’s of course not going to work, or better, there’s ways to install all the Google stuff on it but that will king of defy the main purpose of using the OS.
Fortunately I have been getting out of Google already since some time, so there’s not much I’m really missing here and F-droid actually has quite a few useful things (including a nice Phonograph fork called Vinyl to play music with. I need to find a good navigation app and few other bits and pieces, but apart from that my experience has been pretty good so far!

Many reviews focus a lot on two aspects: it’s ugly and the technology is dated.
t’s not the sexiest phone on the market, from a iPhone / Galaxy perspective. Though I find that there’s a beauty in how it’s been made from a functional point of view… its design is more form follows function, most other phones are the other way around, and there’s a certain honesty in the way it looks. I also appreciate that it’s a bit thicker.
Technologically speaking it might not be very up to date. One thing where you really notice that is the camera, it’s bad for today’s standard. But then, I do have an actual camera when I need to make nice photos anyway. Though I think the parameters for which a phone like this is being judged by reviewers are kind of skewed on many levels.
Now the price is not cheap. But You get something for it, that nobody else gives you: a bit of freedom, plus they are at least trying to make a phone that is somehow more sustainable and fair than the rest (though we know the results are a bit of a mixed bag).

The only bad thing about it is… the money for Norns is now 50% gone.


F-droid is great. And there’s a neat oscilloscope on there.

I also like newpipe for anonymous YouTube browsing and the background features.