Retro phones: Why buy a cell phone or an old phone is smart

If you are like me and were born before the year 2000, you will surely remember your first mobile phone as a GSM device. This object entered our daily lives with just a few taps on the keyboard, allowing us to stay in touch with our loved ones near and far, play games on a small monochrome screen, and especially play with the strong vibrations and polyphonic sounds of the latest American Idol -success.

You might also remember the Snake game from Nokia, your classmate’s latest flip phone, a number of hours spent searching for an interchangeable case from a physical store. Our phones have become a way of asserting our similarities, individualities, and differences.

Back then, our phones weren’t really smart; WhatsApp and Instagram did not exist. We sent messages via MSN while Facebook was just starting to attract American college kids. I’m talking about the early 2000s, when a small amount of data flowed through our cell phones. 20 years ago, every mobile phone on the planet struggled to achieve 100 GB of data consumption every day. Then Google was a search engine that was still available Internet Explorer and Chrome did not exist.

In just two decades, our phones have changed so much. In 2021, Huawei estimated that a single user transmitted an average of 1.5 GB of data per day only on their smartphone. In the age of constant, unlimited connectivity, some choose to go back to basics.

Nokia 8810 compared to banana

With Nokia 8810, the well-known brand wanted to go back to the basic rooted phones in 2018 / © NextPit by Irina Efremova

Why do retro phones work and for whom?

As we can see from the music or video game industry, objects from the past end up finding a place on our shelves and TVs. Some music lovers connected to Spotify, Apple Music or Deezer can spend hours searching for vinyl records. The same goes for video game enthusiasts, and nostalgia for their first video game experiences prompted some manufacturers to replicate their old consoles like the SNES Classic Mini, which Nintendo sold more than 5 million units in less than a year after its release in 2017.

Having regained our insides, could the objects of the past find a place in our pockets? Could our old cell phones also adapt to our ultra-connected lives? That’s what my friend Christopher thinks, because he can’t leave his Nokia 3310, which he found intact at the trail almost a year ago. More out of concern for disconnection than nostalgia, he says he has found an alternative here “to wasted hours to achieve nothing” on his old. iPhone. “I was just happy with the effect GAFAM about my daily life, “he insisted.

If his Nokia is no longer working, the battery is still working fine, as he only needs to recharge it “once every four days”. Christopher was confident, however, that he sometimes carries his iPhone X with him when he leaves. “I use it as an iPod and a camera. If I want to do in-depth research or manage my emails, I’m mostly doing it from my computer.”

Person sending messages with Nokia 3310

Would you like to trade your iPhone for Nokia 3310 in 2022? / © NextPit by Irina Efremova

The price of retro cell phones also remains well below those of our current smartphones. Unless you’re looking for a rare phone like the Motorola Aura, which was released in 2008 and sold for a crazy 4-digit amount on vintagemobile.fryou can easily find a phone for less than $ 50 on the same website.

The question of obsolescence of the operating system does not even arise in older phones because at the time of their release, Android and iOS did not even exist. Therefore, there is no need to worry about that.

If you’re like Christopher, some people might be tempted to give up their smartphone because of concerns about personal data collection, others might be tempted by their conscience to keep the planet green. Indeed, returning to a “stupid phone” is a more responsible move for the environment than buying a smartphone that contains components that are becoming increasingly rare without any recycling effort.

The same goes for data. The French Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications has estimated that digital data transmission accounts for 2% of greenhouse gas emissions and this figure could rise to 7% by 2050. As of January 1, 2022, your fixed and mobile internet bills even includes the carbon footprint related to yours. connection. Try watching the evolution of your energy consumption!

Are retro phones related?

The environmental impact, data protection or the vintage look of GSM can push some people to switch to mobile phones from another time. But at the time of the iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S22, “back phone” fans risk having a difficult life. If they choose an old phone, there is a risk that it will fall apart. Although it can be easily repaired, it will be difficult to find replacements for their retro phone unless they have chosen Nokia 3310, whose batteries and parts are still available and are basically one of the toughest phones ever developed.

Unless you’re already addicted to pre-loaded games like Tetris or Snake, retro phones may get boring in the long run. Indeed, our smartphones have become truly mobile multimedia powers that are capable of storing hours of video, audio and game content. Over time, our smartphones have become real, viable gaming platforms. A recent study showed that mobile gaming accounts for 57% of total gaming revenue worldwide.

As we saw during the recent coronavirus pandemic, smartphones play a vital role in emergency management, whether it’s contact tracking, meteorological events, or seismic disasters. Some applications also help save lives by alerting the right people near a stroke or cardiac arrest. Acting or responding to a crisis would be more complicated without having a smartphone in your possession.

Crown warning application icon on smartphone home screen

In pandemic times, smartphones played a big role in information and tracking areas / © NextPit

Smartphones also allow us to stay connected to the world, to know what’s happening at the other end of the planet as well as what’s coming right around the corner. And if you have not chosen to live as a hermit, it will soon be difficult to make transactions without using Google PayApple Pay, PayPal, or any other form of e-transaction.

Sharing the “right here, right now” moment with our loved ones without FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook or Instagram can be impossible with an old-fashioned mobile phone, and the simple features of your monochrome phone could keep you disconnected from your friends and family. who live far away.

Some manufacturers understand this and allow you to stay up to date, connected, while maximizing your phone’s battery life and preserving its essential features, coming in the form of an old phone to boot.

Are main phones a credible alternative?

Is it the Alcatel Go Flip 3the Nokia 3310 Dual Sim from 2020 or the Nokia 8110 4Gmanufacturers have realized that continued production of copies of their bestsellers fulfills a niche desire for those who are nostalgic for a keyboard.

Upgrading old models to keep them current, old sneakers, musical instruments, clothing, and even car manufacturers, all this has already been done. The built-in technology of the phone’s features may appeal to aesthetic seekers more than those who prefer to stay disconnected.

Indeed, most feature phones released in recent years use either Android or the KaiOS operating system, allowing you to install the most downloaded applications on the Google Play Store. It’s hard “glue“himself in this case.

The Nokia 3310 menu showing modern apps

Released in 2017, the revival of the Nokia 3310 had much more to do with the Snake game! / © NextPit by Irina Efremova

Functional phones are also not considered environmentally friendly, as they follow a production line similar to that of our current smartphones, but they are often less energy consuming and more durable. The alternative lies almost exclusively in the nostalgia of the keyboard or shell, and battery life.

The revival of our old cell phones is likely to become a trend in my opinion. I wonder if people looking to disconnect have concerns about the environment and the protection of personal data could fall under this niche category. With their dumb phones, they may not be able to photograph a starry sky, but rather admire the real deal while reflecting on the future of humanity. That’s what we wish them …

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