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Are cell phones addictive? Why you should consider getting a feature phone instead of a smartphone

Avatar of Mobility Daddy By Mobility Daddy Feb5,2023
choosing a mobile phone
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I have used cell phones since 2001. That was an eternity ago. In the decades from then till now, I have dedicated myself to knowing about these gadgets, what they do, and how beneficial they are to humanity. And if you were to ask me if cell phones were addictive, my response would be, “Yes, they certainly are.” But that would not be a completely accurate answer. Why?

In reality, it isn’t cell phones, in themselves, that are addictive. It is the big, bad ones called smartphones that are. Yes, smartphones. Those kind of cell phones with a big touch screen, an always-on internet connection, thousands of apps syncing in the background and throwing notifications at you every other minute. Those ones. They are extremely addictive.

Wait! Someone may yell. Are you saying that cell phones and smartphones are not the same? Sort of. You see, the term cell phone or mobile phone is the generic name for all kinds of mobile phones. So, a smartphone is a kind of cell phone. A dumb phone and a feature phone are two other kinds of cell phone. “Mister Mobility, are you saying that there are any cell phones that are not smartphones?” Yes, I am. They (dumb phones and feature phones) tend to look like this:

Xiaomi Qin 1s - Xiaomi Qin 4G feature phones
This is a feature phone (or a dumb phone); it is not a smartphone

And these:

kosher phones
Basic/dumb phones and feature phones come in this form factor, too.

You are not going to get addicted to these phones. Why? The tiny, low-resolution screen is one big factor; you will not enjoy watching endless videos on that. Typing on the alphanumeric keypad is not fun either. Doing email or sharing on social media are not fun activities on this kind of devices, for these reasons. But it gets worse.

Most of them do not even have Internet access built in, so the tiny screen and old school keypad are only one part of the problem. These are called dumb/basic phones. Without Internet access and without an app store to download scores of apps from, these feature phones keep you grounded more than you can imagine. There is nothing addictive about them.

Feature phones tend to have 3G and 4G internet, though, so you can browse the Web and do a few things online. I assure you, those activities are not fun, when you factor in the screen size and keypad. Then, there is the underpowered processor they often have, meaning doing anything on a feature phone is painfully slow.

So, yes; there are cell phones that are not smartphones. And you won’t be getting addicted to those. If you have a problem with cell phone addiction, ditch smartphones and embrace basic phones or feature phones. You might want to explore Kosher phones, which are dumb and feature phones adopted by religious people who want to stay free of the addictive and distracting nature of smartphones. In closing, let’s look at the highlights of this article again.

Are there any cell phones that are not smartphones?

Yes, there are. There are different types of cell phones. Feature phones are one category. Basic or dumb phones are another. And smartphones are yet another. Android phones and iPhones are examples of smartphones. And recently, we have seen the birth of smart feature phones, which are almost as addictive as smartphones.

What are the differences between basic phones, dumb phones, and feature phones? Dumb or basic phones are usually those mobile phones without any form of Internet access and so do not even have a Web browser or email client. Feature phones are often classified as those phones with at least Internet access, a Web browser, and an email client, but without an app store.

Smartphones are extremely addictive.
Smartphones are extremely addictive.

Are cell phones addictive?

Some cell phones are not addictive, while others are. Smartphones are the kind of cell phones that are addictive. They have big touch screens, thousands of apps, an Internet connection, and are always intruding with notifications. Your Samsung smartphone or Apple iPhone is a smartphone, as are all the other brands of Android phones. If you want a cell phone that is not addictive, get a feature phone or a dumb phone, instead.

Which phone brands make feature phones?

If you want a basic phone or feature phone, some of the leading phone brands that make and sell feature phones include Nokia, Samsung, TECNO, and itel. There are other lesser-known phone brands that make feature phones, if you look around.

Avatar of Mobility Daddy

By Mobility Daddy

Founder, MobilityArena. Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, I have owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.

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