If you want a smartphone that offers you not too little and not too much in today’s connected world of constant distractions from the digital world, the Boring Phone is one of the best solutions that I have seen yet.
This minimalist smartphone is a Xiaomi Mi A1 32GB that runs an operating system called BoringPhone OS. So we are looking at respectable specifications as follows:
- 5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels, display, with Gorilla Glass 3
- 32 GB storage and microSD card slot
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 3080 mAh battery
- 12MP camera
- USB-C cable port
The BoringPhoneOS is a modified version of the open source LineageOS (formerly CyanogenMod). Lineage OS appears to have become the defacto base system for smartphones that are designed to minimize access to the matrix. It is the base software for /e/ and others like it, and here it is again.
Apps Available on The Boring Phone
BoringPhone OS includes a carefully selected set of open source applications, as follows:
- instant messaging (Signal).
- offline maps and nav, via OpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
- contacts and calendar sync via DAVx
- music player
- fm rado
- voice recorder
So you get the basics but none of the more distracting and invasive apps that come with more mainstream smartphones. It offers you not too little and not too much – sitting comfortabley between a basic feature phone and a full-fledged smartphone.
Boring Phone Benefits and Price
The benefits that the BoringPhone offers include:
- looking like any other sleek, high quality smartphone.
- It has NO email client, internet browser, social media, mobile games, or application store.
- It does have data messaging, voice and video calling.
- the ability to customize the homescreen background to something more fun.
The single handset package costs NZD $349, which is about ₦85,000. The developers say that should they run into supply issues with the Xiaomi Mi A1, another handset will be adopted, which may result in a difference in the price.
Boring Phone is built on a great concept
I love the concept of the Boring Phone. It offers me a smartphone experience without the constant data harvesting by Google and others. There is no app store and no Google services. I like that the creators have found a way to sync Calendar and Contacts despite that, though I am wondering if that doesn’t introduce some Google interferance, low-key. Still…half-bread is better than none. I need my contacts and calendar entries in order to stay on top of communications and productivity.
This is a phone I would easilly use and recommend to others, baring one small hitch.
There is a Dealbreaker for me
The lack of email and a web browser is a dealbreaker for me, though. I can live without anything else, but being able to keep tabs on my work means that I need a web broswer. I really need to have a web brower on my primary smartphone. Even Internet-connected feature phones with the barest minimum apps and utilities have email and web broswer included.
Both are considered, basic useful tools and were around long before the madness of social media platforms arrived.
I am a one-phone person. I really do dislike carryig two phones around, except when I am reviewing and comparing.
User Scenarios For You
But then, that is me. I imagine that many of you out there already use multiple phones and will have no idea adapting to the use case scenarios of the Boring Phone – people who swap SIMs during weekeds, children whose parents don’t want on social media yet, those who use their main phones when at home but take the Boring Phone with them when going out, as well as people who want to stay off the grid permanently.
If you fit into any of those profiles, you can go rigt ahead and order your unit from HERE. Shipping begins in August.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.