One Week Flip Phone Challenge

Written By: Jake Bauer | Posted: 2020-11-30 | Last Updated: 2020-11-30

Recent frustration with my smartphone has led me to throw it aside (quite literally, I threw it onto my bed in frustration one day) in favour of using a good old flip phone again. I’ve challenged myself to use one for at least one week to see what the experience is like in 2020.

I normally carry with me an ASUS Zenfone II Laser Android smartphone running LineageOS 15.1. It has served me well over the past 5 years and its battery still lasts me a whole day… mostly. The things I normally do on my phone are: call, text, use a Web browser, use the Element, Conversations, and Husky applications, and check the weather if I’m bored. I sometimes listen to podcasts with it but I’ve stopped in recent months. I also have the OsmAnd~ map application, but GPS stopped working on my phone some time ago and I rarely, if ever, open it. (I’m proud to say I didn’t use it even once when I moved from Ottawa to Toronto!) I don’t even take pictures on my phone anymore thanks to some weird fogging that’s happened to the camera lens.

For this challenge, I’ve chosen a Doro PhoneEasy 612. Pretty much entirely because it’s what I had on hand. There’s nothing special about it, it’s a standard flip phone with a 12 key dial pad, some extra buttons, a 2 megapixel camera, a 2.5mm headphone jack (not 3.5mm), and it charges via Micro-USB like my existing Android phone. On the inside, it has a 3.7V, 800mAh (2.96Wh) battery, a mini-SIM card slot (though I was able to position my micro-SIM card just right to get it to work), and a microSD card slot.

An image of the Doro PhoneEasy 612 lying open on my desk with the
    screen on the home page.

After inserting my SIM card and powering on the phone, it asked me to go through a setup wizard so that I could set the date and time, ringtones, volume, and so on. After a couple of minutes, I was on the home screen with the world at my fingertips. By the way, this phone powers on in under three seconds (!!!) compared to the minute-and-a-half my Android phone takes.

This phone comes with a phonebook (which conveniently contained all of my contacts because I saved my contacts to my SIM card instead of my Android phone), messaging application, call log viewer, camera application, image viewer, alarm, organizer/calendar, calculator, FM radio (which only works if you plug in headphones), In Case of Emergency application (something that stores useful information about you in case of emergency), games (Tetris and something called Boxman), and a settings application. All-in-all very bare-bones but it does everything I think I need.

So, let’s see how this goes. One week using just a flip phone. I’ve even gone so far as to completely power off my Android phone and put it in a filing cabinet so I won’t even use it to browse memes in bed. I predict that this won’t be too difficult because we’re all stuck inside due to the pandemic, but it will still be interesting to see what it’s like, especially since I do compulsively use my phone before going to sleep and right after waking up.