Even if you had your flip phone fling, would you really give up the smartphone?


Nokia 2760 | Image credit – HMD Global

Ever wonder how much time on your smartphone is too much? It is a question I ask myself a lot, and it seems I am not the only one. Mainstream media is buzzing again about the resurgence of flip phones like the Nokia 2760. It seems there is a growing desire among people to unplug and detox from the digital world.I know these “dumb phones” have their perks – compact size, extended battery life – and they stick to the basics: calls, texts, staying connected, but smartphones offer a universe of possibilities that would take way more than a minute to list.

Sure, many of us fantasize about digital detox. I know I do. But, to be honest, I wouldn’t trade my smartphone for a basic one. Well, maybe in a doomsday scenario where old-school flip phones are the only working devices left.

The rise of the old-school flip phones

According to the latest stats, Americans spend an average of 5 hours and 24 minutes on their smartphones daily. Some even go beyond 7 hours – that is a crazy amount of screen time, right?Moreover, 57% of Americans now label themselves as “phone addicts” and what better way to kick the habit than by cutting off the source? It is no wonder we are seeing a resurgence in old-school flip phones.

They not only offer a chance to reconnect with the real world and enjoy life but also provide reliable communication. They get the job done when it comes to staying in touch without a doubt. However, by 2024, this simply may not be enough.

I have this friend who refuses to give up her old-school flip phone for a smartphone. Why? She insists she doesn’t need one. But whenever we are out, she asks us, smartphone users, to check something online, snap a photo and email it to her (yes, seriously!), or find out when the next bus is coming so she can get home. So, does she really not need a smartphone?

I also once tried switching back to a dumb phone. Like many who opt for flip phones today, I wanted to disconnect from my smartphone addiction – though the phone itself wasn’t the issue, it was social media. So, I popped my SIM card into an old flip phone and managed to stick with it for a whole…month!

But that was my limit. It was simply incredibly inconvenient to live without perks like navigation, group chats with friends, taking photos, checking the weather, seeing movie times at the nearby theater, and more. My solution? I returned to my trusty smartphone but removed all social media apps. Best decision ever!

Setting aside personal experiences, once the genie is out of the bottle, putting it back is nearly impossible.

Why would I never give up my smartphone?

As I mentioned earlier, I gave going old school a shot, but it didn’t stick. These days, smartphones just offer too much – they are like personal assistants in our daily lives. There are plenty of reasons why not to give up on smartphones, and here are just a few:

  • Banking: I can’t recall the last time I visited my bank. Honestly, with the mobile app, one can handle everything one needs, at least for now.
  • Navigation: Apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze are incredibly handy when you are in a rush, need to dodge traffic, or simply aren’t sure which way to go.
  • Camera: I don’t think I need to explain why. Today’s smartphone cameras are powerhouse performers, especially on flagships like the Galaxy S24 Ultra or the iPhone 15 Pro Max, delivering stunning results.
  • Apps: It might sound general, but seriously – apps. Nowadays, there is an app for just about everything you can imagine and need. Need to know how often to water your plant? There is an app for that. Want to learn a new language? No problem, there are plenty of apps to help with that, too.

Of course, smartphones offer far more benefits. They are essentially mini-computers that cater to everything from entertainment to work. While there is a nostalgic charm to flip phones, I doubt they will ever regain mainstream popularity. Their time has simply passed.

The middle ground: foldable flip phones

But is there a middle ground? I think so, yes – clamshell foldable smartphones. With devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 or the Motorola Razr (2023), you get the best of both worlds. You enjoy the classic form factor and the ability to disconnect from the tempting screen simply by closing the phone. Yet, you still have all the features of a modern smartphone at your fingertips.
The foldable smartphone market is steadily growing, with companies continuously advancing their technologies. Take the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 6 from Samsung, for instance. While it retains a similar design to its predecessor, it is expected to feature enhancements to the hinge mechanism and potentially a less noticeable crease.Rumors also suggest a new 50MP main sensor, a significant upgrade from the Flip 5’s 12MP one. Additionally, the phone will feature Galaxy AI support, bringing numerous AI-powered features on board, such as:

  • Live translate: translates conversations in real-time. It works during phone calls, so you can speak in one language and the other person hears it in theirs (and vice versa).
  • Object Eraser: lets you remove unwanted objects from your photos, like photobombers, distracting elements, or even just blemishes.
  • Circle to Search: lets you identify objects, text, or even actors in videos by simply circling them on your screen. It then uses Google Search to deliver relevant results.

Or let’s take the upcoming Razr Plus (2024), set to feature a substantial (for a clamshell foldable) 4,200mAh battery and 68W fast charging. This marks a significant upgrade from its predecessor’s 3,800mAh battery with 30W fast charging.

So, after all, the decision whether to ditch your smartphone or not is, of course, entirely up to you. All I am saying is that in 2024, you have options if you prefer the flip form factor or seek to spend less time glued to screens while still enjoying the benefits of technology.

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