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I switched to a flip phone for a week, and it was just as bad as you'd think

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 01 Nov 2015

As an experiment, I decided to go on a "dumb" week.That means I turnedoff my smartphone, which I use to check/write emails, send/receive Gchats, look up directions and locations with Google Maps, check subway maps, check weather, get calendar reminders, use Shazam, stream music, browse the web for news or general boredom relief, or browse/post to social media.I replaced it with a $15 "dumb" flip phone that would let memake/receive phone calls, send/receive texts, and take pictures. Really bad pictures.I would also restrict any internet usage to my computers at home and at work.Here's what I learned from the experience.Call quality was terrible.My $15 flip phone didn't have any noise cancellation features.On my first dumb call while outside in noisy New York City, I could hear the other person just fine. But the other person had an awful time trying to hear me, and we eventually had to hang up because they could barely hear me over the city noise.Our smartphones have sophisticated noise canceling technology that preventnoises around you, like wind, construction, cars, and other people's voices from overpowering your own voice while your on the phone.We complain about autocorrect, but it's a miracle compared to how we used to send texts.For some, the on-screen keyboards on smartphones are too small and it's harder to tell if you're pressing the right key because the keyboard is flat. I know some will disagree with me, but you don't want to go back to typing out texts with physical buttons on a dumb phone's number pad. Even small words like "style" can be a chore to type out (press 7 four times, then 8 once, then 9 three times, 5 three times, and 3 twice).Even with T9 texting, the software thatpredicts what you're typingwhenyou press buttons once for each word's letter, texting is slow and laborious, especially for words with apostrophes or when you need to use punctuation.In fact, it was such a pain that I often ended up simply calling people instead of replying via text.I realized smartphone cameras are miraculous.I wasn't expecting tomiss my smartphone's excellent camera as much I did.The camera in my cheap $15 flip phone took horribly grainy pictures.At the same time, the badphotos also had their charm for how bad they were, and they reminded me how amazing how smartphone makers can fit great cameras in such slim handsets. We've come a long way.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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