BY AILEEN ZANGOUEI
Approximately 2.1 billion people are smart-phone users on a global scale. You see them just about anywhere you go, whether it’s on the subway during your morning commute, the grocery store, or at the gym. You can’t help but pull your smartphone out when you see just about everyone else doing the inevitable phone retrievable from their back pockets followed by the vigorous thumb swiping.
It’s seldom to see someone walking with their head-up and eyes on the horizon anymore, but when you do catch that rare glimpse, don’t think for a second it’s because they don’t have a phone. It’s probably because they have exactly that, it just might not be so smart.
A phone is considered a device that allows you to communicate with another person despite them being in another location. Whereas, a smartphone is a device that can function much like a computer by downloading applications, updating information, internet connection, and a touch-screen interface.
Flip phones have been around since the mid 80s, and to see their presence in this day-and-age really is a bewildering blast from the past. With the new smartphones carrying a hefty price-tag up to anywhere from $1,300 to $1,500, flip-phones certainly hold the gold-place for being financially-friendly phones. Flip-phones for keeps go for anywhere from $35.00 to $80.00. Flip-phones may not come with all the extra bells and whistles that smart-phones have, but for some people, this phone is more than enough. In fact, owning a flip-phone in a smartphone-crazed millennium has changed some people’s ways of ‘electronic-life’.
Alyssa Ennis was a “tech-spoiled millennial” until one day her smartphone broke, and she couldn’t afford the 700-dollar replacement. Instead, she resorted to an 80-dollar flip-phone, and after an adjustment period that she describes as like being in the “Stone Age”, Ennis began to love the flip-phone life.
“I enjoyed listening to voicemails and returning calls. It was really nice to not be bombarded with images on Instagram and mindlessly being attached to a device,” says Ennis. This allowed a lot more time to open up for her, so she was forced to find something creative to do. There was a light-bulb moment for Ennis when she learned that “some people have an obsession with being instant.” The current standards of messaging is “instantaneous”, however the flip-phone reminded Ennis that she is in control of her interactions that she has with people on a daily basis. Ennis switched back to a smartphone not too long ago because she missed having a good camera, but she recommends that everyone go stone age at least once in their life. “You feel naked at first, and a bit lost,” says Ennis. “But eventually, you find yourself in ways that you would never imagine.
It sounds tempting, but you may still feel resistant to succumb to ‘down-grading’ your smartphone to a basic flip-phone. It would mean losing access to numerous applications that are one with your daily routine. It would also mean losing two high-megapixel camera’s, a constant flow of information, fast picture messaging and constant internet access. A lot is on the line, which is why Samsung in recent years has been trying to appeal to nostalgic consumers wanting a piece of the 2000s, but not the whole cake.
Samsung launched a high-end-dual-screen flip-phone in China. It has one screen on the front and one on the inner side of the device. It has a twelve megapixel main camera and 5 megapixel front camera. This flip-phone is much like another flip-phone device Samsung released earlier this year. Details on the availability of this device outside of China have not yet been released, nor has the cost.
The new high-end flip-phone definitely appeals to me, as I’m a nostalgic (my first phone was the Chocolate flip-phone). Yet, I don’t want to lose my social media access, or the news content that I read on my long commute to school. But it is that kind of mindset that has other people like Torontonian, Dr.Zoltan Berkes, feeling lonely in a city crowded by “screen-staring” people. His flip-phone, one he has always had since they were introduced, sits quietly in his pocket. “There’s nobody to talk to,” Berkes said.
Similarly, Liz Dewdney, a 36-year-old server and book-keeper in Toronto would rather use her money for more important things. She pays 40-dollars-a-month for her flip-phone bill and she still thinks that’s too much.
There are still some people out there who still continue to use the flip-phone and actually enjoy the simplicities of it: the texting, the lower prices, and the art of conversation.