Just look at Nokia's revived banana phone

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/14/just-look-at-nokias-revived.html


If a dumbphone has an app store, doesn’t that make it smart?



Oh, so that’s why we’ve been looking at all those bananas. Just looking at them.

So in all seriousness, did I miss a meme somewhere? Is “just look at this banana” some kind of sly reference to eroticism?




Came here for this.

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I appreciate @beschizza 's continued contributions to our shared mission to find a dumbphone that doesn’t suck.


Most ‘dumbphones’ has ‘app stores’ for things like downloading ringtones, javascript games, etc. Mostly run by the mobile carrier, charged ridiculous prices, but they were there.

Hmm, this is actually a pretty interesting question, where is the line drawn? Is it email, web browsing, app stores, big screens, or just usable (side-eye to you samsung flip-phones)? Were our phones smarter than we thought all along?

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I’ve seen two definitions -

  1. A smart phone is a phone that can run apps,
  2. A smart phone puts the universe of the internet (and all that it enables) in your pocket.

So this “dumb” phone satisfies the first definition, since it has an app store. If you can get a data plan for it, then it satisfies the second definition, and one suspects that it’s actually a smart phone disguised as a dumb phone (which begs the question, why would you want to do that?).

All-screen-bar-of-soap-phones are pretty disempowering for people suffering from any number of common disabilities.

My father could still use a regular telephone many years after advancing Parkinson’s made it impossible for him to use an iPhone. My brother-in-law had a stroke three years ago, and he is just now able to use a Jitterbug - he can’t use a bar of soap phone.

Even something as simple and commonplace as cataracts and colorblindness will make a modern hipster phone a great exercise in pointless frustration.


I think it all started here



I’m not questioning the need for non-smart phones. I do question why you’d want to put a computer that is so sophisticated it can have an app store into a dumb phone. Which sort of defeats the purpose of having a dumb phone, if you’ve made it a complex computer with an app store, no?

This phone allows app vendors access to a platform that is capable of being used by people who can’t (or don’t want to) use the latest iteration of all-screen phone.

My brother-in-law and mother don’t want dumb phones, they want phones with user interfaces that don’t inherently discriminate against their age and disabilities. That means physical, tactile buttons among other things.

The way most modern technologists design things is “well, let’s ignore the blind, it’s such a small percentage of people. And those with tremor disorders, they can’t be accommodated. And the color blind, that’s only 8% of males. And wouldn’t audio cues be great? Most people aren’t deaf. And what about changing the order of buttons for a fresh new look - people with diminished pattern recognition and inability to learn new things are all old, they’ll die soon anyway, no need to hold back. And people with limited tactile feedback can just keep tapping until it works, there aren’t many fo them. And…” etc., etc., etc… until, eventually, the only person who can use the tool properly is somebody with the same physical abilities and and ethnic heritage as the designer.


The seventies were a weird time.


Things are just a different kind of weird now


Old running gag that even I’m hip to.

For shits & giggles, use the site search bar to look up the phrase “just look at it.”


True. I guess I just prefer the innocent weirdness that was viewable by 6 or 7 year old me to the cynical weirdness I see out there now. I’m sure the view was very different for the people at Studio 54 than it was for me in my living room watching PBS.


If that’s the case then I’m simply no longer going to “look at it.”

Well… does peeking count as looking?

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