Guest post: Light Phone 2
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Neale Pickett 2024-01-28 12:04:02 -07:00
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title: Light Phone 2 (Guest Post!)
date: 2024-01-28
- featurephone
My daughter begged me to do a blog post on switching from a smartphone to a dumb phone, so this one is going out to you, Ginnie:
The Background: I've been using an Android phone probably for about 11-12 years. I currently have a Pixel 6. Here are the apps I use most consistently now: Email (proton mail and Outlook for UNM), Chrome browser, Google Calendar, Maps, Messages, Authenticator, Instagram. Also, I have hated the size of my phone for years. The last small phone wasn't even that small, and I still miss it (a Pixel 3a). My last favorite dumb phone was a Nokia 5310 credit-card sized phone - I still miss that too.
My concerns: How much am I going to access medical apps like Up to Date, FP Notebook, Epocrates, etc in patient visits? Am I going to miss using apps like Duolingo, being able to unlock my car with my phone, and tracking trips/locations on Maps? How limiting will it be to not have a camera? How about banking apps?
Here's the thing: I don't post photos to social media anymore, and I follow very few people/organizations on Fb and Instagram (which, I can access on a browser). Lately, I get the most out of following NMSU-related accounts because...that's where my kid is. I don't deposit checks often if ever, and other banking tools I can access on a webpage. I don't like using my phone during patient visits (it still feels rude), but I'll need my camera to upload photos at times to the EMR. Most medical apps are web-based, and I can just pull that webpage up as needed. I have a password manager I can install on my browser. And I try not to read the news much on my phone.
p.s. I had to go through my apps to realize all of this, and that was a somewhat painful process. I have a lot of apps I don't use on my phone.
My decision: Let's give the dumb phone a try, since it turns out I'm using mostly web-based apps (to me, that means I can open that app on a webpage). So I ordered a Light Phone II through Dumb Wireless - it has group messaging, a keyboard with spellcheck and haptic feedback (and word suggestions), a calendar (I sync it with Google calendar - and it syncs boths ways), podcasts, alarm, calculator, directions (it uses GPS), hotspot, music, notes. And an alarm. It does not have a camera.
The transition: Since most of what I do on my phone is messaging and calls, it's been more of a pain than it needed to be since I elected to use a new phone number rather than port my old one right away. Other than that, it's been interesting to let myself put my phone(s) down! I don't have many complaints about that.
The Light Phone relies on a web-based platform - so you log in on their site and select what tools you want on your phone (I selected everything - see the list above - and it feels about right for me). It is super small - maybe about the size of a credit card, which really buries the gigantic Pixel 6 (take that, Pixel series!). I like the E-ink, and it does have a back light, but you can invert the color scheme (and make it white on black background instead). I feel fat-fingered with the keyboard right now, but I'm getting faster, and ALSO: The talk to text is outstanding! If you need to text a lot of words fast, just find a quiet spot and talk at it!
The Podcasts tool is neat-o: you can search for a podcast on their webpage dashboard, or you can just give it an RSS link and get podcasts that way.
For Music: You have to upload the files, and you have 1 gig to use. I uploaded Anna of the North first!
In conclusion: The Light Phone is a nice re-entry into dumb phones. It doesn't have ads like the Nokia flip phone. It also doesn't have a camera (big problem? Unsure for now). I like the ring tones and notification noises it has. The developers seem to have put a lot of TLC into this thing. I'm going to port my cell phone number over when we get the new SIM card this week. We won't be able to get boarding passes on our phones when we travel, but I was still holding a paper boarding pass 1/4 of the time over the last few years with air travel and you can still print those at the airport or home. So, whatever.
A caveat: I will probably sell my Pixel 6, but I pulled my 3a out of storage and loaded the medical apps I'm worried about needing onto it, and I plan to use it to take pictures and upload to the clinic EMR once I'm working again (assuming the clinic has done away with cameras). If everything goes well, I'll never need to pull use it. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm finishing my degree in May, so I might miss looking at Canvas quickly, and I will miss looking at personal email and Outlook for UNM-related stuff quickly too. But, that's what the Chromebook tablet is for...