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back to article Mobile phones for minimalists

John's Phone, from the designer firm John Doe Amsterdam, could be the greatest grandparent phone of all time. It is certainly an interesting minimalist experiment in usability. Ten centimetres tall and weighing 95g, John's Phone cuts the crap so pretty much all that remains is a basic box with a standard keypad. A screen along …

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Bronze badge

Where's the old fogey icon

You need to see a screen while dialing?

Has the internet completely killed your attention span?

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Happy

Has the internet completely killed your attention span?

Yes. Yes it....oh look, a kitten.

GJC

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Gold badge

Read _GRANDPARENT_ phone

My old folks need to check every 2 digits that they have entered the correct ones, so yeah they need to be able to see the screen.

To be honest, better would be a series of buttons marked "John", "Mary" etc. so they don't have to worry about numbers. Some of them seem to even have trouble remembering which name is which, let alone what numbers to dial to who.

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Joke

Not too good for my Grandma...

...her name is Edna, not John.

Seriously though, having it labelled with a persons name might not be great for those of the older generation with failing memories who get confused easily. Unless of course their name really is John.

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Happy

Classical rotary dialler phone

I want a mobile that's a hollowed out rotary dialler of yore complete with curly chord to handset. That would be perfect for the oldies too.

How cool would it be to whip it out of your bag, plonk it on the desk and start turning numbers.

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Almost...

This should get you halfway there...

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/8928/

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Paris Hilton

Alternatively

There's one at http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=287. Just watch a certain heiress doesn't try to throw it at you.

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Happy

Or...

... http://www.mockia.com/

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Thumb Down

'kinell

Its 300 bucks.!

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Coat

A "curly chord"?

Is that one played on a French horn, Souzaphone, Serpent, Contra-bassoon or similar?

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Grenade

Looks bulky to me...

..compared to the legendary moto F3.

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Anonymous Coward

Bulky?

What's size got to do with anything?

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Gota love the F3

Despite Motorola not selling it here, I still managed to get my hands on 3 of em. It's a phone designed as a phone (and not designed to be another computer).

Though 3 weeks of standby makes this one sound tempting...

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backup phone

That would actually work pretty well as a backup phone if you ended up away from somewhere to charge your main one.

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Thumb Up

What parents need ...

is a hand-phone into which up to 5 numbers could pre-programmed, with a graphic capability for each number, so children could be given a phone which permits them only to call trusted people without the risk of dialing any other number without cost control. The graphic along each number could be of the person whose number is programmed.

Since some jurisdictions require GPS be fitted, this data could be transmitted so the called party would know where the child user was located.

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@tempest

I have done this with Android phones. Works a treat, once you know how to lock them down.

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Better

It is better than most mobile phones on the market, in that it includes a real ink pen - very useful.

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Bronze badge

If you want to appeal to the oldies

better make the volume switch go Loud, Louder, Deafening

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SMS?

A lot of people have smartphones these days that barely last 24 hours before needing to be recharged. I would definitely buy one of these phones to take camping, on holiday and on weekends away along side my smartphone.

However, it doesn't mention SMS, and by the sounds of it, it doesn't support SMS. That rules it out for me. Like most people, I spend more time talking via SMS than via voice...

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Anonymous Coward

Most people?

Teenagers you mean.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually...

I love it. A mobile phone that's actually a phone, rather than a camera or a web browser or whatever. Great concept. I'd have one tomorrow were it not for one thing. The price.

Why does it cost that much when all it will do is make a receive phone calls? There are any number of cheap phones for less than half that much. If they'll sell them for under £20 I promise I'll buy one.

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Ultra cheap non-feature phone

Tesco used to do this, for under a tenner, SIM-free...

http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.207-4006.aspx

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Anonymous Coward

Point

That was rather my point. If Tesco can do that for under a tenner why does John's phone cost six times as much, Should be about a fiver really.

And it's best feature is that you'll get no annoying texts from your provider about all the deals you don't want.

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WTF?

Disposable cells are in reality POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service

If they can bang out disposable phones for a minimal number of bucks/pounds why not these? The only difference is in the case and the SIM.

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Happy

@AC Actually....

Just wait till Tesco gets hold of it - £19.99 and that'll include re-badging the name to "That woman with the annoying accent that does our adverts"'s phone!

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Anonymous Coward

Party

Have a look for the tesco party phone. Costs 5 or 10 quid. Not good for oldies (small buttons) but it's a minimal phone with sms.

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Joke

Times are changing

Give a whole new meaning to "Excuse me, I have to go use the John."

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looks sturdy

Should be able to support the best phone game ever as well... Catch!

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Jobs Horns

it's the opposite of an iphone

...it must be the anti-christ-phone

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FAIL

Not for the "active" and tech capable pensioner...

When are any of these companies actually going to make a phone for the more active pensioner? My farther who’s in his 60’s complains he can’t press the buttons or screen on most phones, yet needs to text to pay for parking and would also like email/internet. He also needs Activesync to synchronise the contacts with his desktop PC ( via Exchange - to save “fiddling around” with the phone).

He was seriously considering an iPad until we pointed out the voice/text part was missing. An iPhone is just a bit too small and gives no tactile feedback. Maybe the Galaxy tab but again a real keyboard would be better.

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Not a good ringtone though

Not a good ringtone though...

http://www.johnsphones.com/nl/about/nieuws/johns-phone-bij-bnr/item99

Don't forget to switch to Nederlands and it is about 2/3 of the way into the player.

(In the neuiws section, the first item, john's-phone-bij-bnr)

I still want a simple mobile with a ringtone like a real phone bell not some rubbish noise from america!

P.

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Grenade

Makes me think of...

that YouTube video that's been doing the rounds this week, "My Life As A Dickhead".

It's likely to find itself wedged into a pair of skinny jeans while its owner rides their fixy to some ultra-pretentious squat party/art exhibition in Hackney.

No thanks!

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Anonymous Coward

nice but

I'll stick with my nokia 1800 thanks. It can do sms and calls , a few simple games, has a torch and a standby time of over a week. mind you I do agree with the sentiment. I leave smartphones to the poseurs.

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Bronze badge

ahem

It beats the early iPhone (without the cut/copy/paste functionality) in that it supplies a pen.

And no, I'm not ever going to let them live that one down.

Still think the screen is too small. I can hear the "where's my glasses" again...

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Headmaster

Sony

In the early 90's, I had a Sony mobile (getting too old to remember the model) that was a dead ringer for this, except it was dark green and you couldn't see the numbers in the dark.

Oh, and it had a stubby little aerial!

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Anonymous Coward

Kind of funny

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that so many posters here have been sucked in by smatphone marketing crap. Do you people really *need* something that didn't even exist five years ago?

Phone marketing reminds me of washing powder marketing. You've just got to have the new version that washes whiter than white, whereas your old powder made everything grey. But hang on a minute didn't they say that about the last version and the version before that? Likewise with phones. Every new phone is the last phone you'll ever need. And yet I know people who have at least three new phones a year.

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minimalist?

My first (analogue) mobile phone didn't even have a display! Just a keypad, like a simple landline phone. I think I still have it somewhere...

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