back to article New Galaxy un-smartphone can’t go online because Samsung's thought of the children

Samsung has announced a phone that can’t go online. The new machine is a cut of the Galaxy J2 Pro, a low-end handset that Samsung’s Korea-only announcement says "is a product that blocks mobile data such as 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi," and meets the "need to focus on learning and the needs of senior users who are sensitive to data …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Sand, the Ocean, and the Damn Phone

    To explain: I once acquired a $30 feature phone to take to the beach, ended up using its crude Facebook and Twitter clients, Opera browser and feeble email app anyway.

    You went all the way to the beach, got a feature phone instead of a smartphone, just to do the usual toilet routine.

    This is the part where you need a friend to pick you up and get thrown into the ocean.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Re: The Sand, the Ocean, and the Damn Phone

    Along with the phone.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Re: The Sand, the Ocean, and the Damn Phone

    not with the phone. That should be disposed of properly. There is enough plastic etc in the sea as it is.

    {see Icon}

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: The Sand, the Ocean, and the Damn Phone

    "Along with the phone."

    Or just the phone.

  5. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

    Re: The Sand, the Ocean, and the Damn Phone

    @ Steve

    You can always dispose of it properly later, as I did a few years ago with my company Blackberry which I had left in my swimming trunks pocket while bathing in the Caribbean.

  6. big_D Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Good idea...

    Although I can see the little lemmings, sorry, little darlings, kicking up a stink if they have their smartphone replaced by this by a loving helicopter, sorry, parent.

  7. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Re: Good idea...

    This is not the phone for helicopter parents. Helicopter parents have the tracker on all the time and if they could have video and audio relay, they would.

  8. big_D Silver badge

    Re: Good idea...

    Remote surveillance devices for children (watches with microphones and cameras, for example) are illegal over here. They fall under spying devices.

    You cannot use them if it is not obvious what they are and you have the permission of all present - so recording or listening in, when the kid is in class or playing with friends would be a major breach of data protection and privacy.

    People who have already bought such devices have been told they have to either return them (and show the authorities their refund paperwork) or they have to destroy them and show the authorities proof that they have been destroyed!

  9. MMR

    I'm interested

    $180 a tad too steep but I'll have it for $150

  10. K Silver badge

    Re: I'm interested

    You've got to be nuts to pay that! Your paying for the privilege of lack of features..

    What Samsung should really concentrate on is decent parent controls... My company mobile is locked down so tight, it can't even fart, why can't those type of features be available to parents?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I'm interested

    "You've got to be nuts to pay that! Your paying for the privilege of lack of features.."

    That's why I'm an Apple guy.

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: I'm interested

    My company mobile is locked down so tight, it can't even fart, why can't those type of features be available to parents?

    For pretty much the same reason that your board can't lock down the IT dept's machines.

    Parent asks 14 year how to configure porn blockers on 14 year old's phone.

  13. MMR

    Re: I'm interested

    You've got to be nuts to pay that! Your paying for the privilege of lack of features..

    You said it yourself - it's a privilege. And yes, I'm willing to pay for that.

  14. LewisRage

    Replaceable Battery

    So it's better than any of the current flagship phones?

  15. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Re: Replaceable Battery

    Sure - until you hear that replacement batteries are $150 a pop.

  16. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    So it's what you would call...

    A "good old days" phone ?

  17. AdamBoy64

    A good idea

    This is a good write-up, and a good idea for a device.

    There's not a lot out of devices out there that don't have internet access, and the distractions that go along with it.

    Even featurephones, as you've mentioned, have the internet.

    Most phones that have no internet are your older models that are 2G-only, and fast becoming impossible to use because 2G networks are closing down.

    It sounds similar to what 'Light' are trying to do with the 'Light Phone 2', however this is a noticably cheaper option.

  18. Waseem Alkurdi

    You think that the Koreans are serious about exam-taking?

    ... I'd give you a hearty invitation to visit our country, Jordan!

    We have a similar exam, known as Tawjihi, which roughly translates into "the director", because that's what it is: it "directs" what you'll study at university, and consequently, your income and socio-economic status of both you and your children (literally. No, I'm not kidding).

    This exam is the only deciding factor in university acceptances (which made it the only thing in the country that's actually 100% free of corruption), the making of exam papers and answer sheet correction/marking are very, very strictly quality-controlled, and students literally die studying, aiming at fulfilling their parents' fantasies of seeing their children become doctors (ultimate aim) or engineers (second-to-ultimate aim).

    I took it last year, used a Nokia 1208 and got cut off from computers and the Internet for the whole length of the year ... no kidding! (Thankfully, I'm now a first-year medical student).

    If this phone is to be introduced in our country, I assure you, it'll be a huge market success!

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Test as anon coward

    Why do my comments vanish?

  22. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Test as anon coward

    Hi Anon,

    It's because we don't moderate comments on weekends and every user's first three comments are always moderated.

    Regards,

    JK

  23. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Re: Test as anon coward

    What? You have a life?

    Definitely not working in IT, then.

  24. keithpeter
    Coat

    can you put video/sound/pdfs on the phone?

    Teacher asking

    You can get a lot of short revision videos in a gig of storage card space these days

    Mine's the one with the 4-figure log tables in the pocket

  25. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Re: can you put video/sound/pdfs on the phone?

    That takes me back, back in my day, pre mobile, pre internet, in New Zealand we had govt issue log tables with an orange paperback jacket. They also had some physical constants in the back when meant you could derive a few physics equations you'd forgotten (been there done that).

    We could have calculators but they were by and large the basic algebra types, lucky if they did squares and roots, let alone logs.

    The tables were to even the playing field for those without calculators. I had one from mid way as we won them by winning our heat in a TV school quiz show. I bought a scientific one (non programmable) for university. I still have it, my wife had an identical one, that one is dead now. Mine sits in a drawer underneath the iMac.

    I inherited my father's slide rules, he was a mechanical engineer. He had a big desk calculator in his office but he needed the slide rules when out on the job.

  26. PNGuinn Silver badge
    Coat

    Re: can you put video/sound/pdfs on the phone?

    "Mine's the one with the 4-figure log tables in the pocket"

    Pffft. Mine's the one with the slide rule sticking out of the top pocket.

  27. NXM

    Top pocket

    I've got a knife & fork in mine, in case any food turns up unexpectedly

  28. PNGuinn Silver badge
    Angel

    Small technical question ...

    Would this device be a special with cut down silicon or would it be a full fat base model crippled in software?

    If so, how easy would it be to root the device and re enable all the naughty features?

    No, they're kids - they'd never stoop so low, even if one of their number did find out ...

  29. Craigie Bronze badge

    Re: Small technical question ...

    I assume the SoC is the same as the original Galaxy J2 Pro.

  30. J27

    Won't they just text each other then? Teens aren't stupid. Heck, they might even just jailbreak these phones and flash 3rd party firmware, that'/s what I would have done. I doubt Samsung bothered disabling data on a hardware level.

    When I was in high school we used to hack the PCs and Macs (which were hilariously easy to "hack" because the "security" was a extension and you could just hold shift during boot and then go into the startup folder and delete it) to play games. Quite often we knew more about the PCs than the teachers.

  31. M man

    Wow could you sideload apps? this would be great for offline authenticator.

    in fact what is the longest offline phone battery life on a small phone.

  32. IGnatius T Foobar

    Seen this before

    So it's technically a smartphone, but in practice it can't do anything useful. Sounds like a Windows Phone.

  33. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Voice and TXT only?

    I have one. It's a $20 LG flip phone. Actually, it has more (camera, crappy web browser, etc.). But once you don't get a phone with apps, the need for that expensive display real estate goes away. And phones can get really cheap.

  34. doublelayer

    Do you want one

    If you would like to buy one of these, I have two suggestions. The first is that you come to your senses. However, assuming that failed, you should go to the next suggestion:

    1. Find an android device that costs very little. Most of these are crap, but you're going to use it for nothing, so that's fine.

    2. Turn off mobile data and WiFi.

    3. Don't turn them back on.

    If step 3 is causing trouble for you, consider the following options:

    3a. Make code that blocks turning on WiFi and cell data as soon as it is enabled. Include those hooks that malware and facebook use to make it virtually impossible to uninstall. Grant this code every privilege.

    3b. Take the phone apart and damage the WiFi antenna. Also damage the LTE antenna (disable voice over LTE first).

    3c. Buy any feature phone that doesn't include a browser, which is most of them.

    3d. Go to your closet and take down the ancient feature phones you left there when you started using smartphones. Consult ebay for the replacement of the battery involved, which should cost on the order of $3.

    3e. Just get professional help. If you're addicted enough to phones that you can't resist using them for two hours, you have a problem that won't be fixed by a stupid phone, no matter how much cash you spend in the effort. Realize that most people who use phones all the time have a serious reason to and would not have a problem using them less in the event that they didn't need them.

  35. ratfox Silver badge
    WTF?

    $180 for a feature phone?

    I'm sorry, what?

  36. JLV Silver badge

    Kinda dumb for a phone, but there might be a niche even here

    I recently threatened my teen with a return to source in the form of a Nokia 3310* if he doesn't shape up @ school. Something like this might also be useful, though a big part of the dissuasion factor with the 3310 is the sheer embarrassment of toting what's visibly a dumb phone in front of your peers.

    No complaints from his teachers since ;-)

    * which I actually like myself.

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