This week I randomly came across the Nokia website and learned they've got a whole host of Feature phones on their website. I don't know if they're all refreshed classics like the 3310 or if some are just brand new models but I was intrigued enough to spend a bit of time looking through what was on offer.
I'm not in the market for a new phone, nor am I in the market for a phone which doesn't support the various music, podcast and messaging apps I use on a daily basis but as I was looking through, there was a part of me wondering: Could I live with this?
In a world where attention is a currency as important as... currency, seeing these phones sparked a small part of me wishing I could be less reliant on all these apps. In reality, I don't think I could switch. I don't use SMS anymore, I keep my Mum updated with photos of the kids through Messenger and I listen to podcasts on Overcast for at least an hour a day, if not more.
Putting aside my personal situation, what I like about seeing this range is a return to diversity of product design. Let's face it, there's now not much difference in hardware design between iPhones, Google Pixel, Samsung etc, they're all just rectangles with a glass face and a case made of either metal or glass. Sure there are different colours but that's the only level of personality you get with the hardware.
Look through these Nokia phones and just see the variety on offer. Different shapes, different sizes, some flip and some don't. There's a return to affordance in the tactile nature of the keypads and buttons you'll use to navigate the User Interface which I think is missing from modern smartphones. While I've got used to not having a home button on my iPhone 11 Pro, I do miss the tactile nature of having something to click.
I'm not sure these Nokia phones will be big sellers. I don't think it'll trigger a paradigm shift back to a simpler relationship between ourselves and our devices but I certainly commend Nokia for putting them out there. One day, I could be tempted...