‘Dumbphones’ with basic functions could be the next big trend

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  • Experts believe that one of the main draws of ‘dumphones’ is nostalgia
  • The basic phones are significantly cheaper than smartphones like the iPhone X
  • This year, both Nokia and Motorola released new versions of retro classics – the 3310 and Razr respectively

Shivali Best For Mailonline

From the Nokia 3310 to the Motorola Razr, retro classic phones are slowly but surely making a comeback.

While these ‘dumbphones’ only have basic features, experts predict that they could soon be the next big trend – and buyers are already beginning to snap them up. 

Experts claim that one of the biggest draws of these basic phones is the nostalgia associated with them, as well as the significantly lower price tag than smartphones.

People are also finding they don’t need all the functionalities offered by more expensive smartphones, and would rather have the simplicity of a paired-back device. 

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From the Nokia 3310 (pictured) to the Motorola Razr, retro classic phones are slowly but surely making a comeback. While these 'dumbphones' only have basic features, experts predict that they could soon be the next big trend

From the Nokia 3310 (pictured) to the Motorola Razr, retro classic phones are slowly but surely making a comeback. While these 'dumbphones' only have basic features, experts predict that they could soon be the next big trend

From the Nokia 3310 (pictured) to the Motorola Razr, retro classic phones are slowly but surely making a comeback. While these ‘dumbphones’ only have basic features, experts predict that they could soon be the next big trend

RETRO REVIVALS 

In February, Nokia released a new version of the 3310 phone, 17 years after the original version was launched.

The retro device features a month long standby, the much-loved game, Snake, and costs just £49.99 ($66).

And in October, Motorola revealed that it was bringing back its iconic RAZR phone, joining forces with British firm, Binatone, to create the Binatone Blade.

Like the RAZR, the Binatone Blade features a flip-open screen, but costs just £50 ($66) – significantly cheaper than the RAZR, which cost £450 ($600).

Speaking to CBS Philadelphia, Darren Zygadlo, creator of onecutreviews.com, suggests that ‘dumbphones’ are set for a comeback.

Mr Zygadlo said: ‘I think there’s a lot to be said for a product that makes you nostalgic.

‘We’ve hit a point where we can pretty much do everything with these phones and I think some people are finding themselves saying, “What do I need all that for?”‘

In February, Nokia released a new version of the 3310 phone, 17 years after the original version was launched.

The retro device features a month long standby, the much-loved game, Snake, and costs just £49.99 ($66).

In comparison, the iPhone X, which launched last week, costs 20 times as much, with prices starting at £999 ($999).

The iPhone X launched last week

The iPhone X launched last week

The iPhone X has a starting price of $999 (£999)

The iPhone X has a starting price of $999 (£999)

In comparison to the Nokia 3310, the iPhone X, which launched last week, costs 20 times as much, with prices starting at £999 ($999) 

A spokesperson for HMD Global said: ‘Thin, light and incredibly durable, the Nokia 3310 is a head turning modern twist on one of the best-selling feature phones of all time.

‘Boasting an incredible 22-hour talk-time and month long stand-by, the Nokia 3310’s fresh, colourful, modern design brings it bang up to date.

‘Talk all day, text, take pictures, listen to music, and get hooked once more on the original mobile gaming hit Snake, all on a single charge.’

In October, Motorola revealed that it was bringing back its iconic RAZR phone, joining forces with British firm, Binatone, to create the Binatone Blade

In October, Motorola revealed that it was bringing back its iconic RAZR phone, joining forces with British firm, Binatone, to create the Binatone Blade

In October, Motorola revealed that it was bringing back its iconic RAZR phone, joining forces with British firm, Binatone, to create the Binatone Blade

And in October, Motorola revealed that it was bringing back its iconic RAZR phone, joining forces with British firm, Binatone, to create the Binatone Blade.

Like the RAZR, the Binatone Blade features a flip-open screen, but costs just £50 ($66) – significantly cheaper than the RAZR, which cost £450 ($600).

French online shop Lekki, which sells a range of vintage, revamped mobile phones, claims simplicity is the way forward.

RISE OF THE RETRO PHONE 

A recent trend observed by MailOnline has seen classic 1990s models by Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola commanding four-figure sums on eBay and other resale sites.

While they may lack features, these retro phones are simple to use, have batteries that last the week and are practically indestructible compared to their smartphone equivalents.

‘Some people don’t blink at the prices, we have models at more than €1,000 (£810 or $1,360),’ said Djassem Haddad, who started the site vintagemobile.fr in 2009.

‘The high prices are due to the difficulty in finding those models, which were limited editions in their time.’

French online shop Lekki, which sells a range of vintage, revamped mobile phones, claims simplicity is the way forward.

‘Too many online social networks and an excess of email and applications, have made us slaves to technology in our everyday life,’ it said on its website.

‘We have two types of profiles: the 25 to 35 year-olds attracted by the retro and offbeat side of a telephone that is a little different, and those who are nostalgic for the phone that they used when they were younger,’ said Maxime Chanson, who founded Lekki in 2010.

‘Some use it to complement their smartphone, but others are going for the vintage, tired of the technology race between the phone makers.’ 

‘Too many online social networks and an excess of email and applications, have made us slaves to technology in our everyday life,’ it said on its website.

‘We have two types of profiles: the 25 to 35 year-olds attracted by the retro and offbeat side of a telephone that is a little different, and those who are nostalgic for the phone that they used when they were younger,’ said Maxime Chanson, who founded Lekki in 2010.

‘Some use it to complement their smartphone, but others are going for the vintage, tired of the technology race between the phone makers.’

In February, Nokia released a new version of its 3310 phone, 17 years after the original version was launched. The retro device features a month long standby, the much-loved game, Snake, and costs just £49.99 ($66)

In February, Nokia released a new version of its 3310 phone, 17 years after the original version was launched. The retro device features a month long standby, the much-loved game, Snake, and costs just £49.99 ($66)

In February, Nokia released a new version of its 3310 phone, 17 years after the original version was launched. The retro device features a month long standby, the much-loved game, Snake, and costs just £49.99 ($66)

As well as the nostalgia associated with dumbphones, the basic functions could also be a draw for some users. 

Arto Nummela, CEO of Nokia, told the BBC: ‘It’s almost like a digital detox or a holiday phone.

‘If you want to switch off to an extent but you still need to have a [mobile] lifeline, it’s a brilliant solution.’