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Feature: Re-Marketing the ‘Brick Phone’ – Simpler Phones, New Technology

There was a time before apps my friends, a golden age when ringtones were polyphonic and Sony’s Walkman phones brought us a magical technology known as ‘MP3 Playback’.

A time when we looked to our phones as the means of being part of our own personal social network, when ‘likes’ were verbal, and most importantly, our trusty phone could also have easily doubled as a blunt defensive armament. Bam.

Today’s phone, however, seems like a sort of fashion icon. The trusty, heavy, bricklike appearance of an older handheld phone has sort of been replaced by the shiny, slim smartphone. Kind of like taking a breezeblock and switching it with a tile covered in glitter. Wearing a cocktail dress.

The Nokia 5110... Our First Love!

But what happens if maybe, just maybe, a phone user literally wants to make a couple of calls and texts through their phone as a communication device. I can’t be bothered to teach my Grandma about apps, and I’m sure as hell not going to buy her a 250-odd pound modern smartphone just for her to ignore the fairly overpriced features it offers.

The solution is simple: bring back the brick. Strip out the 3g and the Wi-Fi and instead make room for more storage space, hardware, or a better camera lens.  Give it good graphics, fast processing and the ability to play games, films and music from internal memory. Let it dock with thine PC and let the MP3s multiply, my child.

But most importantly, make it a phone. Make the ability to make reliable calls the first part of the design process, with texts and camera functions a close second. Give it top-of-the-line onboard features designed so we never lose the network in everyday places, such as at home, in my room. Then, let us listen to music on it so we can do away with carrying around that clumsy MP3 player.

Recent revelations have it that Apple, Microsoft, Google et. al. are all tracking where we go, apparently what we buy, where we eat and most frighteningly, where we live via storing location data captured on their shiny new smartphones and sending the information to God knows where. I don’t know what you think, but I want my mobile to help me talk to my family, not persistantly stalk them and pass on the information to faceless multinational corporations.

The solution? What we really need is a safe affordable mobile phone that does what we actually NEED it to do. A device that does everything we used to rely on smartphones for, but so well it blows the smartphone out of the water in terms of just how good it is at making calls, texts and media functions. What we need is a brick. A new brick for a new decade. Who’s with me?

P.S. Also, let the brick come preloaded with Angry Birds. No touch screen. Steal HTC’s optical trackball. Sorry HTC.

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