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giving-the-dumbphone-a-whirl.md (2165B)


      1 title: Giving The Dumbphone A Whirl
      2 author: Daniel Moch
      3 copyright: 2021, Daniel Moch
      4 date: 2021-04-20 19:50:00 UTC-04:00
      5 category: technology
      6 description: It's quiet uptown ... or anywhere else you don't take your smartphone.
      7 
      8 Less has really started to seem like more for me lately. In a pique
      9 of frustration over how distracted and low-key anxious I have felt,
     10 I deleted my social media accounts (except for one, which I need
     11 for work) and switched to a dumbphone. It hasn't been life changing,
     12 but the feeling has been something akin to stepping outside of a
     13 crowded building and taking off your COVID mask to breathe the
     14 crisp, autumn air. I've sort of eased into it over the past few
     15 weeks, but right now I don't miss it.
     16 
     17 The particular phone I settled on was the Punkt MP-02. It's an
     18 elegant device, the VoLTE capability of which is supported by my
     19 carrier. It also supports tethering. A dumbphone that supports
     20 tethering fills a pretty valuable niche in my opinion, since it
     21 allows me to connect my laptop to my cell provider if I'm in a
     22 pinch. The killer feature, though, is that their most recent software
     23 update has added support for secure messaging via Signal. (Their
     24 implementation is called Pigeon, although it interoperates with the
     25 same Signal service smartphone users are familiar with. I assume
     26 the name was changed because the app was done by Punkt.) Because
     27 it's a dumbphone, this turns out to be the only way to do group
     28 messaging on the MP-02.
     29 
     30 The only other thing I'll say about the phone is that complaints
     31 about the software quality, while they may have been accurate at
     32 the time, ring hollow today. Presumably they've managed to work out
     33 a lot of the early bugs, the device having been out for well over
     34 a year now. I'm not expecting much in the way of new features, but
     35 that is itself a feature.
     36 
     37 If not for the MP-02's Signal compatibility, I likely would have
     38 ended up with the much cheaper Nokia 6300 4G. I'd be curious to
     39 hear from anyone using that phone about their experience, as I'd
     40 like to be able to recommend something to folks bit by the same bug
     41 I've caught, but who don't find Signal compatability worth thrice
     42 the price.