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The idea I have

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Posted

Hello, new here, been following site without account for ages, now I need your opinion on something. Not sure I got the section right, if anyone thinks its wrong, feel free to move it to the right subforum.

 

Looking how the world goes, especially the smartphone world, no one other than Nokia is making any good feature phones these days.

Well, I'm not the fan of smartphones (although I like some concepts of it, like wi-fi tethering), therefore im a classic feature phone user.

 

My dream phone would be the one that I need to charge once every two months, just for the efficency itself. I'm going to be a computer engineering student this fall, so i thought of one project for myself - build a basic, cheap, good looking, sturdy, long lasting feature phone.

 

I actually started working on my idea already, made a few 3D renders of what I would love to achieve, here they are:

 

untitled17.png

 

untitled16.png

 

Now what I expect from you, dear Neowin readers and users, give your opinion on my idea, maybe tell what you would change, whats missing, whats good, whats bad. I dont mind critisism, its something to learn from.

 

Thanks in advance :)

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Posted

Good luck with it.

 

But don't be surprised if Microsoft, Samsung, and Apple agents come 'visit' you ... :shifty:

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Posted

Well, I think the biggest issue I personally see for a phone with this concept and the people I expect to buy it, is contact management. I appreciate there are people out there who do remember lots of telephone numbers, but I would imagine that the type of person who would buy this would not.

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Posted

Contact management as well as how do you know if you messed up input of the number without a screen.

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Posted

I'm with the others, a lack of a screen is huge issue. Even for those who don't like the smartphones need a screen for things like time/date.

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Posted

Well, its not aimed for everyone, although I have some ideas, who would it be for:

 

a) Older people

b) Backup phone

c) A sturdy secondary phone, eg. for construction workers, dust and waterproof etc.

 

Lack of screen is sure a big bummer, but that is the main point of this as of now. Many businessman carry a some kind of notebook anyway where they have most of their numbers in. And lets face it, in modern world, doing some brain work to remember numbers would do only good :)

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Posted

How would you know what numbers you've put in when you're dialling?

 

Oh and welcome to Neowin

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Posted

Contact management as well as how do you know if you messed up input of the number without a screen.

 

The last pressed number would be the only one left lit up, so you know which one you dialed. When you recieve call you can see numbers, one by one they light up, same if you press call. So there is some way to know.

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Posted

Well, its not aimed for everyone, although I have some ideas, who would it be for:

 

a) Older people

b) Backup phone

c) A sturdy secondary phone, eg. for construction workers, dust and waterproof etc.

 

Lack of screen is sure a big bummer, but that is the main point of this as of now. Many businessman carry a some kind of notebook anyway where they have most of their numbers in. And lets face it, in modern world, doing some brain work to remember numbers would do only good :)

 

a) Older people are less likely to remember numbers and as someone else pointed out, I suspect are more prone to making dialling errors.

b) Do people really do that? It's news to me
c) again maybe, but I would be sure that would be covered by some sort of local site radio system to reduce costs.

 

What could be a nice fit would be to use a similar style screen technology as an ebook reader. Those tend to have good battery lives so should fit the model.

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Posted

I must admit i like your 3d renders, i think their really nice, I also liked your idea that the last pressed number would be the only one left lit up.

What about battery life? how would you know when its low?

I guess the phone could start beeping like smoke alarms do.

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Posted

I must admit i like your 3d renders, i think their really nice, I also liked your idea that the last pressed number would be the only one left lit up.

What about battery life? how would you know when its low?

I guess the phone could start beeping like smoke alarms do.

 

 

Keyboard backlight would turn orange when less than 20% is left and red when less than 10% of battery is left. Thanks for the praise on renders, they are my quite first actually

 

Edit: b) wouldnt it be nice to have some sort of backup, when, for example, you are travelling and lose or someone steals your phone? As far as I'm concerned, backup phones are a real thing

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Posted

Those renders look pretty cool actually!! 

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Posted

'Looking how the world goes, especially the smartphone world, no one other than Nokia is making any good feature phones these days.'

??? That's biased; I disagree.

 

Sure you can make a phone that has a standby time of a few weeks with a large enough battery/no screen/no background apps, etc. However, making calls will chew through battery life (takes quite a bit of power to transmit to mobile phone towers). My Android phone on standby will last a few days (even a week). But if I make two hours worth of calls, its battery will drain down to about 50% at least.

 

Are you expecting standby time to be two months, or two months including calls?

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Posted

Standby, of course. Talk times are sure way way less, although thats the department I'd like to be better over a regular feature phone also. Havent really thought into eletronics much yet, been doing some research though on Nokia 105 CPU and such, so cannot give a exact numbers as of now. But you're right, this thing would pack a quite big battery.

 

But truth be told, Nokias feature phone business is also under big question mark since Microsoft bought Nokia. But the thing is, in third world countries, the feature phones make great sales, a really great sales. You can look them up if you want, if I'm not mistaken Nokia 105 sold more than iPhone.

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Posted

Why not make it even smaller and combine the call start/stop buttons into one button, and use the 0 button with a long-press? Just have to hold the 0 key to make or stop a call. This would prevent 'pocket dials' because of the 3 second hold you need along with reduce the size or offer more space for a small screen or larger battery. Its also missing the * and # keys, which could dual act for the answer/disconnect.

As for no screen, not having caller ID this day in age is a bummer, along with searching your addressbook and receiving text messages. For callerID, I'd think there'd be a way to use your backlit buttons to full advantage and somehow have them show the sequence of the incoming number? maybe area code lit one color, region another and the last digits lit another color, the quadrant/side of the lighting displaying what 'place' the digit is... I can't really describe it well and I'm not sure if it would be just visually confusing or a stunning twist on going screenless. You could also have it light each number one after the other with a half second pause or something.. Your other option is a small screen on the back-side for CID/text/address purposes or incorporating simple bluetooth connectivity to something like a smart watch/truck infotainment/computer/tablet/smart caller band.

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Posted

Rather than LEDing up your keys, why not have a backlit e-ink display.  It would be responsive enough for scrolling through 10 or so contacts, to show the name of who is calling, etc?

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Posted

Well, I see the no screen issue has been covered.

 

Even the first Motorola "brick" phone had a display.  All mainstream phones from then until now have one too.  I understand it's a backup phone but there are some basic features needed even if it's just a secondary phone.

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Posted

Funny thing: back in time...

 

red2500.JPG

 

noone had a display, noone complained, today its must have? People managed without a screen very well. The whole point of this idea is without screen, the simplicity it brings, less drain on battery, cheaper, less complex electric schematics, not a powerful components required to run.

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Posted

noone had a display, noone complained, today its must have? People managed without a screen very well. The whole point of this idea is without screen, the simplicity it brings, less drain on battery, cheaper, less complex electric schematics, not a powerful components required to run.

 

Argument is invalid.

 

It was a stationary object, which people kept a phonebook beside.  You now suggest people carry 2 items?

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Posted

Argument is invalid.

 

It was a stationary object, which people kept a phonebook beside.  You now suggest people carry 2 items?

 

Not entirely, no.

 

I mean, I can only tell from my own phone usage experience, but there are only few numbers I call regularly (less than 10, I suppose). I know them all from the top of my head in case my phone dies and I need to loan someone's. As of now, the other numbers are sure, in my phonebook, in my pocket, in my Nokia phone. However, I could see living my life having the other numbers stored somewhere else, physically, as I dont need them much.

 

Also thought you could add up to 9 speed dial numbers there.

 

Its all my own experience, can't speak for others regarding to this.

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Posted

Its all my own experience, can't speak for others regarding to this.

 

Then the design process is inherently flawed.

 

If you are doing any form of design, you need to understand your audience.  If your audience is yourself (1 person) then fair play.

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Posted

Making a comparison like that could lead to so many "look at the old things people used and didn't complain about" vs. new thing that uses new technology to enhance a product.  Hipster thinking aside, old technology?better.  Better=better.


On a side note, it seems like you are pretty set on what you want.  Why publicly display it and ask for suggestions if they will all be met with "no, because my idea is right"?

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Posted

Actually, going from Nik L's idea, why not incorporate a small e-ink display to display caller ID and a contact book? That would work for the attempt at keeping battery life - if I'm right the e-ink displays don't use much power at all? - while also being able to display a list of contacts. The display would only need to be big enough for one phone number to be displayed at a time.

Like others, I like the render. I also appreciate the idea of it being a backup phone, as I know several people that use them for various reasons. For me the lack of a display would be annoying though, a lack of a contact book more so. Even the old Nokias had a titchy screen to view contacts and caller ID, and those things batteries lasted a good week with no problem.

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Posted

Then the design process is inherently flawed.

 

If you are doing any form of design, you need to understand your audience.  If your audience is yourself (1 person) then fair play.

 

As of now, it is just me, the one person, indeed. Mainly because I dont think I'll have enough resources anyway to go into huge production.

 

The main goal now is build one, for myself, and then maybe, just maybe go and see what people think about it, in their hands, trying it out for themselves. And either go on from there, or kill that idea entirely, and keep using it just for myself.

 

I know all this seems unnecessary, since you could get a Nokia 105 with one month standby for 20

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Posted

I like the design and its simplicity. Nice rendering too.

 

As for the phone itself; is there really a big enough market for this?

 

Nowadays, people usually expect at least a contact manager and SMS capability, even from dumbest of mobile phones. I agree, the rest can go, but those two seem to be essential.

 

How cheap would your phone be?

 

It's possible to get a phone like nokia 103 for about 10 euros:

 

http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_103-4690.php

 

It also has a flashlight and FM radio.

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