Mobile Development

The Surprising Comeback of Feature Phones

The Surprising Comeback of Feature Phones
Image Courtesy: Pexels

Ever since Apple launched its revolutionary iPhone in the summer of 2007, all manufactures have followed suit by removing buttons from phones. While Steve Jobs and his team are not the ones to be credited with the invention of touchscreen technology, they are responsible for its spread like wildfire. Thus, the era of smartphones commenced.

In a similar manner, we are noticing a slow but gradual comeback of feature phones. However, in this case, it is not a corporation responsible for its return but the people’s demand. There are many who are fed up with smartphones, among other reasons, and look to button mobiles as an alternative.

Here are several reasons for the comeback of feature phones

It ranges from user discomfort with smartphones to user comfort with feature phones.

Detox from the Digital World

With smartphones and their applications being able to connect us seamlessly across the world, it also made us permanently available. Excessive smartphone usage leads to increased depression, anxiety, irritation, and fatigue. Using a feature phone allows consumers to log out from the digital interruptions and round-the-clock connectivity.

Easily Affordable

Even basic smartphones of today require you to shell out a decent amount for a functional phone. This is coupled with expensive data plans for which a user should have a high budget. Feature phones, on the other hand, are in general, more affordable. In developing countries like India, they are accessible by even the poorest strata of society thanks to advancements like the JioPhone by Reliance Industries.

Simple to Use

A feature phone has a simple user interface that is easy enough for anyone to pick up. It is straightforward, having necessary features like texting, calling, and a low megapixel camera. This mainly draws in elderly customers who find it difficult to adapt to using smartphones. It also has a huge selling point with parents of teenagers who do not wish to expose their children to anything distracting or addictive.

Longer Battery Life

Smartphones drain a ton of battery life trying to manage their applications and features. This limits them to a usage time of a couple of hours where they must be charged at least twice a day during regular use. Features phones act as a better alternative by providing nonstop connectivity for days, sometimes weeks, on end. This bodes well for businesspeople who make and receive regular calls.

Acts as a Backup

They act as a secondary device for emergency purposes in case a smartphone runs out of battery or malfunctions. Their durability, when compared to smartphones, is significantly higher. So, it can be trusted to be functional in crisis scenarios. For workers in rugged environments, these are the right choice.

A Vintage Item for the New Generation

While feature phones have stopped becoming relevant in this century, the newer generation has never had a chance to experience them. For them, feature phones are vintage items of the past that present a classic look to their style. They can understand what it was like to have basic usability on phones without any applications or filters. For others, they act as a nostalgic memory of better, simpler times.


Feature phones are a blast from the past: they were widely in circulation less than two decades ago. They are simple products with multiple features that can draw an array of users in. While they may not be replacing smartphones any time soon, they have not yet been fully rejected by the market and still live to fight.