Are you overwhelmed by all the options of cell phones or smart phones, data plans and contracts, a myriad of downloadable apps, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS or mobile TV? Most likely as a nerd or geek, you are not, but our parents and the elderly often do complain. As a solution to this hectic cell phone world, a British company called OwnFone has developed the simplest cell phone that is intuitive and could greatly simplify the decision making process for people not in tune with the electronics world. There is one catch. At the moment, you can only use it in the UK and Northern Ireland.
OwnFone is a cell phone that, instead of a number pad, has up to 12 names as buttons. The names and phone numbers are predetermined by the customer, stored in the cloud and allow for one touch calling. It is a thin, slick phone, about the size of a credit card, with an answer button, end call/power button, volume control arrows and indicator LEDs; the bare essentials. Your OwnFone number is printed on the back so you can tell others and they can call you. You can also choose from a variety of colors and patterns to decorate it.
The OwnFone is still customizable even after you have ordered it. To change a number all you need to do is contact their customer service and let them know, free of charge. Stickers for new names are also available but will set you have 5 pounds ($8 USD). Soon, pictures and Braille will be available instead of names for each button.
That does seem simple. I like the idea, but I use my phone for far more than calls. Also, who calls anymore? How about a text only OwnFone? (via myownfone)
There is no answering machine or voicemail however, nor any power draining features of today's superphones. The phone’s battery usage is minimal and can last up to 3 days when it is left on. OwnFone claims that if you turn off a fully charged phone, it will retain enough energy make calls up to a year later.
You can also divert calls from your smart phone to your OwnFone easily by dialing *21*(your OwnFone number)# from your smart phone or cancel the call divert by calling #21#.
There are no long-term contracts. The most expensive plan will give you 500 talking minutes for 15 pounds ($24 USD) and each phone costs 55 pounds ($90 USD). This seems like a great option for a secondary phone as well as an apt fit for children and elderly users or a backup emergency cell. Or let's face it, a new stylish disposable phone for the nefarious lot.