Photo courtesy of Samsung.

A Blast from the past: new phones take an old era aesthetic approach.

Will they compare and should Apple be worried?
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Recent phone releases in the tech world will have your ears perked and eyes peeled. Both of these take a nostalgic approach in the way we use our phone yet are strikingly different in their branding, operations and appeal.

Released in mid February the Samsung Z Flip made its first debut as it unfolded, becoming a mini tablet device. With a versatile split screen feature, users can watch YouTube on the top while replying to emails on the bottom. This is the first flip phone of its kind with a folding glass screen.

The Light Phone, what they’re calling a credit-card size, low-tech tool, was initiated on Kickstarter in a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015 and later launched in 2017. However, their second edition and newest release has began to receive attention from social media users. Light advocates their phone is “designed to be used as little as possible.”

The company has stripped the phone of any and all social media. We’re talking email, apps, games, music and more. They are encouraging users to use the phone as a tool rather than a tool for distraction.

Dominic Rushe, a reporter for The Guardian decided to try the phone for himself. What he gained in his experience shocked him in ways he didn’t see coming.

“I used to draw a lot,” Rushe said. “I am drawing again. By midweek, I’m also writing more. At least these thoughts and drawings, however scattered, are my own. Maybe a new me is emerging, or an old one. One that draws and thinks for himself rather than following Silicon Valley’s addictive maze.”

However, a question worth asking is whether this is sustainable for a 21st century individual, one with emails to be answered and important tasks and reminders from classes, colleagues or employers, or those who truly rely on their phones for a means of income such as those working for Uber, Door Dash, or similar apps.

Julia Jacobo, ABC News reporter in a 2019 study concluded unsurprisingly that students spend an increasingly large amount of time on screens, not including screen time used for schoolwork.

“Teens spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones a day,” Jacobo said. “When figuring in activities such as reading books and listening to music, the numbers jumped to nine hours and 49 minutes.”

Chance Callahan, an HSU natural resources graduate contemplated whether or not he felt he would be able to go entirely without all media apps, such as the Light phone.

“I’d still probably prefer my phone,” Callahan said. “But I’d be willing to try the Light phone for a week trial to see what it’s about. It would be good to take a break for a while but it’s hard to say if I could go without social media entirely.”

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