It’s been a summer of mobile phone announcements. The Droid X. The iPhone 4. The Blackberry 9800 is expected to be announced on Tuesday. And there’s been a lot of talk: “Should I upgrade to the new iPhone 4?” “Should I switch to an Android?”

Strangely, there’s little talk of downgrading to a “dumbphone.” You know, a plain old cell phone that makes calls, sends texts, and not much else.

About six weeks ago, I sold my used iPhone 3G, and I’ve been living with just such a dumbphone: a Motorola L7. As it turns out, I’m not the only one living life without a data plan and full QWERTY keyboard. Only 15-17% of the world’s cell phones are classified as “smartphones,” which means the vast majority of cell phones are not smart.

Still, the smarties get all the press.

So, what’s life like with a dummy? After the initial shaking, tears, and denial, I was surprised at how easy it was to shed my data plan. And there have been noticeable benefits:

  • I’m way less compulsive about checking email/Twitter/random trivia
  • I’m way more observant about the world around me. I pay more attention, because I’m less distracted.
  • My dumbphone is way cheaper to operate. My Fido bill for July was $15.63, compared to $80-85/month with the iPhone

For my CBC tech column this week, I’m talking about the virtues of the dumbphone: why regular old cell phones aren’t necessarily sexy, but are still a good choice for many people.

Do you have a dumbphone? Do you love it? I’d love to know why. Leave a comment or shoot me an email: dan@misener.org