Product Spec of a A Basic Phone

I was recently looking for a basic phone for my uncle ( and also for myself ) which would be cheap and have a long lasting battery life. I am yet to find something which suits me, but it got me thinking that there is no really good low end phone OS now.

What has happened in the last few years is that with the advent of the touchscreen, everyone wants to sell a touchscreen phone. Now, it makes sense when you have something which consumes a lot of data - e.g. for emails or browsing or facebook. And the low end phones - like the nokia Asha series - which are cheap to sell, have this touch tacked onto the phones. This is a pretty bad experience as things like scrolling etc do not work well.

The closest phone that I came to liking was the Motofone, but like Motorola is apt to do, they under-made the phone, and it did not do that well.

Motofone F3 - not quite there.


So, here is my specifications of a low end phone.


  • It will be a phone without internet access
    • There are many people who do not want internet access. They buy the phones and never enable 3G on the SIMs or if they do, they hardly use it. 
    • There are many places in the world where you do not have internet access. E.g. travelling in many parts of India. 
  • It will need to have a great battery life
    • I envisage that it should have a week's battery life. One of the most irritating things about phones nowdays it that you need to charge them atleast twice a day. 
    • Great battery life also means that if you leave the phone charger on a short trip, you do not worry. 
  • It will have a fast and responsive addressbook which syncs through your PC
    • After all, once you remove internet access, all that remains on the phone is the actual phone. 
    • Syncing with the PC means that your address book can be updated to google or whatever service. This will be through an installed program. 
      • Essentially this will be quite simple as the extract from the phone will be a simple vCard export which can be imported to various services. 
  • It will have a good camera
    • 5MP or so. Saves to a SD card so that it can be easily inserted into a card reader on the laptop or an external attachment. 
    • I find the camera is an invaluable addon to the phone for the sheer easy of access. 
    • Maybe can have a dedicated button to start the camera. 
  • It will not be touch based. 
    • For the limited functionality, touch is not required. 
  • FM radio
    • This is a good requirement as it really used by a lot of people. I do not know why high end phones do not come with FM radio.
  • Casing/Screen properties
    • Screen should be big so as to have a lot of display area. I would want 2/3 of the front to be screen. 
    • On not using the phone, the screen should show : 
      • The current time
        • Can be enhanced for multiple timezones / sunrise/moonrise/etc. 
      • The FM radio station if playing 
        • Only the FM should be controllable via a trackball/pad.
      • Missed calls/sms incoming status. 
        • When incoming call, the entire screen area should be having the details of the caller from the Phone book. 
          • Font should be easily readable from arms length.
    • On activating the phone: 
      • Same as on not using the phone, but now can select the different rows of activities to check them out. 
      • Pressing numbers should instantly start the phonebook lookup based on number and letters
    • It should be eInk
      • Colour eInk if the phone has a camera
      • Else b/w eInk. 
  • Waterproof casing for isntances of using the phone in rain. Normally, with today's phones we cannot. 
  • Touch casing of the phone so that if you drop it, it does not crack. 
Would all this be achievable within 5k INR ? 

Do you think that such a basic phone will have a market ? 


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