Less features, less notifications, less distractions while still remaining contactable. That’s the premise of The Boring Phone, and I’m a fan of the concept to help people discover there is more to their social life when there is less on their phone.

Riding high on the feature phone wave, The boring phone is extremely basic, with capacity to send and receive messages and to make and take calls. It’s ideal for digital detox, disconnecting you from the toxicity of social media and the engrained culture of scrolling to pass the time.

Lars Silberbauer, CMO of Human Mobile Devices (HMD) commented that

Early in 2023, we spotted something cool with Gen Z in the US. They started cutting down their screen time to feel better mentally, swapping their smartphones for simpler phones. As big fans of unplugging from the digital buzz, we’re super excited about launching The Boring Phone with Heineken and Bodega. It’s definitely going to get people talking when they’re out and about.

Interestingly, despite the aim being to “disconnect” from the digital world, The boring phone is still a talking point. Its transparent casing and holographic stickers will start a conversation, and without constant interruption, the boring phone won’t stop that chatter.

The research shared shows that:

  • 90% of Zillennials across the UK and US confess to doom scrolling while socialising
  • Two-thirds admit to checking social media (62%) when hanging out with others
  • Over a third (36%) confess to checking work emails
  • Three in ten (30%) also revealed they sneakily play games instead of being in the moment
  • Over a third (37%) reveal that they check their phones more often than they should when socialising

That’s some pretty damming numbers about our capacity as humans to engage with each other. Thankfully, there’s a couple of promising numbers that came out of this:

  • 22% of respondents revealed they already turn their phone off or leave it at home ahead of social occasions
  • 38% said they would consider turning their phone off or leaving it home

This is where Heineken Global head Nabil Nasser’s comment came into focus:

At Heineken, we want to foster moments of genuine connection and help people experience the joy of true togetherness. In creating The Boring Phone we have gone back to basics, we have dialled down the tech to help people truly connect over a beer, without any distraction from the constant buzzing and dings.

At this point, there’s no Aussie pricing yet, but we’re hopeful — although likely very limited numbers — the deivce will land in Australia soon. If that isn’t the case, there’s plans for an app to turn your phone “boring” later this year.

Would you consider a digital detox to help you re-connect with others and disconnect from the digital world?