Review: John’s Phone – ‘The World’s Most Simple Phone’

John\'s Phone

John's Phone

Tired of all the bells and whistles that come complete in today’s cellphones? Hi-res cameras, speedy processors and cool apps just aren’t your thing? Or perhaps you’re simply too addicted to today’s technology that you can’t put it down? Whatever the case may be for you, John’s Phone is a wonderful breath of fresh air. I’m very pleased to share some details on the ‘World’s Most Simple Phone’ with you. It’s awesome. Keep reading for all the details.

Quick Overview

Words probably can’t do the simplicity of this phone any justice. Any effort I make to do so would fail, so I’ll let the folks at John’s Phone do the honors:

John’s Phone is the world’s most basic cell phone. John’s Phone allows you to make and receive calls anywhere in the world: no frills and no unnecessary features such as a camera, text messaging and an endless number of ringtones. John’s Phone keeps things simple.

That really is all there is to it. A phone, plain and simple.

The device is currently available in 5 colors: White, Brown, Pink, Black and Green. The good folks at JP graciously sent me a white version, which they call ‘Snow’ (for what it’s worth, it looks like thedy’re sold out of this version at the moment, as the device is on pre-order). Here are the key specs:

  • unlocked out of the box
  • energy efficient 1200 mAh battery
  • ringtone and vibration function
  • address book and pen built-in to the device
  • speed dial
  • earphones included for hands-free operation

Out of the box you’ll find the device, an address book and pen (built-in), the earpiece and an AC adapter with USB cable for charging… When you first take the device out of the box is should be fully charged, but if not, I don’t need to explain to you how to use an AC adapter and USB cable… right? :)

A look at John's Phone, complete with address book and pen

Getting Started

Getting going with John’s Phone is pretty darn simple. Before you turn it on, slide open the SIM tray and pop your SIM card into the device. Slide it in, and with a satisfying ‘click’ you’ll know everything is in-place.

John's Phone SIM Tray

Next, you can turn the device on via the power switch at the bottom left of the device. Three possible settings are available using this switch, from off, keypad lock to on. It’s pretty darn simple (perhaps a trend is developing here?).

Now that you have your SIM inserted, and the power on, there’s really not much more to it than that. The phone is designed to work with most major carriers, but I do recommend you check with JP if you’re considering to purchase one of these.

John\'s Phone Screen

You’ll notice the neat little screen at the top of the phone. Reminds me somewhat of pagers of old. On the screen you’ll see handy notices like the incoming call number, signal strength, a battery meter and the numbers pressed as you punch them into the device. Again, nothing flashy here, but it all works… simply.

Other Functions

While there are no other real functions to this phone other than being, well, a phone… There are a few other function switches you can play with on the left side of the device.

John's Phone Side View

The first is a volume switch. It’s located at the top left. Simply slide it up or down to increase or decrease your volume settings as needed. You can adjust these settings easily while in a call or when using the headphones as well. Whenever you want to adjust the volume, use this switch.

The next feature is the SIM card tray, which is located just beneath the volume switch. Not much to know here, other than the fact that it’s easy to open and close. That said, you don’t need to worry about the tray sliding open unannounced… Once you have the door closed, it stays put. Good to know, for sure.

The third switch down the left side of controls is the ringtone volume. Three settings are depicted via the clear icons, and you can adjust these settings to off, vibrate, and on, depending upon your needs.

Finally at the very bottom is the power switch, as I mentioned earlier. Use this toggle to turn the device on and off. Easy.

Important Note: I have to mention this, as it’s somewhat important. For some reason, all of these function keys do not work so well if you slide them up or down too fast. In fact, when I was getting started with the device for the first time, I was having trouble turning the darn thing off, because I’d slide the power switch hard down, cycling through all 3 power modes real fast. Don’t do this. If you click each function key to the next setting slowly, the device seems to pick it up better. Change the settings as you’d like to have them set one by one… and you’ll be fine. This is just a heads up, but it could save you some frustration for sure!

Ease of Use

Using John’s Phone is dead easy. A call comes in, hit the green ‘talk’ key. To end the call hit the red ‘goodbye’ key. That’s it. Check out numbers on the top screen as they come in, and punch in numbers of folks you’d like to call on the easy to use (and spacious) keypad.

John's Phone

A Clever Conversation Starter

There’s lots of nifty little touches built-in to make this a clever, and one-of-a-kind device. First and most obvious is the fact that it’s just a phone… and nothing but a phone. This is awesome. I’ve already found myself dumping my SIM into it from time to time over the past few weeks… Especially when I need a break from the information overload I get daily on a BlackBerry or iPhone. If you need a breather, or some ‘downtime’ with a more traditional old-school device… this is it.

Next up comes the clever ‘address book’ and pen built right into this thing. On the back of the device is a semi-transparent door. Within lays the address book. Whenever you want to add a new number, simply pop the address book out of the back, slide the pen out from the device (think Palm Pilot style stylus!), and write the information down inside the book. There’s also a section to write down your ‘text messages’, or play ‘games’ (tic tac toe). Hilarious… and clever, and a lot of awesome.

The Back of John's Phone

John's Phone Address Book

Finally, there’s even a page in the address book for you to write down your key contact information should you ever lose the device. The best part of this page has to be the area that reads ‘a drawing of my face’. No icon or avatar here. Just sketch your likeness into the space. Too funny!

If Lost, Return to page in the John's Phone Address Book

Conclusions

I highly recommend John’s Phone to a few groups in particular.

First, for those needing a break break from today’s technology (like I need from time to time), it’s ideal. True, you won’t get your email or text messages, you won’t be able to find out where you are via GPS, or play the latest games… but you know what? It feels good to go without sometimes.

Second, for those looking for a phone, and nothing but, this is a slam-dunk. I’m strongly considering picking one of these up for a few of my family members. There’s absolutely zero learning curve to this device, and if technology ain’t your thing, no worries with this one. Pop-in your SIM, turn it on, and voila, you’re done.

Plain and simple, John’s Phone is one clever little cellphone that I’m going to use for years and years to come. Sure, it’s never going to replace the technology we see in today’s mobile phones, but that’s not the point. Every once and awhile we all need to simplify and slow down. With John’s Phone in-hand, I can do just that. For this reason alone, John’s Phone has found a place in my personal hall of fame. Two big *thumbs up* to the team at John’s Phone. From the minute I took it out of the box, I knew I was in love.

John’s Phone (€69.95 – €99.95) [JohnsPhones.com link]

Note: More images below for your viewing pleasure.

John's Phone USB Port

The John's Phone Address Book

Inside the John's Phone Address Book

John's Phone Text Messages

Games in the John's Phone Address Book

  • Anonymous

    Well it’s great to see that someone is using proper grammar.

  • Anonymous

    Well it’s great to see that someone is using proper grammar.

  • Adeqzs

    The John’s Phone site sux. Does not even say where it works or what carriers, etc that I could seem making it a big waste of time. If they want to sell phones, they should provide all necessary info on page one.

  • Adeqzs

    The John’s Phone site sux. Does not even say where it works or what carriers, etc that I could seem making it a big waste of time. If they want to sell phones, they should provide all necessary info on page one.

    • Anonymous

      It works worldwide except for Korea and Japan you handicapted mind.
      Try to think when you read!

  • Terryyauk

    site tells you everything you need to know, the phone is unlocked and needs a sim card, doesnt work on 3g in japan or korea. simple

  • Terryyauk

    site tells you everything you need to know, the phone is unlocked and needs a sim card, doesnt work on 3g in japan or korea. simple

  • Anonymous

    t’s unlocked!
    This means it works with every carrier in the world. This is very unique as all the phones in the world only work with one or two carriers.
    John’s phone is the Linux under cell phones. But you are right that their website sucks. But for fifferent reasons.
    I am sure becaise the company is small their website looks so clumsy and amateuristic.
    Give them a break.
    Maybe they already working on a new website. I love this concept of a phone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Lucasemarta Ricky Wayne Brady

      actually, the restrictions to certain carriers is a uniquely USA feature to the cell phone industry. Gotta love capitalism! slowing progress since however long ago Alex Hamilton was around to f# k it all up.

      • Anonymous

        Or it’s because the technology and carriers all first developed here and then the rest of the world adopted it. That computer you are using to type the useless babble, yeah that came from technology in the U.S. too…

        • magic dave

          Huh? Like GSM and huge companies like Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson etc?

        • Anon

          so american.. get yourself a passport son

          • swatpup102

            Oh ok, so I guess that computer you are using was invented in…..oh yeah America. The internet you’re using to connect to this forum was….oh wait America again. The cell phone – America. The utility lines used to charge the phone – America. The light thats that are powering everything you see when you turn on a light switch – America. But then again, I wouldn’t want to be too American now would I….

            Yikes.

          • swatpup102

            Oh ok, so I guess that computer you are using was invented in…..oh yeah America. The internet you’re using to connect to this forum was….oh wait America again. The cell phone – America. The utility lines used to charge the phone – America. The light thats that are powering everything you see when you turn on a light switch – America. But then again, I wouldn’t want to be too American now would I….

            Yikes.

          • swatpup102

            Oh ok, so I guess that computer you are using was invented in…..oh yeah America. The internet you’re using to connect to this forum was….oh wait America again. The cell phone – America. The utility lines used to charge the phone – America. The light thats that are powering everything you see when you turn on a light switch – America. But then again, I wouldn’t want to be too American now would I….

            Yikes.

          • Billybob LittleDrummer

            Computers – canadian parts assembled by americans
            Internet – started as arpanet (collaboration between all north american countries)
            Power Lines – American (thats only one right answer)
            Light bulbs – Invented by british scientist Joseph Swan originally, edison simply improved the design…

            Good try tho… Id recommend some more research tho…

            Now, for some factual stuffs!! (GO CANADA)
            Velcro – Canadian
            Penicillian – Canadian
            Basketball – Canadian
            Hockey – Canadian
            Jim Carrey – Canadian
            Shania Twain – Canadian

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001768830492 Elmo Clarity

            The computer was “invented” in america is what they were saying. Where the one you have was assembled is a different question.

            Velcro? Invented in 1941 by a Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, in Commugny, Switzerland.

            Penicillin is attributed to a Scottish scientist and Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming in 1928.

            Basketball was developed by a Canadian, but in Springfield, Massachusetts. Give you half credit on that.

            ICE Hockey is attributed to a Canadian but hockey in and of itself (field hockey) dates back to the Egyptians.

            Let’s not even get started on where people were born. For every Canadian you list, another one from another country could be named. In fact, it was an American, Rodney Dangerfield, who gave Jim Carrey his first big break.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MAMMVCYO4UXEWWERTW2E35ZTEM D B

            velcro?? jim carrey? shania twain??? name shit dat matters…. btw velcro almost killed fashion, sure u wanna claim dat shit??

          • http://twitter.com/u3mancr Martin Emmerich
          • http://twitter.com/u3mancr Martin Emmerich
        • Wingle9

          hahaha wise up…computer probably built in taiwan or china!

        • Wingle9

          hahaha wise up…computer probably built in taiwan or china!

        • Wingle9

          hahaha wise up…computer probably built in taiwan or china!

      • Anonymous

        Or it’s because the technology and carriers all first developed here and then the rest of the world adopted it. That computer you are using to type the useless babble, yeah that came from technology in the U.S. too…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IIOCYTFXMA4OVJ7YYIQLFF6RJA Anthony

    “You’ll notice the neat little screen at the top of the phone.”

    It would be easier to notice it if you took a picture of it.

    • Bhalraam

      The picture is there dude.. its right above the statement.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IIOCYTFXMA4OVJ7YYIQLFF6RJA Anthony

    “You’ll notice the neat little screen at the top of the phone.”

    It would be easier to notice it if you took a picture of it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IIOCYTFXMA4OVJ7YYIQLFF6RJA Anthony

    “You’ll notice the neat little screen at the top of the phone.”

    It would be easier to notice it if you took a picture of it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IIOCYTFXMA4OVJ7YYIQLFF6RJA Anthony

    “You’ll notice the neat little screen at the top of the phone.”

    It would be easier to notice it if you took a picture of it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IIOCYTFXMA4OVJ7YYIQLFF6RJA Anthony

    “You’ll notice the neat little screen at the top of the phone.”

    It would be easier to notice it if you took a picture of it.

  • http://twitter.com/cab2012 cory billeaud

    ok, no display to screen incoming calls, a flip address book for numbers… cute but highly inefficient from a productive standpoint. Its all good til you lose or spill some something on the address book, which would certainly happen if you pulled out in most public places….lol

    • Guest

      The description states there is a screen on top (apparently not pictured):

      “Check out numbers on the top screen as they come in”

      • Brandee621

        There’s a picture of the ‘neat little screen’. Check out the 4th picture down within the article. LOL

      • Brandee621

        There’s a picture of the ‘neat little screen’. Check out the 4th picture down within the article. LOL

      • Brandee621

        There’s a picture of the ‘neat little screen’. Check out the 4th picture down within the article. LOL

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Sol/100001797145229 Steven Sol

      you could say the same thing about most other phones. Works until you drop it in a glass of water which there are hundreds of at EVERY Resturant in town…. you have a weak argument cory

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Sol/100001797145229 Steven Sol

      you could say the same thing about most other phones. Works until you drop it in a glass of water which there are hundreds of at EVERY Resturant in town…. you have a weak argument cory

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Sol/100001797145229 Steven Sol

      you could say the same thing about most other phones. Works until you drop it in a glass of water which there are hundreds of at EVERY Resturant in town…. you have a weak argument cory

  • http://twitter.com/cab2012 cory billeaud

    ok, no display to screen incoming calls, a flip address book for numbers… cute but highly inefficient from a productive standpoint. Its all good til you lose or spill some something on the address book, which would certainly happen if you pulled out in most public places….lol

  • fmfame

    its so costly.why?

    • Jthazleh

      Please remember that this is actual cost alone not what the carriers will charge with activation, i paid 150 for my samsung galaxy S with activation but it is a 650 dollar phone. so this will probaly cost next to nothing with your activation

  • Maxe

    I don’t know about you guys, but I need a break break from today’s technology, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shaza-Alelaby/100000242286814 Shaza Alelaby

    ????? ???? ????

  • Joe86af

    I want to order one for my grandpa! But we’re with AT&T and AT&T uses 3G/edge. So, I don’t know if it will work all of the time…

  • Joe86af

    I want to order one for my grandpa! But we’re with AT&T and AT&T uses 3G/edge. So, I don’t know if it will work all of the time…

  • cinnamon

    there is, above the sentence you quoted (it shows the numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7)

  • David Lemieux

    This does not seem simple with a screen on top! What kinda ergo is that???
    The noises are weird and it’s expensive for what little tech it contains.

  • http://www.facebook.com/willingtan Willing Tan

    This is Cool! :)

  • Zoey Zane

    awww , adorable !

  • Neil Camilleri

    I think if you need a break from technology your not using it properly. Your allowing it to use you instead. The fact that this phone is selling to consumers below sixty indicates to me that we need to control our use of technology better. The problem is how do you put a flood gate on an ocean of information and ensure your getting the best quality and the right information. Any ideas anyone? because if not I may need to order two of these, one for my grandad and one for myself…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AURTC5X7G2ZKBNH3FGJALKB7E LS650

    Hilarious!

  • http://twitter.com/eGadgetGuy Ken Williams

    It’s a GSM phone. So it 1. doesn’t work on Sprint or VZW. It also doesn’t always work on every carrier. Do your homework. JP needs to give out more carrier info.

    PS: Let’s drop the “My Country is better” crap.

    Incidently, there are plenty of “feature” phones that are basically just phones and most carriers give them out free with new activation.

  • Anonymous

    If you need a break from technology, you should try Morse Code. :) Seriously, not even an 8 years old want this phone.

  • http://www.way2hype.com 1976Hoosiers

    this is awesome! However, the biggest drawback is not knowing anyones number. If you guys are like me I don’t have a clue what peoples numbers are because I use address book and voice control on my iPhone or just call people from my gmail contacts using Google Talk. So I don’t know how someone justifies spending the same amount of money to get a break from technology, but are going to have use technology to find the numbers they need to dial (looking something up in the yellow pages is a waste of life and time)…Might be cool to integrate with Google Voice and have this a your “Bat” line so to speak or work on some type of VOIP client so instead of having a house phone you can use this, but still it wouldn’t make any sense because the advantages of a land line evaporate with VOIP and the disadvantages of a land line phone become prevalent with this phone. Interested to see how this plays out…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MAMMVCYO4UXEWWERTW2E35ZTEM D B

    yeah, and im gonna start sellin two cups on a string for those who REALLY need a break from any electronic… dis is so dumb because its ridulously priced. i can get an iphone for that much… then they throw in a color matchin phonebook, with BINGO n the back… ooooooo. then it also has a part to WRITE your txt messages.. dont tell me a freakin carrier pigeon comes n delivers it. dis is so damn dumb…. btw my cups go on sale tomorrw at a reasonable retail price of 49.99 for two cups, family plan add 9.99 per cup. FAIL!

  • Ank

    Yes. I want this phone for my international travel. I will use my Iphone for contacts and flip in a Pound 5 SIM card in UK for local calls. Looks a great idea? Only if this phone is available for US$9 and not penny more than that.

  • http://twitter.com/LLAmos Lalita Amos

    Open piehole = talk. Closed piehole = shaddup.

    I adore the simplicity

  • Amirniza

    What if the pen run out of ink, is there a third party pen replacement, or perhaps different color ink maybe??

    • Hgfgnc

      vcngv

  • Sfaafas

    fucking lookie lou pieces of shit

  • Lookieloufuck

    All you have to do to get it working is garlge it

  • Pinga

    hey ken eat a bag of dicks where did you get that stupid pic out of your yearbook tell you what ill send you one of these phones free if you can gargle my shit lol

  • Pinga

    hey ken eat a bag of dicks where did you get that stupid pic out of your yearbook tell you what ill send you one of these phones free if you can gargle my shit lol

  • Gwen

    I understand the ease of technology, but how do you see if you missed a call without a screen? I’m thinking of getting one for a backpacking through Europe trip, but it looks like too much of a hassle…

  • College student

    This is a really great phone. I’m having trouble finding something in between a phone as simple as this and a flip phone that has internet and a camera and all. There doesn’t seem to exist a phone for people who are perfectly capable of operating a phone with menus but don’t need all the extra stuff.

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