Question Looking for a Utilitarian Phone...

Mar 28, 2021
TLDR - ATT carrier. Main concern is that it just be what I need it to be - phone, browser (for connecting to work websites, looking up work related questions, googling random drunk dude questions), gmail SMS messenger and a rear camera that can take clear pictures. Close secondary is entertainment - capable of Google Podcasts and YouTube for road listening (not watching). But if it can come with little to nothing else that'd be awesome. A rugged, utilitarian phone for a grampa millennial.


I'm usually an Android user and my current carrier is AT&T. I've been using them for a long time now. Common apps I use are generally Google ones - Gmail, YouTube, Podcasts, YTmusic and Maps. I'd prefer a better battery life but charging at night and during 4-6hr car rides is normal and easy for me.

I don't care about bells and whistles. Game acceleration and enhanced selfie resolution are lost on me. Ideally I'd get a phone stripped down to the basic apps and features I use and little else (no selfie camera, don't need extra CPU and RAM for games). I work on the road and mostly use my GS8A for listening and navigation, and secondary for several low weight games I waste my time on when I'm sitting in a hotel room (Armory and the Machine anyone?). I do not want a Samsung (last straw), and I'd generally prefer a brand that doesn't preload every app and service they've come up with, nor third party apps I never asked for (how is Facebook essential enough that it can't just be deleted?). Extra buttons that I can't disable that my pocket hits and causes Bixby to open up, forced to update carrier or manufacturer apps that aren't actually necessary - these things are best left missing.

I've been looking at several rugged phones such as the Kyocera DuraPro 2. I'd prefer a newer one with the latest security updates but I leave it to you guys to guide me on that. Android 9 (what I'm currently on) was last updated in 2019 for security and apparently that's alright?

Games I play on my Galaxy S8A are things like Wizard and Minion Idle, Masters of Madness, Merchant, Realm Grinder - offline idle kinda games. I've got many more but I rare ever play them and frankly I could go without any of them. Army of Darkness Defense was taken down a few years ago and it's the only game I ever went back to with any regularity. If this hypothetical phone I'm looking for is somehow capable of playing SmarterEveryDay on YouTube but not Polytopia I wouldn't say no to the phone outright. And frankly it'd probably be better for my work habits if it couldn't.
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For a rugged but cheaper Android phone for AT&T, the Blackview models are good. There are several models starting from around $200 to pick from depending on the exact size/screen resolution/storage/camera etc.. you want.