The Wisephone

Finally found the phone for me… dumb yet modern:

Along the same lines as Mudita Pure, it only has the basics — calling and messaging, a camera, maps and a calculator, but with a full keyboard.

Interesting. No porn is a feature I haven’t seen before :laughing:


Yeah that made me laugh


I like the concept, though still can’t help but feel that for what it is, it’s still packing an awful lot of cost and excess power and resources and things.

Interestingly though it looks like rather than setting up their own manufacturing, they’ve instead bought Android phones and flashed their own custom Android build onto them — Moto E and for newer revisions, Pixel 4a. Cute solution; I suppose it must work out a lot cheaper and easier for them.


True; The Light Phone that did everything custom had a challenge I believe…

The way I look at it, even a 1% daily increase in productivity (because less distraction) compounded over the phone’s lifespan is probably worth it for me.

That’s fair. At that point though personally I’d probably just buy something like a Nokia N900 or a BlackBerry with a proper keyboard and not bother with all the touchscreen gubbins… can’t get any apps for them but that seems to be half the point here.

I suppose this thing does have a much better camera at least, and the interface looks clean (if rather lacking in accessibility).

One thing I did notice after spending a bit longer looking through their site though is that they disable the Maps app by default, and I am a bit confused; they mention that parents might not want teens to have this function, but it surprises me that kids knowing where they are is bad apparently?

Combined with the emphasis on ‘no internet’ and ‘no porn’ in their marketing and all of the potentially-invasive monitoring features, it does worry me that this is almost tailor made for abusive, overbearing parents.

[Locking down an iPhone] is incremental, temporary, and likely defeatable […] Wisephone is purpose-built to be unbeatable by all but the hackiest of hackers.

Big citation needed flag here :stuck_out_tongue:

Update: yeah, this seems like it’s what I thought it was … turns out they started flashing their own devices because their system of parental controls apps was booted from the Play Store, and they believe they are being “targeted as a conservative startup” because of their “political stance on parental rights” (blog post). When searching for their previous product, the main customer base seemed to be US right-wing religious parents looking to control every aspect of their kids’ lives…

I can definitely sympathise with the issues they cite with app review seeming vague and arbitrary, but whew. (Other opinions are available, of course, and I’m curious to hear what others make of this…)


True, I hadn’t looked close enough. Were they my children, the idea of call and text logging as a feature makes me queazy, but I can’t fault a parent for doing what they believe is best to protect their kids. Maybe I’ll be more vocal when my time comes…

I appreciate you digging into this, I certainly didn’t go that far. :slight_smile:


But then there’s the escape hatch — if anyone hacks it, by definition they must be the hackiest? :sweat_smile:


There’s another phone which does/did this much better, in my opinion: The BoringPhone

Like the Wisephone, it’s an off-the-shelf Android with a custom ROM, but is aimed more broadly than just the parents/kids market, despite that being one of the use cases. Unlike the Wisephone, these guys seem cool.

I came very close to buying one myself before they sold out. They’ve promised a second iteration but it’s been quiet for about a year now.


This does sound significantly more what I’m interested in - although not really anything I couldn’t do by deleting and hiding some apps on my current phone. I’d be paying £300 as a substitute for self-control :stuck_out_tongue:


Looking at it, they have “faith driven enterprise” advisors. And the “no porn” is heavily mentioned everywhere…so I think this entire device comes from a place of “abstinence only” education :upside_down_face: