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It's a Gen Z Thing: Low-Tech Phones Are Making a Comeback

It’s a Gen Z Thing: Low-Tech Phones Are Making a Comeback

The humble smartphone is arguably the most accessible portal to the internet nowadays, and owning one has made life easier for many. These handheld marvels come in a variety of prices, colors, and form factors to suit anyone’s sensibilities.

A significant chunk of the younger generation, however, seems to be growing reluctant to follow the smartphone trend. You’d think almost everyone will automatically embrace advancements in technology, especially since younger people are naturally more tech savvy. The shift of some members of this generation to more “retro” technology therefore proves to be quite the conundrum. It begs the question, why do a good number of Gen Zs choose older mobile phones over smartphones?

Social Media Burnout

The first reason lies not in the youth’s craving for more information, but in the burnout from all of it. Statistics show that the average Filipino spends much of their internet time on social media. This is in-between all the other online activities the youth partake in nowadays. 

It’s no mystery that being perpetually online does have its own negative impacts on mental and physical well-being. Studies from the National Institute of Health state that internet addiction could be a factor in the emotional exhaustion caused by burnout.

Better Privacy

We have all experienced getting a new smartphone and know that some of them often come with a number of apps pre-installed. We’ve also gone through the experience of having to answer built-in surveys in order to proceed with setting up our phones. To determine whether or not a certain app is safe or can cause harm to our smartphone, a certain degree of research needs to be done beforehand. Phones from the older generation skip this process entirely.

Proven Durability

We won’t deny that the majority of smartphones today are as resilient as they come. Many are made with sturdy materials like Gorilla glass, titanium, stainless steel, and polymer composites. However, Gen Zs are looking for something more durable, which lower-tech phones offer as they can really take a beating. Furthermore, while a smartphone battery life of one or two days is considered quite lengthy nowadays, we tend to forget about how we’d once go for a week on a single charge on our flip phones.


It has become the norm to upgrade your smartphone every year or two. Some people prefer owning the newest models with high-tech features, while some opt to change devices when their current ones just can’t keep up with their requirements. Some Gen Z, on the other hand, are fortunate enough to inherit low-tech phones from their Gen X and Millennial parents—and most if not all of these phones are in perfect working condition.


This just might be the prime reason. There’s no debate on low-tech being vastly more affordable than even the cheapest of smartphones. Unlike other trinkets in the tech space, like consoles, musical devices, and the like, older mobile phones won’t be increasing in price anytime soon. Given all the reasons above plus saving a few thousand bucks, “retro phones” might just be exactly what some Gen Zs need and want to own right now.

Even Older Tech Phones Can Be Smart

The advances in technology are undeniable. With smartphones becoming increasingly smarter thanks to more powerful processors and more optimized AI, having such a handheld device has never made life more convenient.

However, we can’t dismiss the potential reasons for a significant number of Gen Zs showing more interest in low-tech devices. At the end of the day, it could just be the usual novelty fascination toward anything retro.

Even if they’re using older, low-tech phones, Gen Zs can still take advantage of Smart’s range of prepaid and postpaid promos as well as its wide coverage. Smart has prepaid offers that give you unlimited calls and texts to all networks for up to for 7 days, while Signature Plans+ include the same unlimited calls and texts offer as part of the base plan features.

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