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Is a dumbphone that also charges your smartphone brilliant or idiotic?

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Inquiring minds want to know

Image: Zuri

Simple feature phones are commodity items, and so are power banks, so why not combine the two? Generic Hong Kong tech-rebadger Zuri has given it a go, making the “Power Bank U28” — a basic dumbphone that can also be used to charge your smartphone.

The question is: is this brilliant, or idiotic?

The back-and-forth in Verge Slack went like this: if you’re going to have a dumbphone as a back-up device, it may as well provide some extra utility beyond calls and texts. And, chances are, the reason you need a back-up phone in the first place is because your smartphone is dead. With the Power Bank U28 you kill two birds with one stone: you get an emergency phone and also an emergency charger. On the other hand: judging by the picture above you’ll have to find a cable and a dongle to use it, and also, why not just buy a power bank and charge your smartphone with it? Why bring a phone into this equation at all?

Honestly, this is the sort of thing that would have kept ancient Greek philosophers up at night.

On balance, I’ll say that I’m pro-U28, simply because, why not? Okay, so the phone’s 4,000 mAh battery isn’t going to offer much spare charge, but it’s not like having it is going to burden you in any way either. I own a couple of power banks because they’re just useful to have lying around — adding another to the pile doesn’t hurt. Right?