They’re not all equally supported, though. Most of them can boot, many have Wi-Fi support, but currently just two actual phones work as phones: the open-source hardware PinePhone and the Purism Librem 5.
That’s pretty important though!
While it can depend on your use case, I don’t consider it to be “reviving” if it doesn’t work as a phone. If the phone side of it does not work but the device still has a use case then I would call that “repurposing”, which is still completely useful.
Edit extensively for the benefit of @qupi:
For example, I run my government’s two factor authentication app on a SIM-less obsolete iPhone that is without any other apps or config and which remains permanently at home. This is harm minimisation.
Lacking any constitutionally-guaranteed rights, my government is free to legislate that in order to do X, you need the authentication app. The choice is run the app or don’t do X. It’s that simple.
I don’t expect it to get any better in the future.
A government that is more respectful of privacy rights (e.g. in the EU) might still require an app but make it open source / open algorithm - so that you are not forced to run blackbox code on your phone.
It is a pity that my government is so lame because obviously requiring two factor authentication is, in and of itself, a good thing.
It really depends. For me personally, I don’t really need to carry a phone with me anymore.
I can have a smartphone at home so that people can call and I can see who called and for apps that would not work otherwise.
But when it comes to daily communication, I can cover 99,9% of the calls with apps like Viber, Telegram, Signal and co.
The experience is even better than phone, because in such apps you add one more dimension in communication -> video. Being able to see the person with the mimics of the face improves communication. So it is the superior technology.
So a device where the modem is just a way to provide Internet would be perfectly daily driver suitable as long as apps like Telegram and Viber work and the front camera works with them. Things that I hope one day will work on Librem 5.
Ugh, this statement made me