It's been about a week since I got my brand-new Alcatel Go Flip 4, and honestly, the jury is still out. I'm not sure how long it will take to decide whether it's a keeper or not. I have the luxury of not being very dependent on it. I work from home. I don't travel much. I rarely talk on the phone. I text with few people. Most MFA is done via email or SMS.
Moreover, I do a lot of my communication on computers with keyboards, anyway. I learned to type young, and *all* smartphone inputs have irked me, even the physical keyboards (since they're not the same as full keyboards). Am I sad that I can't run Discord on my new phone? No. I mostly use Discord from a laptop. Am I sad that I can't use Slack? No, I hate Slack and use it only because my job has forced me to. Am I sad that I can't (easily) use IRC? Not really, since that's a pain even on phones with bigger screens.
Also, as I had expected, tethering works. If I *really* feel the need to use Telegram or something without the limitations found on KaiOS, I can pull out an old Android phone and tether it. It really does work.
Long story short: I don't love my new phone, and I don't hate it. I don't know that I've ever loved a smartphone, so that's not a knock, and I hated my previous smartphone since the day I got it, so it's at least an improvement over that.
Sooner or later, I will have to try writing KaiOS apps and sideloading them. Maybe I'll start with a Gemini client.