I find that people with poor data on their phones and really old versions of Email clients aren't the ones you want clicking on your emails anyway. At least in tech.
Most Images can be compressed to be lightweight and many automation platforms allow you to include plain text separately. Again, I don't know who in this world uses plain text and links don't even work in plain text anyway so chances for success are low there regardless.
I think we see image based emails a lot in e-commerce because those emails don't need much copy. Just 50% OFF BLACK FRIDAY SALE! Image based emails work in this instance because the font more often than not is large and therefore there are no issues with how it renders. I would totally bet the performance of a nicely designed, concise message in an image based email against some of the ugly, text-heavy, B2B HTML emails I get.