Back in the day, flip phones were exclusively limited to feature phones — non-smartphones to us civilians. They focused on the basics: call quality, text capabilities, and battery life, wrapped in an easy-to-use, reasonably priced, pocketable package. They were excellent as budget devices. Today, there are new flip phones on the block — smart flip phones that live on the cutting edge of technology, like Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Sure, prices have gone up, but that doesn't mean you can't score a great deal on a flip phone or a flip feature phone. Flip phones are intuitive and simple, but offer plenty of variety. Your phone rings, you flip up the cover to answer. If you want to send a text, you flip up the cover and start typing. Most flip phones are designed to be used with one hand, though some also have a hands-free mode. Some flip phones feature a small touchscreen, while others have internal memory, support data plans, or sport a full QWERTY keyboard. The latest generation of flip phones lets you check notifications, the weather, and more, without even opening your phone.
Have we got you longing for a flip phone yet? Let's take a look at a few of the best flip phones available today.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Best retro style flip phone
- Flatter design looks and feels fantastic
- Bespoke customization is unmatched
- Excellent main display
- Blazing fast performance
- Good, fun cameras
- Battery still only lasts a day
- Limited cover screen functionality
Why you should buy this: It's discreet, powerful, durable, and fun.
Who it's for: Anyone who wants a capable, pocket-sized flip phone.
Why we chose the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: It's the latest in the line of folding smartphones from Samsung, released alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It's a beautifully compact smartphone but also packs a punch.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a nearly flawless combination of design, performance, and durability. It features a flatter, more streamlined design than its predecessor, while its Armor Aluminum frame and Corning Gorilla Victus+ rear will protect it from mishaps. Once you have it flipped open, its gorgeous 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display will deliver a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2640 x 1080 pixels, making for some breathtaking visuals. At the same time, you can leave the phone closed and check the 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display for notifications and other bitesize info.
It may look pretty, but the phone is also seriously high-powered, featuring the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset under its hood. So not only will users have possibly the most attractive Android around, but also one of the most powerful, with its 8GB of RAM more than enough to handle 99.9% of the tasks you'll throw at it. There is also an interesting range of special features to enjoy, including the return of Flex Mode, which lets you sit the half-folded phone up at a right angle, with one app opened in the top half of the screen and a control panel opened at the bottom.
If that weren't enough, the Z Flip 4's triple-lens camera system is great for taking everyday photos and offers enough versatility to capture more specialized images. Combined with a decent-sized 3,700mAh battery, it's enough to make the phone the complete package.
Alcatel Go Flip 3
Best popular brand flip phone
- Feature phone
- Simple to use
- 4G LTE compatibility
- No smart features
- Weak camera
Why you should buy this: No-nonsense service at a reasonable price.
Who it's for: People who want the basics with a splash of style will love the popular model.
Why we chose the Alcatel Go Flip 3: As one of the most popular flip-phone models, the Alcatel Go Flip 3 offers an easy-to-use interface and intuitive keypad design for dialing and navigation. Powered by KaiOS, and sporting a 4G LTE connection, you can use this phone for email, calendar, web surfing, and, of course, calling and texting. It has a quad-core processor, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4GB of storage, and SD supports up to 32GB. There's a 2.8-inch display, as well as an external display that lets you preview incoming calls, notifications, and messages. The battery provides about 17 days of standby time, with eight hours of talk time. It has a 2-megapixel camera you can use to capture still images and 720p HD video. All of this comes encased in a neat clamshell body. It's available for Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, and AT&T.
Jitterbug Flip2 Cell Phone for Seniors
Best phone for non-techies
- Great for seniors
- Easy to use
- Amazon Alexa
- Still limited in smart features
Why you should buy this: This easy-to-use phone delivers all the services needed for the elderly, infirm, or tech newcomers.
Who it's for: This phone is designed for and directly appeals to older folks who may need medical services and those who are not technical.
Why we chose the Jitterbug Flip2 Cell Phone for Seniors: Heavily advertised and promoted as the preferred phone for seniors, the Jitterbug Flip2 has numerous features that appeal to all cellphone newcomers and people who prefer a simpler, more limited device. A closed plan with Lively that does not work with other carriers, the Flip2 sports a large screen, big buttons, a powerful speaker, a simple list-based menu, and Amazon Alexa to make navigating the phone and placing calls a breeze. A dedicated urgent response button summons emergency help, nurses, and doctors. It has U.S.-based live customer service with no long-term contracts, so you can change plans anytime. Select from a minutes plan and Health & Safety Package — unlimited talk and text cost $20 per month. Lively has teamed up with Lyft to provide a car service — where an operator schedules a ride, day or night. It comes in gray or red.
Kyocera DuraXE Epic
Best rugged flip phone
- Durable and strong
- Big, easy to press buttons
- Limited internal storage
- Weak camera
Why you should buy this: Kyocera is an old had in the cell phone arena and offers a small yet mighty flip phone to accompany you on your journeys to work or play.
Who it's for: Folks who want a small, pocketable phone that withstand rigorous conditions.
Why we chose the Kyocera DuraXE Epic: A rugged flip phone that can survive some tough environments, Kyocera's DuraXE Epic for AT&T promises to keep your connection live and easy to hear. This hardy specimen is military-grade waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and drop-proof up to five feet onto concrete. Its chamfered corners and reinforced hinge provide the ultimate protection and durability. It has 16GB of internal storage with a MicroSD card slot for up to 512GB of storage. Recessed sides and textured panels provide a secure grip. Loud 100+dB front-facing speakers deliver clear sound while dual-mic noise cancellation lets you hear in noisy surroundings. You get over nine hours of talk and 16 and 18 days of standby time, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
ZTE Cymbal Z-320 Flip Phone
Best cheap flip phone
- Good price
- FM radio
- Simple feature phone
- Weak camera
- No smart features
Why you should buy this: This is a basic phone that covers all the bases at a reasonable price.
Who it's for: Anyone looking for a good performing flip phone that won't break their bank account.
Why we chose the ZTE Cymbal Z-320 Flip Phone: A moderately-priced, compact flipper, the ZTE Cymbal Z-320, unlocked and LTE-enabled, has some cool features. Start with a 2.8-inch main display and 1-inch external OLED display and pile on a modest 2MP camera and camcorder for the pocketable basics, accompanied by Bluetooth 4.1 and FM radio. It’s easy to use — the phone's large buttons facilitate swift, accurate texting. When it comes to yakking, you get up to 15.5 hours of talk time and 195 hours of standby time.
With traditional flip phones, long battery life is one of the major advantages. The battery can last for a week or longer without a charge. If you’re truly old school and believe phones should strictly be for making calls, then a feature flip phone is for you. You’ll be able to focus on your call instead of spending time and battery life on social media apps or games. When you’re not on a call, your flip phone stays mainly offline and hidden from location services, beacons, and spyware. Plus, most flip phones don’t store or send personal data, so most hackers won’t bother with them compared to the wealth of data found in smartphones.
If you’re concerned with phone call quality, don’t worry — a good flip phone will give you a perfectly clear call experience. Some include Bluetooth capabilities so that you can use wireless earbuds and headsets with them. More traditional flip phones are especially loved by older customers because they don’t have to learn how to navigate through all of the different features, options, and pesky touch and swipe screen protocols, and can use a flip phone with buttons to make calls or write messages like they’re used to.
The latest flip phones appeal to a whole new generation of users with their novel folding form factor, dual screens, and quirky design. The latest flip phones are basically smartphones in a more compact package, making them ideal for the smallest pant or shirt pocket. Battery life may be a bit shorter than what you're used to in modern flagships, particularly with phones like the Z Flip 3, where the battery powers two screens, with a 120Hz refresh rate. The foldable design is still novel and something that's appealing to a younger generation who weren't around the first time flip phones like the Motorola Razr hit the market. Modern flip phones like the Z Flip 3 also come in a rainbow array of colors to attract younger buyers.
Ultimately, the novelty of the folding form factor is as good a reason as any to choose a flip phone, but by buying one of the latest releases you're also getting excellent specs too, and Samsung is clearly leading the folding phone revolution.
If you're an older customer looking for an easy-to-use phone — or you're buying a flip phone for an older family member — we recommend the Jitterbug Flip2, although any of the flip feature phones on our list should be relatively easy to set up and use. The Jitterbug Flip2 has a large, bright screen, a generous keypad, an earpiece that works with hearing aids, and a dedicated button to summon emergency help or car rides, a flashlight, and a camera.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has revolutionized the flip smartphone market and is an excellent choice if you want the latest, greatest flip phone. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes in seven colors, has an eye-catching design, and features a 6.7-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED screen. It also has a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED Cover Screen for checking notifications and an IPX 8 rating for water resistance to boost durability.
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