have noticed as well…
In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at the best flip phones of 2021.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for 2021
1. Alcatel Go Flip 3
Compact design, convenient front screen, microSD support, 4G LTE support , Wi-Fi calling
Cons: Weak cameras, limited internal storage
The GoFlip 3 takes the classic clamshell, flip design and adds in just enough modern perks to make it useful in 2020.
You won't find Android apps or a touchscreen keyboard, but there is Google Assistant support for quick voice searches, reminders, timers, and more.
Otherwise, it's a basic affair with a large, easy to use keypad, a basic camera, and a pair of small but readable screens for checking notifications, emails, and texts.
The phone only includes 4GB of internal storage, so if you’d like to listen to music or podcasts, you’ll probably need a microSD card. However, support for cards up to 32GB provides more than enough room for a few albums or seasons.
There’s also a 5MP rear camera for quick snapshots or pictures of the kids for grandma and grandpa.
If you’re looking for a flip phone that doesn’t look like it’s from a museum and won't break the bank the GoFlip 3 is the phone to beat.
Learn More: GoFlip 3 Review
Related Guide: The Best Basic Phones
2. Sonim XP3
Rugged, Long battery life, 4G support, microSD support, MIL 810G rated, IP68 rated
Cons: Price, Limited availability
While pricier than other “basic” phones, the Sonim XP3 is one of the most rugged basic phones available. MIL 810G rating brings shock, temperature, and corrosion resistance while IP68 rating means you should have little to worry about from water and dust.
Ideal for those with active lifestyles or who need something that can take a few drops and dings, it features a grippy, rubberized shell and a durable flip phone design.
The 2.6-inch color display makes it easy to read texts while the chunky buttons make sure you dial accurately -- even with gloves on.
Reviewers particularly liked the volume pumped out by the speaker on the phone with a rating of 100db. Whether you’re taking calls or jamming out to your favorite tracks, you’ll have no trouble hearing.
Lastly the phone offers 8GB of internal storage and supports microSD cards up to 128GB. In combination with the included media player, you can store a nice collection of podcasts or music.
If you’re looking for all of the media flexibility, connectivity, and communications options of a smartphone without the actual “smarts” this one is a great pick as long as you don't mind using Telus.
While it comes at a premium price, the Sonim XP3 is up the challenges of life on the go or the harshest job sites and includes all the communications essentials.
Related Guide: The Best Rugged Phones
3. Nokia 2720 Flip
Pros: Minimalist, sleek design, hidden until lit front panel, long standby time, durable design, 4G support
Cons: Weak camera
Combining a glossy outer shell, a hidden front display, and smooth curves, the Nokia 2720 Flip stands out from the crowd.
The 2.8-inch main display is bright and colourful. The low resolution panel features good viewing angles and makes text easy to read but might not be the best for viewing images or using the included mini mobile browser. There is also a 1.3-inch display on the front for checking the time and basic notifications.
There are 4GB of storage for your favorite media and the basic apps available for the phone. However, should you want to fit more albums or podcasts in your pocket, you can easily expand it by up to 32GB using a microSD card.
There are also dedicated emergency and Google Assistant buttons for added reassurance and flexibility.
Like most basic mobiles, the camera won't win any photography contests. But it's good enough for quick snapshots or reminders.
As one of the most attractive mobiles in this line up, the Nokia 2720 Flip offers great value if you're looking for basic features with a stylish, compact look.
4. Coolpad Snap
Long battery life, 4G support, microSD support
Cons: Limited availability
While its locked to Koodo, the Coolpad Snap's affordable price tag and basic feature set provide great value for anyone looking for a reliable, affordable communications tool.
The front display makes it easy to keep up with notifications or check information at a glance while a 2.6-inch color main display and good sized keypad with directional buttons makes it easy to use the phone -- even with gloves on.
The phone even includes 4GB of internal storage and supports microSD cards up to 32GB if you'd like to keep a collection of music or audiobooks on hand.
Finally, 4G support means you can count on the phone to be compatible with mobile networks well into the future.
The only real downside to the phone is the rear camera. At only 2MP, you won't have any trouble finding a camera that will outperform this one.
If you’re looking for all of the media flexibility, connectivity, and communications options of a smartphone without the actual “smarts” this one is a great pick as long as you don't mind using Koodo.
A basic phone with reliable performance at an affordable price. You can't ask for much more.
5. Easyfone Prime A1
SOS button, microSD support, extra loud speaker, quick dial buttons, charging dock
Cons: Weak flashlight, weak camera, no 4G support
If you're looking for a simple phone flip for kids or for older adults, the Easyfone Prime A1 offers some ideal features.
The large keypad makes it easy to dial numbers while the 2.4-inch display and adjustable font sizes make it easy to see notifications and read text messages. There's even a 1.4-inch notification display so you can see what alerts are coming in without having to open the phone.
There's a programmable SOS button on the rear of the phone and two quick dial buttons above the keypad for added peace of mind and ease of use.
For seniors, the phone is hearing aid compatible and reviews indicate that the speakerphone is also very loud.
The 2MP rear camera won't win any photography contests, but it's there for quick snapshots or reminders.
If you're worried about losing cords or damaging ports, the charging cradle makes the phone easy to charge as well.
The Easyfone Prime A1 features a wealth of usability options while providing you freedom to choose your own cell phone service provider... a rarity in the kids and seniors phone market.
Why Choose a Flip Phone?
Sure, smartphones have changed the world forever.
But does that mean the classic designs and limited features of older phone technologies are completely useless?
We don't think so.
In fact, we'd argue that flip phones (and their less bendy basic phone siblings) have several unique benefits you won't find on a smartphone.
If you're on the fence about choosing a flip phone, consider these 7 perks:
1. Battery Life
While your flip phone might lack a few of the features of a smartphone, it also lacks a big HD display, a high-speed data connection constantly streaming in notifications and updates, and an endless array of internal sensors gathering information about your phone and how you use it.
This means that whether your phone is on standby in your pocket or bag or you're talking all day with friends and family, there's a good chance that your flip phone will last days if not weeks on a single charge.
We'd like to see the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra pull that one off!
While the flip phone prices vary depending on the model you choose, nearly every option on the market today comes in well below the price of even the cheapest mid-tier smartphone.
Of course, as smart flip phones start to come out, that will change a bit. But if you're looking for a basic phone with a flip design, there's always an option out there for 1/10th of the price of the latest top-tier smartphones.
3. Tactile Convenience
While touchscreens are great for reading, watching video, or using your phone like a computer, we'd argue that they're not that great for using your phone as a phone.
Physical dial pads, the ability to flip your phone open to answer a call, and flip it closed again to end a call, and other tactile ways of interacting with your phone simplify the process of using the phone.
Ask anyone you know old enough to have used the classic Nokia candybar phones of the 90s and 00s about how much they abused their phones.
Now think about how many smartphones you've replaced due to a shattered screen or had to gingerly handle due to a cracked backplate with sharp edges.
By design, flip phones and basic phones are simply more durable than smartphones because there is less to break, fewer delicate materials, and less weight when they come crashing down to the concrete.
Of course, if you're looking for something to withstand the elements, a dunk in the pool, or more rigorous abuse, you'll still want to look at ruggedized options. But for the typical perils of life on the go, a flip phone will survive things a smartphone won't.
5. Fewer Distractions
Think about the number of people you see walking down the street mindless staring at their phones. There's even a good chance you've committed some embarrassing blunder in public because you were peeking at your phone.
I know I have...
Flip phones reduce the potential of this happening by getting rid of that endless stream of notifications, social media posts, and attention-grabbing content. You can still keep up with all those things on your tablet or laptop. But when you're out and about, your phone allows you to stay more in the moment and less in the digital world.
Even the smaller smartphones today tend to sport 4.5+ inch displays. Some of the larger phones could be described as small tablets without much argument.
This means that slipping your phone in your pocket, holding it in your hand, and otherwise interacting with it is often something you always have to be very mindful of unless you want a smashed paperweight you paid hundreds of dollars for.
Flip phones, on the other hand, will fit in the pocket of about any pair of jeans, hide easily in the palm of your hand, a weigh next to nothing while you're using it. Even better, they're designed for one-handed use.
7. Privacy & Security
This benefit has a few facets. At the most basic level, if you're hammering out a text you don't want others seeing, the smaller display on a flip phone makes it much harder for people to snoop over your shoulder.
But at a software level, flip phones are much simpler than their smartphone counterparts. This means that they're inherently less prone to security concerns. There are also fewer sensors, apps, and services reporting in on your every move and how you use your phone.
This means that your phone is a communications tool again instead of a spy feeding marketers a bunch of information about you. It also provides malicious people fewer opportunities to compromise your phone or steal your information.
1. Are There Flip Smartphones?
Yes! With the creation of bendable displays, flip smartphones are now seeing their debut in earnest from major manufacturers. While the number of devices currently on the market are limited, but they're all from reputable manufacturers.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Moto Razr (2020)
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2
But at the time of writing, we're not sure we'd recommend any of them for most users. Being the on the bleeding edge of phone technology, they're not only expensive, but the design just hasn't proven to stand the test of time yet.
In fact, many early foldable phone options saw screen issues and longevity concerns before this generation released. So, unless it's just a must have feature for you, we recommend keeping your smartphones flat for now.
2. Can You Still Buy Flip Phones?
Definitely! In fact, you can probably find a handful at your favorite gas station or big box retailer. You've just likely never noticed them because they're not the latest and greatest option. As such, they tend to be tucked off away from the shinier -- and more expensive -- models or relegated over to the prepaid section.
Prefer to shop online? Our round up features several best-in-class options, but with flip phones rising in popularity, more models are hitting online retailers such as Amazon every day. A quick search might find you something you'd love even more.
The most important thing to consider in most cases is network support. Many older flip phones only supported 2G and 3G networks -- both of which are either phased out or being phased out by the majority of service providers in 2020. So, if you want to use your phone a while, try to find an option with 4G or 5G connectivity.
How We Picked
The picks in this buyer's guide are what we think are the best flip phones for most people.
We selected these models based on analysis of expert reviews from around the web, user feedback on sites like Amazon, forum comments on our site, social media discussions, and more.
We compared the things most people consider when purchasing a basic phone.
In short, we did the research — so you don’t have to .
When answering the question, “What’s the best flip phone for the average user?” , we considered the following primary criteria:
A Strong Battery
A phone is only useful if it has a charge. While standby battery life is often better on basic phones, we wanted to make sure that you could get through a day or two without hunting for a charge.
Calling, texting, and picture messages felt like a great baseline for standard phone use. This also means that unless noted in the description, these picks won’t sit and vibrate or chime all day and distract you.
Easy to Find
While you can buy a smartphone just about anywhere these days, basic phones are getting harder to come by. For that reason, we chose picks that you can easily pick up online or that you might find at a local carrier store.
Let’s face it, most basic phones sit at the bottom end of the price scale. And when prices get that low, quality can get sketchy. We scoured online reviews for each of our picks to be sure that you won’t find weak hinges, dim screens, tinny speakers, or other surprises.
Still Not Sure?
While we feel our picks offer a great experience to a wide range of people, there’s not a single pick that will be perfect for everyone.
How you like to keep in touch, your budget, and even personal design preferences will change what you consider ideal.
This is why we make multiple recommendations and suggestions based on phone features , prices, and unique characteristics.
If you’ve got a favorite flip phone, or you’ve made the switch from smartphones to a more simple flip phone option, let us know how it went in the comments below!
We want more people to live a bit more and worry a little less — and this seems like a great way to calm the chaos.
If you're looking for additional options, be sure to check the
Best Basic Phones of 2020 roundup. It includes some great candy bar phone options as well as some great retro reboots that are sure to scratch that nostalgic itch.
Disclosure: You should know that in some cases, we may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on our site. These links help support our work but they do not influence our content. Our editorial recommendations are always genuine and we try to feature only the best products and services. Why trust us?