And manufacturer’s have noticed as well…
In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at the 5 best flip phones of 2018.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for 2018.
1. Samsung Rugby 4
Best Rugged Flip Phone
Rugged, Long battery life, microSD support, push-to-talk
Cons: Limited internal storage, no tethering
The Samsung Rugby 4 might not be the most stunning phone in this lineup, but it offers excellent durability for a flip phone.
The chunky, grippy case helps to protect from falls and dings while the raised keyboard and larger buttons make it easy to use even with gloves. With an IP67 certification, the phone is also fully dustproof and water resistant for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
It's built to be used while you're busy working or exploring and it shows.
The phone features a 2.4-inch display that is plenty large enough to read texts and check call notifications. There's also dual-band Wi-Fi and a limited browser, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS support and a loud loudspeaker.
As one reviewer on Amazon puts it, "The main point is communication and safety. The Rugby fits the bill perfectly. Voice calls are clear and reception is strong. Texting is possible but tedious enough to not become a bad habit."
When it comes to durability and basics, the Samsung Rugby 4 checks all the boxes while managing to stay compact and easy to use as well.
2. Jethro SC729
Best Flip Phone for Kids and Seniors
SOS button, microSD support, extra loud speaker, quick dial buttons, charging dock
Cons: Weak flashlight, complicated menus
If you're looking for a simple flip phone for kids or older adults, the Jethro SC729 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 a programmable SOS button the back and three 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 5MP rear camera won't win any photography contents, but it's stronger than most comparably priced options.
If you're worried about losing cords or damaging ports, the charging cradle makes the phone easy to charge as well.
The Jethro SC729 features a wealth of usability options while providing you freedom to choose your own service provider... a rarity in the kids and seniors phone market.
3. Kyocera DuraXE
Best Flip Phone for Audio Lovers
Pros: Long battery life, 4G support, microSD support, loud speaker
While technically a rugged phone, it features a few options that also make it ideal for audio lovers.
The rugged clamshell design will take a few drops or dings if you get too into your music, the speaker gets good and loud while remaining clear, and there's 8GB of internal storage — a real rarity in the flip phone market.
If you toss in a 32GB microSD card as well, you could store hours of podcasts or music without worry.
There's also a 2.4-inch display to make reading texts or checking call notifications easy and 4G LTE support should you need to look up directions or check movie times using the basic web browser.
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.
4. LG Exalt LTE
Best Flip Phone with Smartphone-Like Features
5MP Camera, Wi-Fi, Wi-FI Calling on supported networks, 4G LTE, basic communications apps, Bluetooth, large display, text-to-speech, microSD support
Cons: Price, limited carrier support
Looking a bit like the Moto V3 RAZR, the LG Exalt LTE features a long rectangular design with minimal decoration and a metal-like finish. But don't be fooled, it's still plastic — though that's not a bad thing.
The phone features a large 3-inch display and a large keypad, making the phone easy to use and texts call notifications a breeze to read. There's also a basic web browser and email client — along with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi support to make them actually useful.
This makes the phone more like a smartphone in terms of communication potential, but with none of the extra distractions, like social media and app notifications.
You'll also find 8GB of internal storage for keep your favorite music or podcasts on hand. If you need more space, the phone accepts microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity.
It's currently a Verizon exclusive though, so you'll need to check coverage in your area if you want to use it.
If you don't mind using Verizon, the LG Exalt LTE strikes a great balance between modern convenience and ease of use in a sleek, well designed package.
5. Alcatel Go Flip
Pros: Minimalist, sleek design, easy to read front panel, microSD support, 4G support
Cons: Weak speakerphone, dim display
Featuring a rounded, matte plastic shell and a small screen on the front so you don't have to open the phone to check your notifications, the Alcatel GO FLIP design is simple but effective.
The 1.44-inch main display is good enough, though some complain it's a little dim. Then again, since you won't be tapping it all the time and you have a physical keyboard... So it's not as big of a deal as it might seem.
The phone features 4GB of internal storage. However, only about 1GB is free to use. If you’d like to listen to music or podcasts, you’ll 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 headphone jack — a feature that can be hard to find in basic phones.
Don't expect much from phone's 2MP camera. It might as well not be there unless you just need a quick snapshot as a reminder or to ask someone a question.
While the phone is a feature phone, it fully supports 4G LTE and Wi-Fi tethering. This makes it easy to find coverage and provides a little added convenience.
On Amazon, a reviewer says, "Bought it to fight my phone addiction and I have to say it works very well. Already sold my iPhone and this phone is everything is wanted."
If you’re looking for a flip phone that doesn’t look like it’s from a museum, the Alcatel GO FLIP is offers solid looks at an affordable price. While there's nothing about it that makes it stand out from the pack, there's also no glaring flaws unless you're looking for a decent camera.
The Wisdom of a “Dumb” Phone
There’s no doubt that smartphones have changed the world forever.
However, there’s more debate lately on whether many of those changes were for the better.
From blue light interfering with sleep to notifications keeping us constantly distracted, there’s mounting evidence that smartphones might be causing increased stress and decreased productivity.
That’s not to mention the impact of constant social media streams on mood, the possibility that any number of companies could be watching your every move, and the fact that smartphones essentially place a never ending source of advertising in your pocket.
If you’re curious to see why many people are choosing to ditch their smartphones for simpler models, check out our smartphone ditching guide .
It includes links to additional reading and resources to help you make an informed decision about the right tech for you or your family.
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.
P.S. If you're looking for additional options, be sure to check the Best Basic Phones of 2018 roundup. It includes some great candy bar phone options as well as some great retro reboots that are sure to scratch that nostalgic itch.
Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty.