Between the cost of data packages and the price of the mobiles themselves, staying up to date isn’t exactly cheap.
That’s not to mention the indirect costs—the endless distractions, annoying notifications, or the fact that many of the big tech companies allegedly monitor nearly everything you do on your mobile.
With these things in mind, people are starting to switch back to the mobiles of yesteryear…
Whether you call them basic mobiles, dumb mobiles, feature mobiles, or non-smartphones, this guide is going to break down some of the best options available.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for 2022
1. Nokia 8000 4G
Best Basic Mobile for Most Users, Most Stylish Basic Mobile
Featuring the classic candy bar shape of classic Nokias and bringing it to a more modern look with curved lines and a sleek white chassis, the Nokia 8000 4G is proof that basic mobiles don't need to be ugly slabs of plastic.
The mobile offers everything you need to stay connected with friends, family, or co-workers (including 4G connectivity) and KaiOS offers a small selection of apps should you want them.
But it's mostly a straightforward affair with an emphasis on contacts, calling, and the occasional text.
Learn More: Nokia 8000 4G Review
2. Nokia 6300 4G
Runner-up Best Basic Mobile
If you're looking for a basic mobile to offer the essentials at an affordable price, the Nokia 6300 4G is a stellar choice. It supports 4G on most UK networks and the clicky keys make it easy to use or navigate your contacts at a glance.
The phone isn't bad looking either—especially when you consider the price!
Learn More: Nokia 6300 4G Review
3. Doro 6820
Best Budget Basic Mobile, Best Basic Flip Mobile, Best Basic Mobile for Seniors
The clamshell design of the Doro 6820 allows it to offer a larger screen than many mobiles in this line-up while still remaining pocket-friendly.
Its large tactile buttons make dialing easy while physical shortcut buttons put essential features at your fingertips. Hearing aid compatibility and a 3.5mm headphone jack provide flexibility and accessibility you don't always find at this price either.
Finally, 4G support will ensure clear calls and solid reception on most UK networks too!
Learn More: Doro 6820 Review
5. Nokia 5710 XA
Best Basic Mobile for Audio Lovers, Best Basic Mobile for Podcasts
If you're looking for a basic mobile that offers most of the media playback convenience of a smartphone without all the downsides and distractions, the Nokia 5710 XA is a cool piece of kit.
The rear panel slides down to reveal a custom-built set of wireless headphones to make listening to your favorite tunes, catching up on podcasts, or making calls easy. They can even charge using your mobile battery, helping to cut down on cord clutter.
There's even microSD card support if you'd like to really load up your listening options.
Of course, it's also a mobile too. So you'll find calls, contacts, messaging, and 4G network support to cover the essentials there as well.
Learn More: Nokia 5710 XA Review
The Wisdom of a “Dumb” Mobile
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 our mobiles 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 non-smartphones (aka dumb mobiles) 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 mobile.
In short, we did the research -- so you don’t have to.
When answering the question, “What’s the best mobile that’s not a smartphone?”, we considered the following primary criteria:
A Strong Battery
Your mobile is only useful if it has a charge. While standby battery life is often better on basic mobiles, we wanted to make sure that you could get through a few days without hunting for a charge.
Calling, texting, and picture messages felt like a great baseline for standard mobile 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 mobiles are sometimes 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 network store.
Let’s face it, most basic mobiles 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, blurry screens, tinny speakers, or other surprises.
- Best Basic Mobile for Most Users, Most Stylish Basic Mobile: Nokia 8000 4G
- Runner-up Best Basic Mobile: Nokia 6300 4G
- Best Budget Basic Mobile, Best Basic Flip Mobile, Best Basic Mobile for Seniors: Doro 6820
- Best Basic Mobile for Audio Lovers, Best Basic Mobile for Podcasts: Nokia 5710 XA
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 mobile features, prices, and unique characteristics.
If you’ve got a favourite basic mobile, or you’ve made the switch from smartphones to a more simple 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.
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?