Mobile technology is addictive and can even be life draining. This is why a capable smartphone isn’t always the smartest choice, and a dumb phone can be the solution. Okay, so “mobile phone” is the correct term, but the term dumb phone has become a popular nickname for “old school” mobile phones.
The best dumb phones will help you take back control of your life and stop the endless social media scrolling taking time from the things in life that really matter. Maybe you just want a mobile phone you can take on your weekend getaways. After all, the best mobile phones are cheap, offer amazing battery life, and are usually much less fragile than common smart gadgets. Regardless of your situation, those looking for the best dumb phones will definitely find a great choice in this list.
The best dumb phones:
Editor’s note: We’ll update this list of the best dumb phones regularly as new devices launch.
1. Nokia 3310 3G
If this device looks familiar it’s because it is the successor to one of the most popular phones on the planet. This is the new version of the classic Nokia 3310. Yes, the one said to break concrete if you dropped it.
The new Nokia 3310 3G isn’t as resistant as the classic 3310, but it offers the simplicity and style loved by many. Not to mention you can also play Snake on it! That alone might make it one of the best dumb phones out there.
The Nokia 3310 3G has Snake! That alone might make it one of the best feature phones.
One thing you will love is battery life. This beauty can last for up to a month on stand-by and up to 22 hours of talk time, which is simply unheard of in the modern tech world.
2. Nokia 8110
Nokia is all about the feature phone market and this one is very unique. The Nokia 8110 has a curved body that not only makes it look like a banana, but also fits comfortably in your face when making calls.
Also read: The best Nokia phones you can buy
Its design makes it one of the best dumb phones around. The bottom part of the phone slides open to display a dial pad and classic navigation buttons. While the device comes unlocked, its bands make it work best with AT&T in the USA. And guess what? It also comes with Snake!
Its battery life isn’t as amazing as the Nokia 3110’s, but you can still get 25 days of stand-by time and up to 8.5 hours of talk time.
3. BLU Z5
If you want the absolute cheapest dumb phone around, the BLU Z5 is actually not a bad option. It has dual-SIM capabilities, plays music, and comes unlocked. That’s about where the fun ends, though. The device has 32MB of RAM and 32MB of storage. There’s also a 1.8-inch display with a 128 x 160 resolution. Just make sure the phone is compatible with your carrier, as it only has the GSM 850/900/1800/1900 bands.
4. Nokia 106
Other Nokia devices on this list of the best mobile phones are fun and exciting, but those who really want to minimize their digital experience might be better off with something like the Nokia 106. It truly offers only the very basics… and Snake. But that’s about all the extra functionality you get!
Check this out: Here are the best cheap Android phones you can buy
The Nokia 106 has no data connection or camera. You can pretty much only use it for calls, texts, and some built-in features like a calculator and a calendar. It’s as bare bones as it gets, and it is also super cheap.
Its battery life is pretty good too. It’s rated to last 21 days on stand-by and up to 15.7 hours of talk time.
5. CAT B35
The best dumb phones are usually pretty sturdy and affordable, so they aren’t devices you have to baby. But if you really want a feature phone that can take a beating, CAT easily has the best options in the market.
The CAT B35 is one heck of a rugged phone. It has been tested to handle water submersion up to 1.2 meters for half an hour, 1.8-meter drops straight into concrete, dust, and extreme temperatures.
CAT has the best options if you want a device that can really take a beating.
It’s also not completely dumb. The phone features some apps, such as Google Assistant, Maps, Search, and YouTube. Access to the KaiStore will even offer apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and others. Just remember the phone is not made for these services, so you won’t have a great time social networking. The features are there if you need to use them in a pinch, though.
6. CAT B26
The CAT B26 is significantly cheaper than its bigger brother due to the lack of fancy features and secondary apps. It is a more basic phone, but still offers the same rugged design you get with the CAT B35.
It can also handle water submersion up to 1.2 meters for half an hour, 1.8-meter drops straight into concrete, dust exposure, and extreme temperatures.
7. Kyocera DuraXV Extreme
CAT phones are great, but you may want a rugged flip phone instead. Kyocera has a great option for you. The DuraXV Extreme has an IP68 rating and meets MIL-STD-810G standards, so it can definitely take a beating. It’s also a slightly more capable device with a 1,770mAh battery, 4G LTE, 16GB of storage, and a 5MP camera (you can also get a version without a camera).
This is also a great option for those who want to stick with a carrier, as it is a Verizon phone. You can even get it on an installment plan if you don’t want to pay the full price upright.
8. Alcatel Go Flip 3
You didn’t think we would make a list of the best dumb phones without including a flip phone, right? That satisfaction you get by closing the phone to end a call is satisfying and can’t be matched by any other form factor, so let’s give you a good option. This is the Alcatel Go Flip 3.
The device is offered by T-Mobile in the USA. There’s not much to it, but it does have a few smart features you can take advantage of. You can use Google Assistant and Google Lens, for example.
9. Alcatel 871A
Some of you still love physical keyboards, and back in the day plenty of the best dumb phones had them. Physical keyboards are dying, but there are still some great options for better texting and basic emailing.
The Alcatel 871A has a full QWERTY keyboard for improved typing, all while keeping functionality in check to better balance your work/play life. It’s an AT&T phone, so keep that in mind if you want to pick this one up.
10. The Light Phone 2
The Light Phone 2 is a bit of an odd device. It mixes some smartphone features with the simplicity of a feature phone. This balance makes it one of the best dumb phones, but it will cost you.
The higher price will get you a phone with an E-ink display that can extend battery life all the way up to 13 days on stand-by. That isn’t too surprising given the great battery life found on some of the best dumb phones in this list, but it’s because the Light Phone 2 can do more.
For starters, it’s expected to get hotspot support, which means you can use it to provide internet to other smartphones or tablets when you need more functionality. Ride-sharing, navigation, music, and other features are also in the works.