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The best flip phones you can buy
Most people rely on smartphones to navigate their daily lives, but a high-powered, complicated device isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, you need a basic phone to place calls and take the occasional picture. That’s where these models come in. Flip phones have actually made a lot of progress in the last few years, and indeed, you can get a smart flip if you want one. Here are the best flip phones you can buy.
Why buy a flip phone, anyway?
The obvious reason is that they’re more portable — able to shrink their vertical size in half. They’re easy to slip into a bag or pocket, which you can’t necessarily say about top-of-the-line “candybar” smartphones, some of which have screens nearing seven inches (measured diagonally).
Flip phones are also less prone to accidental dialing and are often more fun to play with. Nothing’s quite as dramatic as clapping a phone to hang up a call or as intuitive as flipping open to answer. Models with physical number pads tend to be more convenient for seniors or people with especially larger fingers.
What really makes traditional (non-smart) flip phones enticing is their simplicity. They do very few things but do them well, and usually with much less battery drain. It’s common to see flip phones with several weeks of battery life — you’re probably going to charge a Pixel 8 every night.
What’s the best Android flip phone?
To be clear, our rundown of the best flip phones below is about the classic style, by which we mean a phone that flips open to show a display on the top half and an old-fashioned keypad on the bottom. What we’re not covering here is the modern range of flip phones with a foldable screen and a hefty price, such as the OPPO Find N2 Flip. Despite strong new competition in the form of OPPO and the Motorola Razr Plus (2023), the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is still the best Android flip phone of that sort.
The best flip phones:
Editor’s note: We’re not expecting too many new flip phones this year, but we’ll be sure to add them to our list if any launch.
Nokia 2760 Flip
- What we like: Great design, light smart capabilities, affordability.
Many of us remember the days when Nokia ruled the cellphone landscape. From unbreakable bricks to bright-colored devices, it was just the way to go. The Nokia 2760 Flip tries to recapture a little bit of that excitement. It’s a 4G-enabled device with a 5MP camera and access to a few of the most popular modern apps, such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Google Maps. You’ll be looking at these on a 2.8-inch internal display. The 2760 Flip phone is available from Straight Talk and TracFone in the US.
Kyocera DuraXV Extreme
- What we like: Great design, super rugged, fantastic battery life.
Another feature that keeps (some) flip phones near and dear to our hearts is their almost bulletproof durability. Kyocera’s DuraXV Extreme is one tough gadget, to the point that it has MIL-STD 810G certification, something normally reserved for phone cases, not the phones themselves. This is also the best Verizon flip phone you can get at the moment, offering VoLTE (voice over LTE) as well as limited app support. A 1,770mAh battery offers nearly three weeks of standby time.
TCL Flip Pro
- What we like: Simple, MVNO compatibility, USB-C port, removable battery.
If you find yourself on an MVNO that offers it, TCL’s Flip Pro might be your best flip phone option. It sports a 1.44-inch external display, and a 2.8-inch internal screen when you need to get down to business. Notably you can recharge the Flip Pro via USB-C, or swap out its 1,850mAh battery any time you run low. We should note though that it has a 2MP primary camera, so don’t expect great photography.
Cat S22 Flip
- What we like: Rugged construction, runs Android Go Edition.
The Cat S22 Flip is at least the best T-Mobile flip phone. That’s because this little rugged device runs Android (it uses Android Go Edition), so you can access the Google Play Store and all its apps. Its 2.8-inch screen will make apps feel cramped of course, so don’t expect an experience like a Samsung Z Flip. Instead, the Cat S22 Flip provides essential communications while offering smart functions in a pinch.
Samsung Galaxy Folder 2
- What we like: Gorgeous design, runs Android, mid-range specs.
You might think of the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip as Samsung’s return to the folding phone game, but that means you’ve probably forgotten about the Galaxy Folder 2. The phone launched in 2017, so it can be hard to find right now, but it launched with Android Marshmallow as well as a 3.8-inch display, a Snapdragon 425 processor, an 8MP primary camera, and a 5MP selfie shooter. That keeps its specs above some of the alternatives on this list.
Alcatel Go Flip 4
- What we like: Simple design and usability, amazing battery life, affordable.
While it released in 2021, the Alcatel Go Flip 4 has all it needs to be among the best of its kind. A Snapdragon 215 processor provides ample power for its needs, and buttons are large, which puts this higher on the totem pole for seniors. It otherwise does the basics, which gives it an amazing battery life, up to 18 days on standby. It’s exclusive to T-Mobile/Metro in the US, but it’s a great deal if you use that network.
Kyocera DuraXE Epic
- What we like: Great design, super rugged, amazing battery life.
Does this phone look familiar? That’s because it’s pretty much the same as Verizon’s Kyocera DuraXV Extreme. The Kyocera DuraXE Epic is the best AT&T flip phone you can currently get. It comes with an IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810H design. It also comes with push-to-talk, a loudspeaker, programmable buttons, large keys, and an external display for notifications. It’s meant to be used as a labor tool, so you know it will last you a long time.
Schok Classic Flip
- What we like: Simple usability, large display, USB-C port, customizable plates.
Another Classic Flip option, if you will, is the Schok. It tops quite a few others on this list with a larger 3.2-inch internal display. Additionally, it’s GSM unlocked for North American carriers, and charges via USB-C, so you should be up and running in no time with a 1,660mAh battery at your disposal. You can even swap between red and blue detachable covers on the front and back for a slightly customized look.
LG Classic Flip
- What we like: Long battery life, Durable design, expandable storage.
The LG Classic Flip is a reliable option with 4G LTE connectivity and a long-lasting battery. It’s also designed for durability and can withstand a bit of rough handling. The user-friendly interface, large buttons, and clear display make it accessible for all users, while the expandable storage is a nice touch, enabling up to 32GB. The phone includes a 2MP camera, FM radio, Bluetooth, an SOS button for emergencies, and compatibility with hearing aids. As a TracFone device, it’s compatible with various prepaid plans catering to different needs and budgets.
The option is rare for cheaper traditional designs, but there are some examples, like the Cat S22 Flip and Samsung Galaxy Folder 2. If you’re willing spend big, some of the best smartphones out there are foldables, above all the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Conventional flip phones don’t, but advanced foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Moto Razr Plus certainly do. There’s not much point to 5G on devices that can’t stream video or (meaningfully) browse the web.
Basic flip phones tend to be good for seniors because they’re simple to understand and have large buttons. Times are changing though, and a lot of seniors are going to insist on smart functions. Check out our list of the best phones for seniors to see some options.
That’s often the case, because basic flip phones are focused on calling and texting, frequently with seniors in mind. They may have a small allotment of data if any. Of course, the opposite is going to be true if you’re using an advanced foldable device such as a Galaxy Z Flip or Razr. Regardless of what you use, here’s our list of the best phone plans for every type of user.