Perhaps it’s ironic that technology once passed over for being too minimal is now favored for being just that, but users know exactly what they’re getting with a flip phone. The flip phone is affordably priced, easy to use, and even harder to break. That last quality is a massive plus, considering that most people with modern cell phones hold their breath whenever they mistakenly drop theirs face-first onto the floor. If you’re on the hunt for a new piece of classic hardware, here are some flip phones that we think you should check out.
Buying Guide for Flip Phones
Why buy a flip phone?
Flip phones offer an immeasurable amount of convenience and resilience, the type that modern cell phones have yet to perfect. It’s the simplicity of the option that drives home our appreciation, and for senior citizens who often favor the less-is-more approach, you won’t find a mobile device that’s more reasonable to work with. They don’t bog users down with sticky touch-screen interfaces, nor do they feature an overzealous amount of apps and features for which most people have no use. The flip phone was designed for one reason only: effortless communication.
What should you look for in a flip phone?
Keep these things in mind when picking out your next mobile phone:
- Function: The flip phone might be dated by smartphone standards, but just because it isn’t a pocket laptop doesn’t mean that you should feel like it’s a compromise, either. Find a flip phone that maintains its simple appeal but still offers great modern features to get you through the day, like advanced call and sound quality or an easy-to-read LCD screen.
- Assistance: Because of the newfound appreciation that flip phones have garnered within the elderly community, some cell phone manufacturers have taken to accommodating their consumers through every means possible. Consider buying a flip phone with features specifically designed to simplify the phone experience for those who find it overcomplicated. A straightforward operating system is your key to the perfect call.
- Camera Quality: We’re not here to tell you to lower your expectations, but it’s important to remember that everything is fairly basic on a flip phone, and that’s especially true of its picture-taking quality. Most options will offer you a 2-megapixel presentation, a modest but mostly uninspiring way to snap a photo. Naturally, better camera quality results in a larger price, but a premium-priced flip phone still runs you a fraction of what you could expect to pay for a smartphone.
Should you buy a locked or unlocked phone?
The debate between purchasing a locked or unlocked phone is worth considering before making your purchase. If you’re buying a locked flip phone, understand that you’ll be tied down to whichever contract that phone’s carrier provides you with. With an unlocked phone, you’re buying the device alone and can choose your network freely.
Our Picks for the Most Accommodating Flip Phones
Pros: A compact choice that measures just 4 inches total when flipped open, while 2.8 inches of frame space are dedicated to its ample screen display. This option also provides its users with 4 GB of memory storage, a ready-to-activate SIM card, and up to 6.5 hours of talking time, which you can easily conduct thanks to the device’s hands-free speaker. The My Flip 2 is preloaded with Google Assistant, allowing users to make calls and browse the web using only their voice.
Cons: A potential downside for some users is the phone’s locked carrier plan. This is an Alcatel phone, but it’s managed through the TracFone carrier, which forces a user into one of three monthly renewal plans that can only be purchased through Amazon. The phone’s more modern features might test the patience of less experienced users, while the camera’s 2-megapixel presentation leaves much to be desired.
Bottom Line: All things considered, the TracFone My Flip 2 Prepaid Phone is your standard mobile device. It offers plenty of easy-going features that can ease an older user’s experience, despite occasionally stepping on its toes to appease the modern crowd. Its prepaid monthly plan might not be to everyone’s liking, but it can remove a lot of uncertainty for those who have no idea where to start when it comes to carrier contracts.
Pros: From its big-button interface that allows for easy dialing to its higher-than-normal volume levels, this flip phone seems to truly care about its target demographic. This phone utilizes advanced M4/T4 Hearing Aid Compatibility, an ideal quality for customers who are hard of hearing and thus use hearing aids. Its most innovative feature is its SOS Assistance Button, an alert system that notifies an emergency contact if the user is in trouble.
Cons: Users are slightly limited in their carrier choosing, as this device won’t work with AT&T/T-Mobile/MetroPCS as well as any CDMA Carriers like Verizon, Sprint, Boost, and PagePlus. A purchase here doesn’t include a prepaid SIM card. Users will have to select their own card through their chosen carrier. Additionally, the phone’s internal storage runs on the small side, so users looking for more storage will need to buy a separate MicroSD memory card.
Bottom Line: Some flip phones come easy to use as is, but the Easyfone brand created its entire line to accommodate the elderly community. It’s packed with various considerate features that senior citizens will have no problem keeping up with, from its emergency aid speed dialing to its heightened volume settings for those of hard hearing.
Pros: When it comes to this phone, the word “rugged” works as a compliment just as it does as a design feature. It’s built to withstand the most active lifestyle, as it features a waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof outer shell. Other senior-friendly features include a large screen and keypad, an extra-loud speaker, an SOS emergency button, and an improved 5-megapixel flash camera, which serves as a noticeable step up from the traditional 2-megapixel options. This phone has 128 hours of standby between charges, which are made all the easier thanks to the inclusion of a desktop charging dock.
Cons: This phone’s reinforced frame might take a beating, but its heavy-duty quality also packs on a noticeable amount of weight. Its 11.3 ounces is a far cry from the standard 2 to 4 ounces that flip phones typically weigh, so there could be a lack of comfort when you’re towing this phone around. The phone isn’t compatible with a handful of carriers, like AT&T, Verizon, or Boost Mobile, so your carrier plans are slightly limited here.
Bottom Line: Because most modern smartphones only need to fall a few feet for severe damage to be inflicted, it’s comforting that this Plum Ram 8 flip phone features military-grade durability for a pretty affordable price. A great 120-hour standby time between charges means less fussing and rushing to the charger. It’s the perfect choice for the senior who still has miles to go in the great outdoors.
Pros: Here’s a sleek flip phone that offers users a 1,350-mAh battery capacity that can last for up to eight hours of continuous use, like when streaming or surfing the web. Additional means of energy conservation, like placing the phone on standby by keeping it closed, can keep the phone running for at least three days before it requires a new charge. The HD Voice capability reduces background noise for a clearer sound during calls, while the large keypad and 2.8-inch display allow for easier use and menu navigation.
Cons: Like most flip phones, this device features a 2-megapixel rear camera, so if you’re looking to capture those perfect moments, then we suggest bringing along a trusted secondary camera. Additionally, while the phone features a GPS radio, it doesn’t include a GPS app or the means to download one. For users who prefer a detailed illustration of their driving directions, this phone can come up short for them.
Bottom Line: Handy as cell phones are, they won’t do you much good if the battery dies unexpectedly or doesn’t last for very long. That’s what makes this lightweight choice such a must-have. Even when you’re surfing the web and using peak 4G LTE speeds, this phone is going to hold up for hours.
Pros: This flip phone features an astounding uptick in both internal memory storage and picture-taking quality. This phone packs 8 GB of memory space and 1 GB of RAM in addition to a Single Nano-SIM card slot that’s expandable up to 64 GB via SD card. Its 8-megapixel rear camera absolutely trounces the standard device, granting flip phone users a real opportunity to snap and enjoy their pictures. That’s accentuated by the phone’s bold 3.2-inch screen, which displays vibrant colors across the 800- x 480-pixel field.
Cons: The added water- and crash-proof durability mean that this phone features a thicker and more rigid frame than other options, resulting in a heavier device that can aggravate sensitive wrists. Its 1,680-lithium-ion battery provides reliable function when fully charged, but a stronger battery will need to charge for longer periods of time and potentially with more frequency.
Bottom Line: This is a choice that engulfs the best of modern advancements while staying firmly rooted in the simplicity of the old. It’s still as easy as ever to flip open the device to make a call while working with smartphone-quality presentation when browsing the home screen or snapping a photo.
Pros: A high-functioning device with a crystal-clear screen, this TIANHOO Flip Phone for Seniors knows exactly how to care for a user’s hands and eyes. The device’s ergonomic shape, coupled with its rubberized feel and 4-ounce weight, allows users to hold onto the phone without overworking their hands. It features a 3.5-inch display screen, which is nearly an inch larger than most standard devices. This phone also employs a rear- and front-facing camera, with the former featuring a quality 5-megapixel presentation.
Cons: This is another flip phone with great battery operation, but no background apps should be running simultaneously to maintain an ideal amount of juice between charges. For the multitasker, the need to be near a wall outlet at all times might get a bit old. The phone doesn’t work with a handful of major cell phone carriers, like Verizon, Sprint, Boost Mobile, Straight Talk, or U.S. Cellular, so you’re seriously limiting your carrier pool right from the jump.
Bottom Line: Overall, this is a sleek and powerful choice with various premium features reflected in its higher-end price. If you’re looking for an option that employs just as many emergency assistance tools as there are on-the-phone perks that ensure that you can see and hear your device at all times, then look no further.
Seniors love the flip phone because it never got any more complicated than flip, talk, and close. Of course, with time came a few updates and extraneous features, but the heart and ease of the device remain the same. There’s no simpler nor more budget-friendly choice than today’s flip phone.