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The best flip phones in 2021

The best flip phones: Galaxy Z Flip
(Image credit: Samsung)

iPhones may be sexy, but have you considered one of the best flip phones as your next mobile? Flip phones have been enjoying a renaissance of late, largely thanks to recent models with folding screens that enable you to turn your phone into a versatile tablet before folding it up and putting it in your pocket.

Even if you don't want to spend big on a folding screen, more basic flip phones are still a great choice if you're already sorted for a smartphone but want an additional, compact device that isn't constantly distracting you when you need to focus or simply switch off at the end of the day.

It might also be a good idea to invest in a secondary phone on top of one of the best smartphones if you don't want to be seen pulling out a high-end flagship handset in public. A rugged flip phone, which can survive the occasional knock and is less tempting to thieves, might be just the thing. 

To help you decide, we've picked out the best flip phones you can buy right now, whatever your requirements and budget. 

The best flip phones available now

The best flip phones: Galaxy Z FlipCB

(Image credit: Samsung)

01. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The best flip phone comes from Samsung

Release date: February 2020 | Camera: 12MP rear (multiple), 10MP front | Operating system: Android

Cool design
Decent UI
Front screen quite small

One of the coolest flip phones around is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Its screen is 6.7-inches and folds beautifully in two, in a way that doesn't make you worry about its hinges. This feels like the flip phone of the future, a phone that you can balance neatly on a table or your lap while you talk to people, and which you can use as two separate displays or one big one. The camera is decent, the thin glass screen feels sturdy yet sleek, and there's even wireless charging. Overall, we think the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is the best flip phone on the market. The only problem is, it'll cost you.

Nokia 2720 FlipCB endorsed

(Image credit: Nokia)

02. Nokia 2720 Flip

The best flip phone for minimalists looking to declutter

Release date: September 2019 | Camera: 2MP | Operating system: KaiOS

Clean, uncluttered design
Tiny when closed
Low-resolution camera
Limited choice of apps

Looking for a simple secondary phone? The Nokia 2720 Flip could be just the thing. Its sleek, minimalist design is faithful to Nokia's classic flip designs, and is far lighter and smaller than more feature-filled devices like those from Samsung and Razor. 

The Nokia 2720 Flip uses Nokia's own KaiOS operating system rather than Android, which greatly limits your choice of apps, but that's no bad thing if you're looking for a minimalist flip phone that'll help you avoid distractions when you're working (or trying to get away from work).

But why choose the 2720 when other, older models are available more cheaply? The answer is simple: 4G LTE. You could pick up a five-year-old flip phone for very little, and it may serve you well, but the lack of 4G support will leave you struggling with slow data speeds, which could be a real pain if you need to stream video for work, or send big files. This phone gives you the best of both worlds: a sleek retro design with modern hardware where it counts.

Best flip phones: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

(Image credit: Samsung)

03. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

This much-needed update fixes most of the original Fold's problems

Release date: September 2020 | Camera: 12MP rear, 10MP front | Operating system: Android 10

Much-improved folding screen
Decent exterior display
5G support

It's not your traditional flip phone as such, but the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 definitely flips; just along a different axis. The original Z Fold got off to a bumpy start thanks to its fragile hinged screen and loads of reports of phones breaking within a few days, however the Z Fold 2 fixes most of its predecessor's shortcomings.

While the original Fold had a plastic screen, this one combines ultra-thin glass with plastic, giving it a sturdier feel while still remaining flexible. The screen folds out to give you a 7.6-inch display that you can write or sketch on with a Samsung S-Pen, and when you don't need all that screen there's a super-sharp 6.2-inch exterior screen. And the bonus extra? It's 5G, so if you're fortunate enough to live somewhere with coverage you can enjoy blazing-fast download speeds. 

Best flip phones: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

04. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

The same Z Flip but with an extra helping of 5G

Release date: August 2020 | Camera: 12MP rear (multiple), 10MP front | Operating system: Android

Great design
Good UI

While we're on a 5G tip, here's an updated version of the Z Flip that'll give you a much-coveted 5G connection. Released six months after the original version, there's nothing markedly different about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G bar the 5G connection and an even higher price, but if having the fastest mobile speed available matters to you and you have deep enough pockets, then it's a fine choice.

Best flip phones: Motorola Razr 5G

(Image credit: Motorola)

05. Motorola Razr 5G

An improved Razr with added 5G speed

Release date: October 2020 | Camera: 12MP rear, 5MP front | Operating system: Android 10

Improved camera
Seamless display

Another existing flip phone getting a 5G update, the Motorola Razr 5G offers a few improvements over the original Razr, with an improved processor, more memory and storage, and better cameras. Motorola says that the main camera is 48MP, but if you look closely it qualifies this as 48MP Quad Pixel for 12MP output. Still, that's not bad at all; Motorola describes it as the most advanced selfie camera on the planet.

The big sticking point's likely to be the price, though. If you're sold on the design and need 5G then you'll probably be more amenable to splashing out on the Razr 5G, but you can get a lot more non-foldable phone for the same money.

TTfone Lunar TT75

(Image credit: TTfone)

06. TTfone Lunar TT750

The best flip phone for seniors/retro treasure hunters

Release date: March 2016 | Camera: 0.3MP | Operating system: Symbian

Large, clear buttons
One-touch SOS button
No web browsing
Poor camera

A classic, retro flip phone can be a great choice for anyone who wants to turn away from slippery glass touchscreens. The TTfone Lunar TT750 is specifically made with seniors in mind, and has been thoughtfully designed to be as accessible as possible. It also has heaps of retro cool to make the hippest of hipsters happy. 

Its smooth, pebble-shaped chassis fits neatly and securely in the hand, and the included charging dock means there's no struggling to plug in tiny USB-C cables. It opens to reveal large, tactile buttons for easy dialling, plus a one-touch SOS button that can be set to call a relative in an emergency. Call volume is easy to adjust, and the dual screen is high contrast, with clear fonts.

The TTfone Lunar TT750 is only available in the UK and Europe, but if you're in the US, the Jitterbug Flip is very similar.

best flip phone

(Image credit: LG)

07. LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen

The best flip phone with a detachable screen

Release date: November 2019 | Camera: 12MP rear, 32MP front | Operating system: Android Pie

Detachable second screen
Wireless charging
Has a headphone jack
A bit bulky with both screens

Although not advertised as such, the LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen is a flip phone that hinges along the vertical rather than horizontal axis, except that the second screen is detachable, so you can just pop it on and off as needed. More than the other phones on this list, using this phone feels more like using two phones side by side than having one single screen. The second screen does allow you to use some, but not all, apps across both screens, or you can multi-task by having two separate apps side by side. The camera is pretty powerful, and overall this is a solid flip phone option, although some people might find the phone a bit bulky when both screens are in use. 

Samsung Galaxy Folder 2

(Image credit: Samsung)

08. Samsung Galaxy Folder 2

The best flip phone for fans of the classic style

Release date: September 2016 | Camera: 8MP | Operating system: Android Marshmallow

Holds dual SIM cards
Robust design
Older version of Android
Only one camera

Before the Fold, there was the Folder. The Samsung Galaxy Folder 2 was released without fanfare back in 2016, and has largely been forgotten in the shadow of its flashier younger sibling. That's a shame, because it's still an excellent flip phone and more practical than the Fold in many ways.

Its design is a little more luxe than the Nokia 2720 above, and the fact that it runs a full version of Android means it could work well as either a primary or secondary phone. Again, it's a great choice if your design work takes you around the world, particularly because it's capable of holding two SIM cards plus a microSD memory card, so you can easily switch networks while overseas and avoid incurring roaming charges.

Without a flexible screen to worry about (the phone's lower portion contains a set of reassuringly tactile physical buttons), it's more likely to survive the rigours of daily use than the Fold, and with no screen on the outer shell it's less prone to scratches.

Surface Duo: best flip phones

(Image credit: Microsoft)

09. Microsoft Surface Duo

Microsoft's newest foldable phone

Release date: September 2020 | Camera: 11MP | Operating system: Android

Two 5.6-inch screens
Rotates 360 degrees
Sleek design
No 5G

Microsoft's latest "communication device", the Surface Duo, is a sort of phone-tablet hybrid that folds. It's thin and lightweight, measuring 4.8mm when open and 9.9mm when closed. You can use Microsoft or Android apps across the two screens, or use them as separate, yet connected displays. For example, you can use one to type while you view what you're writing on the other screen. You can also fold one of the screens around the other and use it as a normal phone. It's an exciting new device, and one that'll make you feel you're carrying a small computer in your pocket. Whether or not that's something you need in your life is up to you. 

LG Exalt VN220

(Image credit: LG)

10. LG Exalt VN220

The best flip phone for Verizon brings a dose of retro cool

Release date: June 2017 | Camera: 5MP | Operating system: Proprietary Android fork

Robust design
Large, clear buttons
No camera flash
Doesn't run stock Android

If you like the look of the Samsung Galaxy Folder 2, but are keen to stick with Verizon, the LG Exalt VN220 is well worth your time. Its clamshell design ensures the screen is always protected, and its durable hinge will survive many years of use.

The 5MP camera won't set the world on fire, but it's surprisingly good for a budget flip-phone, and sufficient for basic tasks. It's just a shame there's no flash. You do, however, get a generous 8GB storage for your stills and videos.

With hearing assistance, text-to-speech and large, clear buttons, the LG Exalt VN220 is also a strong choice if you find modern touchscreen smartphones tricky to use, or are buying a handset for a senior family member.

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