You might assume the best flip phones are all old, relics of the pre-smartphone age before we had apps and giant touchscreens, but you’d be wrong. Flip phones are still hugely popular devices that lots of companies still make.
Whether you’re looking for a great flip phone for seniors, or need a spare mobile for your digital detox to get away from apps and social media, the clamshell-form flip phone could be a great choice as it combines usability with chic simplicity. You can even buy 4G devices now too, with cameras and modern apps.
No, these aren’t going to be the best smartphones on the market, and you’re not going to be able to record high-quality movies or play top-end games on them. They’re simple functional devices for calling and texting, though some also have games, WhatsApp and Facebook on them.
We’re also not talking about fold phones here either - they’re expensive top-end smartphones that literally fold open and close like a book, with screens that flex. Some do look like flip phones, but they cost ten times the price and have loads of extra features too.
If you’re a fan of the flip phones of old, you’ll see lots of familiar names on this list, with loads of big companies still making clamshell devices for the many buyers who still want them. We’ve ranked the best flip phones you can buy right now, whatever your purpose.
The best flip phones in 2021
Whether you're looking for a secondary phone or a full-time handset, the Nokia 2720 Flip could be just what you need. Its sleek, minimalist design is faithful to Nokia's classic flip designs and is far lighter and smaller than more feature-filled folding phones 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 not a 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).
Better yet, the Nokia 2720 Flip has 4G LTE support, which means you won't have to deal with slow data speeds when streaming media. The Nokia 2720 Flip gives you the best of both worlds: a sleek retro design with modern hardware where it counts.
The Alcatel GO FLIP V is a Verizon-exclusive flip phone that was released in 2019. This minimalist feature phone has an emphasis on accessibility, which makes it a good choice for senior citizens or anyone who is hearing/visually impaired. It has a large, tactile keypad plus Real-Time-Text (RTT) support so the phone can transmit messages as you write them.
In addition to a 2.8-inch internal screen, the Alcatel GO FLIP V also features a full-color 1.44-inch external display so you can screen calls and messages without having to flip the phone open. And while this may be a rather simple flip phone, the Alcatel GO FLIP V is powered by Verizon's 4G LTE network and supports voice-over Wi-Fi. It can even serve as a hotspot for up to 10 devices, which could come in handy if you ever have to work in a location with limited internet.
The Alcatel GO FLIP V is not available in the UK or Europe, but the Artfone C10 Flip Phone is quite similar and even includes a charging cradle.
The NUU Mobile F4L LTE flip phone runs on Android - albeit, a stripped-down version of 8.1 Oreo called Android Go Edition. Still, it enables the 4FL to run apps such as Facebook Lite and WhatsApp.
This Android flip phone also has rear and front-facing cameras, 4GB of onboard storage, and a microSD card slot that supports up to 64GB. The build of this phone is guaranteed for over 100,000 flips thanks to a reinforced flip mechanism - which is good news if you're prone to opening and closing your phone often.
Just released in late 2020, the NUU Mobile F4L LTE is a step beyond a standard feature phone but not quite as feature-rich as a smartphone. It'll suit well as either a backup for a much more expensive phone or as a regular day-to-day mobile. However, if you're in the UK, this particular NUU model is sadly not available to purchase.
Cat's mobiles are what are known as 'rugged phones' - that means they're designed to take a beating, whether you're going on long treks into nature, or are working in an environment like a build site where your mobile get get bumped.
The S22 is the company's newest flip phone and it comes with IP68 protection against dust and water, a protective build so it won't get damaged, and even a customizable side button for easily accessing certain functions. The phone also runs Android 11 - well, its Go Edition, which is a stripped-back version of the modern software.
This flip phone is exclusive to T-Mobile in the US, so your buying options are pretty limited, and it's also not as chic as some of the other clamshell mobiles on this list. But what it lacks in style, it makes up for in stopping power.
The TTfone Lunar flip phone is made for senior citizens and anyone else who needs a mobile with accessible features. This model includes a large keypad, colour display with large fonts, and a dedicated emergency button that can be programmed with any phone number.
Another convenient feature of the TTfone Lunar is the included charging dock. With an outer display and a built-in FM radio, this enables users to turn the Lunar into a desktop alarm clock.
The TTfone Lunar is a UK-exclusive flip phone; it's comparable to the Jitterbug Flip in the US. It may not be the most feature-forward flip phone, but the TTfone Lunar is a fine choice for elderly family members who just need something accessible, reliable, and affordable.
Doro mobiles are designed for seniors, with features that make them useful for people who don't need or want a smartphone.
The Doro 7030 comes with a big, high-contrast screen that's easy to see, an 'assistance' button that automatically sends location data to trusted contacts so they can come and provide help, and it can be controlled and set up remotely by another phone, so no matter how technophobic the user is, they can have an easy time getting it set up.
You might not want to consider this for someone who isn't a senior, as it's a little on the pricey side (likely due to those extra features).
Technically, the Nokia 8110 4G is not a flip phone. However, it does have an intriguing aesthetic with a sliding keypad cover, curved design, and a bright yellow paint job. It does, indeed, look like a bananaphone - but it's much more than that.
The Nokia 8110 4G is a refresh of the original Nokia 8110 that was first released in 1996. For the 21st century, this iteration of the classic mobile phone boasts 4G connectivity, a modest 2-megapixel rear camera with a single flash, and access to apps you'd commonly find in modern smartphones like WhatsApp and Facebook.
One quality the Nokia 8110 4G shares with its predecessor is excellent battery life. A single charge will provide enough juice for up to 25 days of standby. That feature, along with its overall affordable price, makes the Nokia 8110 4G a great phone to have for emergencies.