Want to buy one of the best flip phones? Your choices are fairly limited, but there are some around. Clamshell-style folding phones had a big moment two decades ago but haven't stood the test of time due to the issues combining the new screen tech with the ability to fold in half. Some of the big names are trying out the slightly-different folding phone, which has one screen spanning the length of the handset, but the flip phone's design is one screen set above a keypad, with the fold between the two.
Flip phones aren't quite as feature-packed as a smartphone, but they can be cheaper, longer-lasting and easier to use. This means they're excellent for digital detoxes, or even for seniors who don't want a complex phone. While they're unlikely to compete with most of the best smartphones, they're still useful to complement or replace your mobile phone.
Those familiar with the flip phones of old will see some familiar names on this list, as a lot of big companies are still making clamshell devices for the multitude of buyers who still want them. Here, we've rounded up the best flip phones available right now, whatever your purpose may be. We have ranked them based on design, connectivity, features and value based on our own experience with them and customer reviews.
If you need a more advanced phone, see our guides to the best camera phones and the best iPhone 13 Pro Max prices. And if you're after a fold rather than a flip, then see our guide to the best fold phones.
The best flip phones available now
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Up until August last year, flip phones were very much still classic in their design, with Nokia (still) taking the lead in this particular phone design. And then along came the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, which blows every other flip phone out the water – from both a function, style and price point-of-view.
This phone is, well, brilliant. It invokes such a sense of nostalgia for anyone who grew up with flip phones, but it packs in all the modern day features you could possibly need, including a 12MP triple-lens camera for capturing every day photos and videos. It's sleek, and dare I say it, sexy in its design – by far the best looking flip phone available on the market today. To buy outright it doesn't come cheap, but there are already some really great, affordable monthly plans on this gorgeous handset.
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, we rate the Nokia 2720 Flip as one of the best flip phones as it has 4G LTE support, and we found that it provides decent data speeds when streaming media. We think the Nokia 2720 Flip offers 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-colour 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 we found to be a handy feature for when it comes to working 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 (opens in new tab) is quite similar and even includes a charging cradle.
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 building site where your mobile is likely to 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 customisable side button for easily accessing certain functions. The flip 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 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.
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.
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 feature of the TTfone Lunar that we found pretty handy 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 entry to our best flip phones list, 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).
How should I choose the best flip phone
If you're buying a new flip phone, you need to ask yourself a few key things.
Firstly, exactly how feature-packed do you want it to be? You could buy an older flip phone for cheap, but newer ones come with useful services like WhatsApp, cameras and cool games that older ones do.
Secondly, what balance between durability and fashion do you want the phone to make? Some devices aren't quite lookers, but can be durable to survive plenty of drops.
Price is another important factor too - obviously, the more you spend, the more you get, but some people might be happy getting the cheapest device they can in order to save cash.