Today, your smartphone is basically your personal assistant. You use your phone not just for calling, but also to order food and rides, play games, watch movies, and even track your physical activity.
While some find having all of those functions in one place extremely convenient, others would be happy with having a phone that only makes phone calls, and has enough battery life to last longer than a day.
Do you feel like this? Then you might want to consider a dumb or feature phone with a simpler setup.
Why Get a Dumb Phone?
The idea of getting a dumb phone might sound silly at first. Why give up all the advantages of having a smartphone and go back to simpler times? Could you even imagine using your phone only to make calls?
Well, maybe you’ve decided to do a digital detox and cut down on your phone use. Having a phone with a limited internet connection (or none at all) would surely help with that. Not to mention, a dumb phone can help you significantly cut down your mobile phone bill.
If you’re shopping for a child or elderly relative who feels overwhelmed by all the features on a smartphone, a dumb phone can come in handy. Besides, a dumb phone isn’t as fragile as your precious smartphone. That makes it a great secondary phone that you can take on outdoor trips without worrying about breaking it.
Whatever your needs are, we’ve put together a list of the best non-smartphones on the market today to help you choose the right option.
Best Overall Dumb Phone: LG Extravert 2
- Battery life up to one week
- QWERTY keyboard for easy texting
- Simple setup
- Great durability
If you’re after an old school-looking cell phone that doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of features, but has all the necessary functions, look no further than the LG Extravert 2.
The phone comes with a 3.2-inch WQVGA display and a simple touchscreen menu. However, when you need to text, you can use the full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the side. Having a phone with a physical keyboard makes texting fast and easy.
Plus, it’ll make you feel nostalgic when you remember the phone you had like this over a decade ago. It even comes with a camera that will remind you of the early 2000s. The pictures are grainy and dark; not something you’d want to save.
The phone also includes Bluetooth 3.0, so you can connect a Bluetooth headset to your phone. The LG Extravert 2 is also equipped with a smart LED indicator that will notify you about missed calls, text messages, and more. It also offers some basic internet use, so you don’t have to quit all your social media and other apps completely.
Best Feature Phone for Texting: ZTE Z432
- Lasting battery life
- QWERTY keyboard for easy texting
- Compact size
- Nostalgic old-school design
A full QWERTY keyboard on the ZTE Z432 makes this phone perfect for texting. Now you can enjoy the minimalistic design and the smartphone-styled keyboard together. Other benefits of this phone include an impressive battery life with almost five hours of talk time (or 10 days on standby). This ZTE phone also features a 2.4-inch display and a two-megapixel camera. However, the picture quality might disappoint you again if you’re used to quality smartphone photography.
The phone’s menu is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate.The Z432 offers a lot of flexibility, and runs on AT&T’s 3G network. Overall, you can count on this phone to stay in contact with your family and colleagues, as well as being able to quickly reply to messages and emails.
Best Flip Phone: ZTE Z233
- Cheap price
- Great durability
- Compact size
- High-quality web access
When considering a dumb phone, one of the most popular choices is a flip phone. They’re compact, have a sleek design, can endure worse drops than your smartphone, and they make pocket dialing impossible. And who doesn’t miss having a good old flip screen? With this phone, when hanging up a call, you also get the satisfaction of snapping the device shut.
This phone’s main functions include making calls, sending texts, and taking photos. It’s perfect for those who are thinking of really going back to basics. It also has Bluetooth capability and comes with an impressive battery life as well. The ZTE Z233 might be a very simple model, but thanks to the 4G LTE capability, you’ll still have high-quality web access. Thus, you won’t have to cut down on the use of apps and social media significantly.
Best Nokia Phone: Nokia 3310
- Lightweight (only 2.8 ounces)
- Optimized keyboard with big number pad buttons
- MP3 player
- Extensive battery life
The Nokia 3310 is often considered the gold standard of feature phones. So what do you get with this candy bar phone?
This Nokia comes with a 2.4-inch display, a menu that’s easy to navigate, and nice big number pad buttons. The long battery life allows for 22 hours of talk time, or an impressive 744 hours (31 days!) of standby. You also get a flashlight and a two-megapixel camera.
Even better, this one comes with an MP3 player. Due to the paltry amount of internal storage, you’ll need to use the SD card slot to extend the storage up to 32GB. You can access email and some social media sites from this phone as well. To top it all off, it also includes the classic game Snake!
Best Stylish Dumb Phone: The Light Phone
- Super lightweight (only 1.36 ounces)
- Credit card size
- Stylish design
For those of you on digital detox, The Light Phone can make sure you don’t have to give up your smartphone all at once, but instead, do it one step at a time.
Step off the crazy digital world with this phone that’s the size of a credit card. It’s so small and lightweight, you might mistake it for a calculator. It only stores nine numbers, and its only function is making calls. The Light Phone is nothing if not stylish. It comes in two colors (matte black and matte white), and a full charge gives you about three days of standby time.
While it might seem like a standard dumb phone feature-wise, it’s designed to be your second phone. In order to use it, you need to connect it to your smartphone and forward the call from your main phone to this one. It’s perfect for when you feel like being away from technology, or want to save some space in your pocket.
Ready to Ditch Your Smartphone?
Even if you’re not planning to let go of your smartphone, there are still good reasons for getting yourself an emergency burner phone. This is especially popular among those concerned about protecting their privacy.
Not sure if a dumb phone is right for you? Check out the lessons we learned after using a dumb phone for a year. And if you use an Android phone that you would rather just dumb down, here’s how: