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Whether you’re trying to simplify, saving money, or refusing to buy a phone with features you don’t need, there are plenty of reasons to stick with a flip phone. Maybe you just have a contract with a carrier and want to hold onto it.
Whatever your reason, you’ve already made up your mind: you’re not getting a smartphone. So let’s go to the next question. What’s the best flip phone you can get in the US right now?
Answering this question has everything to do with what carrier you use for service. Let’s first break this down by carrier, then take a look at unlocked phones.
Best T-Mobile Flip Phone: Alcatel GO FLIP
Unfortunately, the Alcatel GO FLIP doesn’t have particularly positive customer reviews. But at the moment, this is the only flip phone available on T-Mobile’s site. This makes it the de facto best. You also get 4G LTE and 4GB of internal storage,which is a lot for this kind of device. The 2.8-inch screen is also on the larger side.
Why Go With T-Mobile?
T-Mobile gives you the most options. Because it’s a GSM network, you can use the same SIM card with different phones without needing to visit a carrier store.
GSM carriers make it easier to pick up a phone online with a fair amount of confidence that it will work. Unlike AT&T, T-Mobile also still supports 2G devices. That matters when you start to consider unlocked phones.
Best AT&T Flip Phone: Cingular Flip 2
The Cingular Flip 2 comes with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, making it the go-to option if you want an AT&T flip phone with maximum connectivity. You get a large 2.8-inch screen, 4GB of storage, big buttons, and plenty of battery life. Does this sound familiar? That’s because the Cingular Flip 2 is a rebranded version of the Alcatel GO FLIP.
Why Go With AT&T?
AT&T is the second largest cellular network in the US, but it’s the largest one to use GSM. That means if you want the ability to pop your SIM card from one phone into another, AT&T’s network is the most expansive option in the US.
Best Verizon Flip Phone: LG Exalt LTE
The LG Exalt LTE is a sleek Verizon flip phone that hearkens back to the form factor’s heyday. The 3-inch screen is large enough for the caller ID and texts, while the 5MP camera is pretty high for a flip phone. This device is thin like a smartphone, but without taking up so much pocket space.
Why Go With Verizon?
Verizon offers the largest cellular network in the US. It’s also the most expensive. But as the carrier with the best reception in rural areas, it offers a relatively large selection of flip phones. If you want one that you can take across the country, off the interstate, and outside of cities without having to worry about coverage, you’re going to want Verizon.
Other Verizon Options:
Since Verizon isn’t a GSM carrier, the unlocked devices listed below won’t work with it. But you’re not without choices. If you need a more sturdy device, consider the Kyocera DuraXV, which comes in camera-equipped and camera-less options. Alternatively, you can snag the Sonim XP5 if the Kyocera DuraXV still doesn’t seem quite sturdy enough.
You may stick with flip phones out of habit or because you have an existing contract. But if you want to save money, switching to an unlocked device really is the way to go. This gives you the freedom to take your phone from one carrier to another, as long as it has the required frequency bands. You often can get a prepaid plan that costs less money over time, since the cost of your device isn’t baked in.
Technically not a flip phone or particularly cheap, the Punkt Phone represents perhaps the most top-of-the-line basic phone available today. The Switzerland-based company has provided users with a way to make calls and send texts without compromising on style.
The interface is also simpler than any other phone on this list. It uses a 2G network, which is still widely used around the world, but limits the phone to T-Mobile in the US.
If you don’t have anything against smartphones but happen to prefer the clamshell form factor, you’re not out of luck. The Samsung Folder 2 is a flip phone that happens to run Android. You get a 480×800 display on a 3.8-inch screen. The phone comes with with Android 6.0.
Just want a good old-fashioned flip phone for a family member? The Easyfone Prime A1 comes with large buttons and big print, both on and off screen. That said, you may be surprised to hear this phone has both a music player and a built-in FM radio. There’s also a dedicated SOS button in case of emergencies.
By the way, if you can’t find a flip phone that fits your needs, don’t necessarily rule out smartphones. There are ways to keep a smartphone simple.
This is an AT&T branded flip phone, so it’s guaranteed to work with that carrier. That said, you can also buy it unlocked and pop in a SIM card from T-Mobile or another GSM carrier. The phone has IP68 certification and meets military standard 810G. Fun fact: it runs Android, but you can barely tell.
Why Do You Want to Use a Flip Phone?
Flip phones aren’t what they used to be. Companies pour fewer resources into designing these devices and the software that runs on them. Many people have come to view them only as good burner phones. But that doesn’t mean these devices are going away. Some of us are increasingly seeing them as a way to end the onslaught of distractions from our smartphones.