For any number of reasons, despite what some people may tell you, not everyone wants or needs to have a smartphone. Basic flip phones tend to be more affordable, both in terms of purchase price and monthly costs, and they also tend to be a lot easier to use too. Choose the option that best matches your priorities and preferences. (Pricing and details provided here are accurate as of May 2017, but check with your local dealers and carriers for the most up-to-date information.)
1. Jitterbug Flip
Named by The Wirecutter as its top pick for cell phones for seniors, the Jitterbug Flip is designed with ease of use in mind. The main display is large and brightly lit, utilizing larger fonts for its user interface for ease of legibility. Similarly, the number pad is larger than many other flip phones of comparable size, so dialing is easier. There is also a 5Star emergency button for immediate assistance, voice dialing, and a reading magnifier with a LED flashlight for reading in dim environments.
The Jitterbug Flip is available through GreatCall in your choice of red or graphite for a regular price of $99.99. Basic plans start from $25 per month, including 50 minutes and the 5Star emergency service.
2. ZTE Z222
Unlocked to work with any GSM compatible network, like AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States, the ZTE Z222 features a bright 2-inch display on the front cover, making it easy to check the time or caller ID without having to first open the phone. Other basic features include an integrated FM radio, a built-in camera, voice dialing, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (enhanced data rate), and up to 19 days of standby time on a single charge.
With over 200 customer reviews on Amazon, the ZTE Z222 has an overall rating of four out of five stars. Users applaud its clear sound, ever-lasting battery life, and easy operation. It sells for about $40 online with free shipping.
3. DuraXV+ by Kyocera
In its article outlining "technology well suited for the 65+ crowd," Verizon Wireless highlights the Kyocera DuraXV+ as one of its best phones for seniors. Of course, this handset isn't just for users in their golden years. It is also is terrifically suited for anybody who enjoys the great outdoors, as it meets military standards for ruggedness.
Completely waterproof, it will survive for up to 30 minutes in depths of up to six feet of fresh water. It can also handle extreme temperatures, dust, vibration and shock. Dual displays and a 5-megapixel main camera round out the key features.
The Kyocera DuraXV+ can be purchased from Verizon Wireless for $8 per month for 24 months or for $192 outright.
4. LG 450
It doesn't get much more affordable than the simple and straightforward LG 450. This basic flip phone ticks many of the boxes that consumers in this segment desire, including a compact design, Bluetooth stereo support with an MP3 music player, text to speech capabilities, and even a 'senior mode' for improved sound quality.
Customer reviews on eBay are overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of users praising this phone's good value, long battery life and small form factor. It is economical, reliable, and affordable. MetroPCS sells the LG 450 for as little as $29.
5. Samsung Convoy 3 SCH-U640
With great call quality, external music controls, and push-to-talk support for instantaneous communication, Samsung Convoy 3 is an excellent flip phone option. Lifewire calls it the best overall basic cell phone to buy in 2017, pointing out how users will appreciate the "rugged, military design" that will survive some of the most extreme conditions.
Whether you're going on a camping adventure or you need a phone that can survive the rougher conditions of a construction site, the Convoy goes beyond the call of duty. It even handles email, web browsing and social networks, debunking the myth that flip phones can't be smart. Its successor, the Samsung Convoy 4, carries on this legacy exclusively through Verizon Wireless. It sells for $192 retail or $8 per month for 24 months.
Still a Market for Flip Phones
While slider phones have largely gone out of fashion in recent years, flip phones continue to find their place in the market among users who aren't interested in smartphones with large touchscreen displays. The models may not be updated as frequently as the newest Galaxy or iPhone, but their timeless design is arguably part of their appeal in the first place.