Even in 2015, manufacturers still make new flip phones and consumers still want them. They are mostly basic models (dumb phones), but a bunch of Android flip smartphones even appeared around 2015. Their convenience relies in their small size and the possibility to take or finish calls by opening or closing the flip cover. Rumor has it that flip phones were inspired by the Star Trek original series' Communicator.
To select the best Flip phones, we make a list of flip phones that weigh less than 4 ounces and include an external display. Then, we keep only the best ones, according to their average review score. New phones are given a slight advantage over older models, as part of our unique ranking system.
Samsung slaps on a Push-to-Talk function and Wi-Fi connectivity to the fourth member of their Rugby basic flip phone series. The Samsung Rugby 4 also comes with an IP67-certified waterproof and dust-tight casing, making it potentially more durable than older basic models. Other features include Bluetooth (v3.0), A-GPS navigation, and M3/T3 hearing aid ratings. The Rugby 4 comes with a 3-megapixel camera that records QVGA (320 x 240) videos, the same resolution as that of its 2.4 TFT main display. It is powered by a 1300mAh battery.
Question #1: Should it be a smartphone or not?
This basic flip phone from LG seems to target users who may have some problems with hearing or vision. Its 2.2-inch display features a text-to-speech technology (also found on comparable devices) that reads your texts out loud. On the contrary, it comes with M3/T4 hearing aid ratings for those who have slightly impaired hearing. A 1.3-megapixel camera sits on its back side, with a camcorder feature for taking quick videos. Its battery is rated at 950mAh, with a reported talk time of over three hours. Other features include WEA, an MP3 player, Bluetooth and a 230MHz single-core engine.
Typical basic phone attributes merge with an array of health and security services in the Samsung Jitterbug 5. For emergencies or accidents, it lets you connect to on-call assistance using the special 5Star key. It also has a 24/7 line with registered nurses or board-certified doctors, in case you need medical advise. To complement its customer service, it relies on a battery that lasts for up to 25 days of mixed usage on a single charge. Like most clamshells, it comes with separated and backlit keys to make texting and phone navigation easier.
LG comes up with a new conventional flip-phone to add to its roster with the A380. Built for those casual users who only need a simple phone, it retains features from its ancestor (the A340) such as 3G capability, an enhanced audio mode (for users who have hearing problems) and a text-to-speech function. It is also outfitted with small upgrades such as a larger storage memory that was increased from 87.6MB to 256MB, an improved head and body SAR rating of 0.41 and 0.64 from 0.44 and 0.84 respectively, and a battery that now lasts up to 205 minutes of talk time (previously 180 minutes).
The Alctel OneTouch Fling is a simple flip phone whose rather common specs include a 2.4-inch main screen paired with a 1.44-inch external Caller ID display. Its physical keys include a camera shutter, volume rockers, and a dedicated 911 button in case of emergencies. Essential functions such as Bluetooth v3.0, WAP mobile browser and GPS location assistance are also in the mix. This basic model is powered by an 850mAh battery, recording an up-to-4-hour talk time and up to 210 hours on standby.
A flip phone with nearly identical specs as the relatively stouter 382G bar model. It derives it Big Easy name from its large backlit numeric keypad, which suggests its convenience for elder users. It has an M3/T4 hearing rating and a special my number function as well. The Big Easy Flip's lid sports a 2-megapixel camera and a small read-out screen, while the main display is a 2.4-inch TFT panel. It appears to have a pretty typical battery life, promising roughly three hours of talk time and up to 10 days on standby.
LG tinkers with the classic flip form factor for the LG Gentle (also known as the Wine Smart), a clamshell smartphone whose main specs include the Android Lollipop platform, an LTE adapter, and a 1.1GHz four-core processor. It offers a 3-megapixel main camera at the back and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) one just above its 3.2-inch screen. It comes with a 4GB internal memory and 1GB of RAM.
The third installment in LG's basic flip phone Envoy series comes with both a Menu Readout option (audio readouts at customizable speech rates) and a Hearing Assist mode (sound enhancement for calling). It also comes with the signature dual displays, the main one being a 2.2-inch TFT screen and the other one being an external panel at roughly an inch. The Envoy III sports a 1.3-megapixel camera and comes with support for basic Bluetooth profiles (v2.1) as well as mobile web via the WAP 2.0 browser. Standard features like a speakerphone mode and USB charging are also intact.
LG's flipper series continues with the Revere 3, this time coming with a menu readout function that plays audio prompts as you select items. It still sports a 1.3-megapixel camera (with Night Mode) and the classic monochrome readout external display. Opening it up, you will find a 2.2-inch TFT 262K screen. Its memory caps off at 256MB, while RAM is at 128MB - both pretty typical for clamshell models. It slightly reduces the battery power to 950mAh (Revere 2: 1000mAh), but still promises roughly the same usage time with six hours of calling and up to 15 days on standby.
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