Even in 2016, 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.
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.
Question #1: Should it be a smartphone or not?
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.
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.
The Otium Mini W2014 is a dual-screen flip phone perhaps modeled after Samsung's premium-class Android of the same name. It mixes its smartphone profile with the classic flip form factor, as its back-to-back 3-inch IPS screens (both with 800 x 480 resolutions) are assisted by a physical alpha-numeric keypad. Other features include a 4GB memory with 512GB worth of RAM, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and a 2-megapixel camera. This dual-SIM model is powered by a 1300mAh battery that promises up to 70 hours of mixed usage.
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