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If you love your smartphone, but are still nostalgic for the days when you had a flip phone, we have some good news: Flip phones are coming back, this time combined with the smartphone features we’ve all come to know since the last time we had a foldable device in our pockets.
These new flip phones fuse the best features of the old days with the modern smart technology you’d expect, like a high-quality camera, and are capable of running most of the latest apps on a 4G or 5G network.
A flippable smartphone offers up a different set of perks than a regular rectangular smart phone. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to snap it shut after a call ends, but it’ll also keep the screen protected wherever it’s stored. It’s still functional even when closed, thanks to the second screen up front. And if there are keys or other sharp objects in your pockets, the screen is safely hidden at all times.
How to Pick the Best Flip Phone
Here’s a breakdown of what else to consider in a flip phone:
Front Screen: Another benefit of a flip phone was the additional, smaller front screen you get when the phone is closed. Though not nearly as colorful or in-depth as the regular screen, this can still be a really nice and convenient benefit. The small screen does the basics of the originals like displaying time, texts, and who’s calling, but these new ones take it up a notch, with the ability to respond to messages and fully run apps.
Battery: With two screens, the battery life of a flip phone sometimes won’t last as long as you’d like, and using the smaller front screen alone doesn’t really help to conserve battery life. Be aware that these will probably require an extra charge to get through the day. The simpler flip phones, however, can go extra long on a single charge — sometimes over two weeks.
Network: Before buying, be sure to check if the phone you want is compatible with the network provider in your area. Not all of them operate on all (or sometimes any) of the major cellular providers, and the last thing you want is to order a phone you’re excited about only to be disappointed when it arrives that you can’t use it. It’s also worth noting that AT&T is phasing out its 3G network this year, so for those still using a phone that can’t be upgraded, this is an ideal time to get a new one.
What Are the Best Flip Phones Right Now?
We found the best new flip phones you should consider from brands like Samsung, Motorola, and Alcatel.
1. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
The Z Flip goes far beyond just a flip phone. Samsung did an excellent job with this device. Apps, for example, can be split-screened, where the top half is video content and the bottom half is where you access the controls. You can also set it to stay open at any angle, turning it into a mini-laptop.
Samsung’s reliably smooth speed works beautifully, and the 6.7-inch Infinity Flex display has a higher pixel density and screen resolution. The two cameras, 12MP back and 10MP front, feature a 10x digital zoom, with a secondary lens for ultra-wide shots. For sound, the dual speaker system gets nicely loud considering it’s a compact phone.
When folded, its 1.9-inch front screen lets you do things normally reserved for full screens, like view YouTube videos. Wireless Qi charging is also supported.
2. Motorola Razr 5G
The newest incarnation of the Motorola phone is here, this time with 5G, a 48MP camera and a whole host of other smart updates.
When folded up, it’s slimmer than the Z Flip (though the Z Flip’s screen is a bit bigger). It’s 2.7-inch screen allows you to control almost everything, giving you a full menu of apps to access.
Unfolded, there’s almost zero visible crease in the center, and the 6.2-inch pOLED screen pops with color. Wireless charging isn’t supported on this particular model, but the battery life should last all day.
3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
The Z Fold opens up like a book, with an expansive 120Hz AMOLED 7.6-inch screen that acts more like a mini-tablet. The front-facing camera is located underneath the display, so you still get all the benefits of a powerful lens with added space to increase the display size.
It also works well with Samsung’s S-Pen, and comes with 12GB of internal storage, while remaining lightweight at just .6 ounces.
4. Alcatel QUICKFLIP 4044C | 4G LTE
If a classic-style flip phone is what you’re after, the Alcatel delivers modern features like GPS in a simple package. The battery also nets a noteworthy 16 days of standby time, perfect for traveling when away from a reliable power source, or for those who may forget to charge it. This operates on 4G LTE (though you’ll need a separate SIM card), and is still capable of sending photos and videos.