Best unlocked and carrier flip phones and basic phones you can buy right now (Updated July 2021)

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Best unlocked and carrier flip phones and basic phones you can buy right now (Updated July 2021)
Smartphones are awesome devices that can do lots of things, but sometimes they're just not the right tool for the job, nor the right choice for everyone. You or a relative of yours might instead be in market for feature phones, or "dumb phones" as they're affectionately called. Those might not be as popular nowadays, but as long as there's some demand for them, they'll be around.

And there will likely always be demand. Some people just need a basic phone that lasts long on a single charge, can make calls, and can easily be operated with gloves. And let's not forget durability. For certain professionals, walking around with a glass-sandwich phone is a recipe for disaster. That's what makes basic flip phones, in particular, a great choice. The clamshell design ensures that their displays, as small as those may be, will remain intact even after the occasional drop.

So, let’s see what are the best flip phones and basic phones the carriers have to offer in 2021, then also check out other great (and unlocked) basic phones you may also like, from other sellers.

Best feature phones, a summarized list:



Best Verizon flip phone


Kyocera DuraXV Extreme

Kyocera DuraXV Extreme


View full specs

Talk time: 9.5 hours
Standby time: 18.3 days

Feature phones are often seen as the cheapest possible cell phone you can get. But just because someone is looking to buy a flip phone doesn't mean they want something cheap and poorly made. The Kyocera Dura XV Extreme costs $240, which is a bit steep, but the phone has a good justification for it.

As you might have guessed from the name, this is a rugged flip phone. It's not only IP68 dust and water resistance certified, but also complies with the US military standards for enduring shocks, drops, vibration and extreme weather conditions. In other words, it's built like a tank. Even if you accidentally drop this phone in concrete before it sets, there's a good chance it will still be working after you break it free with a jackhammer a few days later.

Kyocera DuraXV Extreme

16GB Black

$240
Buy at Verizon


Best T-Mobile flip phone


Alcatel GO FLIP 3

Alcatel GO FLIP 3


View full specs

Talk time: 7.9 hours
Standby time: 17.8 days

With T-Mobile the choice is easy because, well, the carrier only offers one "dumb" phone, and it’s the Alcatel GO FLIP 3. At $100, the GO FLIP 3 isn't boasting any special durability features but it does support Google Assistant, which can at least save you some time typing in a long Google search. The phone does have a web browser too, on its 2.8-inch 320x240 screen.

Overall, the GO FLIP 3 is the epitome of a basic phone. You flip it open, make a call, flip it back, and for anything else you use your smartphone.

Alcatel GO FLIP 3

4GB Prime Black

$100
Buy at T-Mobile

Best AT&T flip phone


Sonim XP3



Talk time: 21 hours
Standby time: 17.8 days

AT&T has a rugged flip phone on its list as well. This time, it’s the Sonim XP3. Probably not a brand you've heard of, but the Sonim is offering some of the same damage protections as the Dura XV, while costing only $190. It comes with 1GB of RAM, which is a lot for a feature phone, and 8GB of storage. You can also use it as a super-durable 4G hotspot, which can be quite handy in some situations.

Sonim XP3

8GB Black

$189 99
Buy at AT&T


Best unlocked feature phones


But maybe you want to pair your basic phone with a cheap plan from some of the MNVO carriers or just have a SIM card laying around unused. Well then, an unlocked phone is the way to go. Below, we have two of the best unlocked basic phones to choose from in 2021:

Nokia 3310 3G

Nokia 3310 3G


View full specs

Talk time: 22 hours
Standby time: 31 days

We can’t have a compilation of the best basic phones without including this revised classic. Of course, this isn’t the original "indestructible" Nokia 3310 you've seen in hundreds of memes, just its modern-day equivalent. The design is close enough to the original, though, and some might even call it cute. This Nokia 3310 is probably the only "dumb phone" people today will be happy to see when you pull it out of your pocket.

If you don't care for IP ratings and military standards, but do like blasting people with nostalgia, then you can't go wrong with the Nokia 3310.

Nokia 3310 3G

Unlocked Single SIM Feature Phone (AT&T/T-Mobile/MetroPCS/Cricket/Mint)

Buy at Amazon


Plum Ram 9



Talk time: 24 hours
Standby time: 37.5 days

The only reason you wouldn't get the Nokia 3310 if you don't want a flip phone is that you need ruggedness. So here it is, the Plum Ram 9. IP68 rating and military-grade shockproof-ness, all in a cool-looking body. It also has the best battery life of all phones on this list. If you're about to trek the Appalachian trail, you better have one of these bad boys with you. But even if you don't plan on spending weeks away from civilization, this is a great back-up phone to have, and one of the best unlocked basic phones to get right now.

Plum Ram

16GB

Buy at Amazon

Those were the best unlocked and carrier flip phones to get in 2021, perfect for seniors, hard hat workers and anyone who needs a solid backup phone or simply wishes to avoid smartphones. You may also find useful:



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