Don't look now, but flip phones are making a comeback

According to a number of media outlets, the biggest trend this year is the return of the humble flip phone. The Seattle Times said, "The flip phone is the new protest statement." Baltimore Sun Op-Ed writer Katie Reid swapped her Apple iPhone for a Kyocera flip phone. She did it at first to disconnect from a social media addiction (which seems to be a common thread among those turning to an unconnected handset) and then to make sure her infant daughter doesn't grow up with a smartphone as her best friend.

Perhaps it is no surprise that those leaving a smartphone for a flip phone feel more focused. One person who made the switch, Brooklyn's Roman Cochet, swapped his Apple iPhone for an LG flipper and says that without a smartphone's constant demand for his attention, he feels more focused and less distracted. And this trend has even hit Hollywood where Kim Kardashian-West and Daniel Day-Lewis were spotted clutching flip phones. For the former, who was known for her love of BlackBerry handsets, this seems like a big surprise. After all, Kardashian-West has been the star of a mobile game, helped advertise the LuMee selfie case, and launched the Kimoji app for iOS.

A group called Wait Until 8th, which proposes that parents wait until their kid is in 8th grade before buying him/her a smartphone, has over 10,000 signatures from parents in all 50 states who agree with that premise. An ad run by the organization says "Need to get in touch with your child? Buy a flip phone."

Not all flip phones are relics from another age. The Samsung W2018, available only in China, is an Android powered flipper that is priced at the equivalent of $2,500 USD. With a Snapdragon 835 chipset inside, the device carries a pair of 4.2-inch OLED displays, 6GB of RAM and 64GB/256GB of native storage. The 12MP camera that the phone is equipped with, features an f/1.5 aperture. But this phone doesn't disconnect the user from Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram.

The one old flip phone that many are hoping to see a revival of is one of the top selling phones of all time, the Motorola RAZR. Earlier this year, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing hinted that we could see the return of Motorola's iconic flip phone.

source: TheOutline via BaltimoreSun, SeattleTimes

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29 Comments

1. Vokilam

Posts: 1201; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

people realized smartphones are overrated..

9. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Nope, it's people who never really needed a smartphone who are doing this. People who went with the iPhone trend because it was the thing to do. My Galaxy Note8 is by no means a distraction, the moment I want piece I put it in Do Not Disturb mode and I go on about my day without looking at it, be it me working or relaxing. People need to learn to do things in moderation.

11. tuminatr

Posts: 1124; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I agree my dad just got a S9+ and he uses 200MB of data per month in other words he does not use it as a smart phone just as a phone.

13. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Smartphones are for dumb people.

24. Vokilam

Posts: 1201; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

i know, i wasnt serious

2. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I love feature phones but there are few problems: I've been using QWERTY for ages and I'm unwilling to go back to T9 now! The other problem is UI a.k.a User Interface. On Android, almost everything is just a tap away thanks to the touchscreen. On a feature phone; you've to navigate 'sequentially' which means one have to press keys repeatedly and have to jump from icon to icon to get to the desired place. Tedious! Besides, turning-off cellular data yields more or less the same results so why not just do that? My S6 once lasted FIVE days because of that! So why flip phones are coming back? Are you telling me that people have ZERO control over their minds and their desires? Hmmm... Might be so. I mean why else someone would prefer vasectomy instead of... Well, condoms! G'Day!

3. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2366; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well considering you’d be using a feature phone, you wouldn’t be doing a whole lot of “tapping” since the point of this all is to disconnect from the usual distractions of apps and social media. You would primarily be using it for calls and messaging with maybe some light internet usage. Also, it’s not that these people couldn’t just turn off their data connection, it’s the fact that there is that temptation there. If you had a device that could access 1 million different things at the flip of a button, would you be able to stave off your temptation to not do so? So in order to take this temptation away they are just giving themselves a feature phone where they won’t have that option.

8. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

That's a valid point. But the things is, the only difference between humans and other mammals is that most human have intellegence and we know (Or should now) how to control our desires. It's the basic trait that distance us from animals. Oh well...

10. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

iPhone in itself is more like a Feature Phone with Internet really, considering how limited it is, I remember my feature phone Sony Ericsson K850i Cyber-shot being more versatile, just lacking in apps and power, but still able to do Push Email, IM, sync to an Exchange Server, view PDFs. Heck, the K850 even had File Explorers, UI Themes and it also did not have a 3.5mm jack. :)

25. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

This comment is stupid on so many levels... Just stick to what you know.

16. lyndon420

Posts: 6790; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Condoms suck!! Vasectomy is totally the way to go - zero regrets from me.

28. AustinPaul

Posts: 152; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

I thought the object was to just do phone calls and light texting. Then do other things on a Wi-Fi smartphone (no data) or computer when you're home or the like.

5. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

I still have my Sanyo VM4500 sitting in a drawer. I love that phone.

6. Clivester

Posts: 16; Member since: May 05, 2015

They have been making a slow come back for the last few years. Do you guys not follow technology.

7. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

Motorola Razr was the best & one of the sexiest phones ever.

12. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

If ever flip phone make its way again than me & my father will surely get it as we both love flip phones, more than smartphones.

14. Xenoniswireless

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 27, 2017

i loved my moto pebl s**t was clutch back in '05

15. deleon629

Posts: 463; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

I'm convinced that there is indeed a market demographic out there that's convinced of how impractical it is to try & squeeze desktop performance out of a device with a 5-in. screen. I think that same demographic has also considered how much LESS complicated their lives were when they didn't have a "smartphone" and are now considering going back to (or buying the latest) tablets. Apple had caught onto this and continued churning out tablets despite the said-reports of their being a decline in sales over the past couple years.

29. AustinPaul

Posts: 152; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

Oops, I liked the first part, but not 100% on the second. For the sake of society, it seems would be great if we ALL would do less of the 'bury our face in a device' thing.

17. Goochie

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

I want the Motorola Razr V4 flip phone. I hope it comes out very soon. The V4 has a keyboard that you can text with. It has a 4100 mAh battery. It's a smartphone that looks like a,beautiful flip phone. I only hope my carrier Verizon has it. Come on Motorola, release this beautiful phone soon. Thank you. Goochie from Brooklyn, N. Y.

18. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

I would love to see flip smartphones like the Samsung W2018, Gionee W919, LG Wine/Folder, Freetel Musashi, Blackberry Pearl flip, etc make a comeback and come to the US. With today's tech they could make some really exciting designs.

19. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

For once I agree with GreenMan, I couldn't see myself returning to T9 unless it had voice-to-text as good as Windows Phone's. If not, a flip phone like the BlackBerry Style with its full qwerty would be just fine.

20. Junito

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Phones are like cars. Not everyone needs a pickup truck, sport, or luxury car. Buy something tailored to your needs. However, in my case a smartphone was the best thing, since Apple pie. Examples of daily uses: Comm; txt; calculator; dictionary; language translation; unit conversion on the fly..... on and on. As I said, the best to happened.

21. warrenellis93

Posts: 544; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

I wouldnt mind a flip phone with a qwerty keyboard 4 inch touchscreen and good specs

22. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

For those parent want to in touch with their kid, how about just request Google and Apple add password/passcode to lock Setting apps. Without internet smartphones is flip phone.

23. Vokilam

Posts: 1201; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

you can control all settings and changes allowed to your settings or apps using restrictions menu in the settings. you can also control parts of screen allowed to tap, and which apps allowed internet or not, etc. you can control which apps/info other apps are allowed to access. give it a shot, go beyond moving icons on your homescreen sometimes - you'll discover a world of possibilities on ios or android you can really take away a lot of smartphone from a smartphone using restrictions and accessibility options either on ios or android

26. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That is what I have always said: most users don't know how to use their phones.

30. Goochie

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

Motorola:. Please bring the Razr V4 back now. I read all the specifications I just want it to be released. I want this phone! I'm with Verizon I hope you're going to release this phone with Verizon please!

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