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The Flip Phone Resurgence: Unveiling 5 Top Models for Digital Detoxing

Like the phrase “talk to the hand,” the flip phone might feel like a product firmly of the 00s - that bedazzled decade of low-rise jeans and burned CDs. Surprisingly - or maybe not so surprisingly, considering how Gen-Z has adopted millennium trends with fierce loyalty - the flip phone is seeing a rise in popularity among Gen-Z and the population at large.

Some do it for the novelty - but plenty more do it as a way to force themselves into digital detox. Here are 5 of the most popular flip phones and dumb phones people are using today.

Kyocera Dura XV Extreme

The Kyocera Dura XV Extreme is a classic flip phone that lives up to its name. You won’t need a case to keep this small yet tough phone safe (you can even immerse it in water). 

“At $240, it’s one of the pricier options - but considering that it can keep you connected for years, that may prove worth it.”

Kyocera is What’s App web compatible, making it a good choice for users in regions where SMS texting is less common, or not supported by typical phone plans. At $240, it’s one of the pricier options - but considering that it can keep you connected for years, that may prove worth it.

Is it a good phone?

Overall, the Kyocera Dura XV Extreme is a great phone for people who need a truly durable flip phone. Many of the drawbacks noted by users are typical - though it can take photos, they’re often blurry (though still better quality than the flip phones of the 00s). User feedback on ease of texting is mixed - some prefer this keyboard layout, others don’t, so it may come down to individual comfort.

Punkt MP02 Phone

The Punkt MP02 calls itself a new-generation minimalist phone - the design is reminiscent of old-school calculators, both in size and in key layout. Users can accomplish all the basics (calling, texting, alarm, etc) while limiting their access to social media for maximum focus on daily tasks. 

Is it a good phone?

Users say that the Punkt phone accomplishes what it sets out to do. The minimalist design allows for the basics without access to games, news, or Instagram. Most users report great sound quality. However, the lack of group texting capabilities can make modern communications complicated, user design is sometimes lacking (capital letters, for example, are hard to access), battery life is relatively short for a dumb phone, and some reviewers are in agreement that $400 is a steep price for what the phone is ultimately capable of. 

Nokia 2720 Flip Phone 

At the low cost of $79.99, the Nokia 2720 is one of the most popular Verizon flip phones for users who prefer the easy and pared-down flip phone design.

Billed as a “classic flip phone with a modern twist,” the Nokia 2720 Flip Phone has classic features along with some contemporary upgrades. Larger buttons make it easy to select menu options, and you can still download your favorite apps (like Facebook) over 4G. Unlike smartphones, a single charge will last several days - and the compact style can fit in a small pocket. 

Is it a good phone?

So what do users think of this phone? Many people believe it’s a quality flip phone for the price - but common critiques include inconsistent sound quality during phone calls, blurry camera photo quality, and inability to respond to group texts correctly. For phone users looking to choose from Verizon’s lineup, the TCL Flip Pro has slightly better user feedback, and is available for the same or better price depending on where you buy it.

TCL Flip Pro 2

It’s hard to beat the price of the TCL Flip Phone, which is $30 on the Verizon site and available on Amazon for $20. It’s billed as a modern phone with “all the familiar features you love and none of the hassle,” which seems to be what a lot of flip phone users are aiming for. 

“For users intent on marrying pared-down phone with pared-down price, this could be the perfect device.”

As one user noted in a recent review, it has a surprising number of capabilities for a phone on the lower end of the market: “I'm able to go on YouTube and check email….this phone has wifi, Bluetooth, a micro-SD card slot for expanding memory storage, and has the ability to hotspot.”

For users intent on marrying pared-down phone with pared-down price, this could be the perfect device. 

Is it a good phone?

Overall, the TCL Flip Pro is a favorite of the flip-phone community and it holds up surprisingly well against other, more expensive flip phones. The biggest complaints revolve around whether or not the phone turns on and works, which may point to the occasional manufacturing issue. When the phone is this cheap, though, it might be worth the gamble. 

Light Phone 2

The Light Phone 2 mimics the look and feel of a smartphone, while offering a very sleek and pared-down UX - even more so than a classic flip phone. It can call and text, offering an escape from endless scrolling and mindless app usage. Unlike most phones, the Light Phone makes use of a paper screen - eliminating disrupting blue light. Available tools include an alarm, a calculator, directions, a simple music player, notes/voice memo, a calendar, and a podcast tool.

Is it a good phone?

The Light Phone has a bit of a cult following online, and it’s easy to understand why - the phone’s sleek design stands out from the crowd and is definitely a solution to smartphone addiction. 

“While the phone definitely allows users to unplug, for some, it is a bit too unplugged.”

At $300, though, the Light Phone is not cheap. Users report that using the screen to type messages can be tricky due to a slight lag between touching the screen and when it registers in the system. And while the phone definitely allows users to unplug, for some, it is a bit too unplugged - you won’t be able to search for a nearby restaurant to eat at, or take or receive a photo.

Alternative: minimalist phone app

Not every solution needs to involve ditching your smart phone. Instead, many minimalists are turning to the aptly-named app, minimalist phone app. It’s ultimately offering what a lot of people look for when they want a flip phone. When users can’t use maps, access their banking information, or receive group texts on flip phones, the inconvenience often drives them back to smartphones. 

Instead of eliminating apps completely, minimalist phone app has a user interface that minimizes distractions and encourages users to access only the essentials. Users can filter notifications, set limits for certain apps, and can also hide apps from easy access, helping to cut down on mindless scrolling. This helps people learn how to control their screen time better, especially when it comes to addictive apps.

Are flip phones and dumb phones here to stay?

Like records, flip phones have proven themselves surprisingly hard to kill despite newer technology outpacing them in design and function. For users who want to minimize their phone usage - rather than lean into it - these 5 options can be a great solution.

For people who’d rather keep their existing phone, but avoid the constant notifications, distractions, and endless scrolling, there’s the app minimalist phone - 90% of users report reducing their smartphone usage after using this app. Download today and try it yourself.

About author

Mari Rogers

Mari is an experienced content writer and has worked with technology startups, Fortune 5000 companies, and more over the past 10 years.
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