The 5 Best Feature Phones You Can Buy Today

feature-phone

Feature phones, commonly known as bar phones, flip phones, or dumb phones, are traditionally mobile phones with few features beyond calling and texting. Thanks to updates in operating systems, and expiring technology patents, modern feature phones have many smartphone-like features, in a durable handset with a much longer battery life. Considering a feature phone? Here’s why you should, along with five of the best options you can buy. Why You Need a Modern Feature Phone Whether you’re looking to save some money, to reduce your screen time, or to curb your phone addiction, feature phones are here for you. Modern…

Read the full article: The 5 Best Feature Phones You Can Buy Today

feature-phone

Feature phones, commonly known as bar phones, flip phones, or dumb phones, are traditionally mobile phones with few features beyond calling and texting.

Thanks to updates in operating systems, and expiring technology patents, modern feature phones have many smartphone-like features, in a durable handset with a much longer battery life.

Considering a feature phone? Here’s why you should, along with five of the best options you can buy.

Why You Need a Modern Feature Phone

Nokia feature phones

Whether you’re looking to save some money, to reduce your screen time, or to curb your phone addiction, feature phones are here for you.

Modern feature phones can be found with support for 4G, two SIM cards, a media player, SD Card slot, and audio jacks. The newer models also support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) calling. The former (VoLTE) is becoming more important as 2G and 3G are phased out.

Thanks to operating systems like KaiOS, many feature phones also support Google Maps, WhatsApp, Email, and even Google Assistant.

The popularity of feature phones is steadily increasing in most markets. Other than a desire to cut down on social media use, lower cost and a desire to end support for planned obsolescence are among the top reasons to get a feature phone.

These phones are great alternatives for children and those who might be less tech-literate. They are also great to use when outdoors or traveling where the chance of loss and damage is higher.

It’s worth mentioning that the lack of specific apps for travel options could be a hindrance to some. A consolation here is that you can also book Uber on the web.

If you are interested in trying out a feature phone, here are some recommendations (in no particular order) for 4G LTE enabled feature phones.

1. Nokia 8110 4G

Nokia 8110 4G Banana Phone

Nokia 8110 4G (TA-1067) 512MB/4GB 2.45-inches Factory Unlocked - International Stock No Warranty (Yellow) Nokia 8110 4G (TA-1067) 512MB/4GB 2.45-inches Factory Unlocked - International Stock No Warranty (Yellow) Buy Now At Amazon $83.99

This revival of the original Nokia 8110 runs on KaiOS, and follows the successful relaunch of the Nokia 3310. This is one of the most well known mobile phones from the mid-90s, used by Neo in the Matrix. Nokia’s yellow colored release pays homage to the phone’s nickname, the “Banana Phone”.

The Nokia 8110 4G is a big improvement on the latest 3310 release, but the software on this phone can still be a little sluggish. The price of this phone is also a little higher than it should be, as it mostly caters to the retro-head crowd.

OS: KaiOS

Released: February 2018

Features:

  • 2.4″ TFT display
  • Support for Google Maps, Google Assistant, and WhatsApp.
  • Anti-theft remote lock and erase feature
  • Removable battery
  • Web browser
  • Media player
  • Battery life: two weeks standby (48 hour music play or 11 hour talk time)
  • Dual SIM
  • MicroSD (up to 32GB)
  • Micro USB for charging
  • 4G, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, FM Radio

2. Reliance JioPhone 2

Reliance Jio Phone 2

An update to the JioPhone, this phone is very popular in the Indian market. It has a full qwerty keyboard and supports LTE (4G), VoLTE, and as with all KaiOS phones, it has support for many apps and web-based tools.

OS: KaiOS

Released: July 2018

Features:

  • 2.4″ TFT display
  • Full Qwerty Keyboard
  • Removable battery
  • Support for Google Maps, Google Assistant, and WhatsApp.
  • Anti-theft remote lock and erase feature
  • Web browser
  • Media Player
  • Battery life: two weeks standby
  • Dual SIM (nano)
  • MicroSD (up to 128GB)
  • Micro USB for charging
  • 4G, Bluetooth 4.1, FM Radio

3. Xiaomi QIN 1S

Xiaomi QIN 1s

The QIN 1s has a smaller battery than most of the phones in this list, but it will still get about two weeks of standby, or seven hours of talk time on a full charge.

This particular phone has the addition of some interesting AI software. One of the features of the AI is a real-time voice translation between Chinese and up to 17 other languages. This feature is currently only available from the Chinese language, but it’ll be interesting to see where it goes in the future.

The QIN 1s is the only phone on this list that also comes with infrared, which is great for TVs, aircon, and many other appliances—especially if you spend a lot of time in hotel rooms.

OS: Mocor 5 (Android OS)

Released: September 2018

Features:

  • 2.8″ display
  • Support for Google Maps, Google Assistant, and WhatsApp.
  • Web browser
  • Media player
  • Battery life: one week standby
  • Dual SIM (nano)
  • MicroSD (up to 32GB)
  • USB-C for charging
  • 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot, GPS
  • Infrared

4. CAT B35

CAT B53

You may know CAT more for their diggers and work boots, but together with Bullitt Group, they also make mobile phones. The B35, launched in October 2018, is super rugged, waterproof, drop proof, and 4G capable.

For people who spend a lot of time outdoors or in heavier industries where drops are likely to happen, the rugged CAT B35 would be the best choice.

OS: KaiOS

Released: October 2018

Features:

  • 2.4″ TFT display
  • Support for Google Maps, Google Assistant, Email, and WhatsApp.
  • Anti-theft remote lock and erase feature
  • Web browser
  • Media player
  • Battery life: 30 days standby (12 hours talk time)
  • Dual SIM (nano)
  • MicroSD (up to 32GB)
  • Micro USB for charging
  • 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, FM Radio, GPS
  • Hotspot capability
  • Waterproof (IP68)
  • Super durable and drop proof

5. DORO 7060

Doro 7060 product photo

Another KaiOS phone, the Doro 7060 is an alternative to the Alcatel Go Flip, but a better phone in our opinion.

Doro is a company that designs for the 65+ age group, and this phone is their most recent clamshell addition to this market. The phone has a programmable emergency button on the back, which you can set up to call a specific number if you press it three times.

If you’re interested in this phone, be aware that there is a Doro 7050 version without support for Wi-Fi or web browsing. The Doro 7060 is a great gift for senior family members.

OS: KaiOS

Released: May 2018

Features:

  • 1.44″ external display, 2.8″ internal display
  • Support for Google Maps, Google Assistant, Email, and WhatsApp.
  • Anti-theft remote lock and erase feature
  • Emergency call button
  • Removable battery
  • Web browser
  • Media player
  • Battery life: two weeks standby (eight hours talk time)
  • Dual SIM (nano)
  • MicroSD (up to 128GB)
  • Micro USB for charging
  • 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, FM Radio, GPS
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot

If you want some dumb phone options, we’ve previously found the best dumb phones currently on the market.

The Trade-Offs of a Feature Phone

A good camera is for many the most important feature of their smartphone, and with any feature phone this will be a tradeoff you will have to make. If you can live without that (since you won’t have Instagram anyway), you should definitely try one.

Even if you just use these phones part-time, in social situations, for example, you may notice that you’ll eventually stop reaching for your phone to look up facts and that your short-term memory may even improve!

In short, if you’re looking for a solid phone to use for normal use, when traveling, or if you’re an older user, check out one of these:

  1. Nokia 8110 4G
  2. Reliance JioPhone 2
  3. Xiaomi QIN 1s
  4. CAT B35
  5. DORO 7060

Finally, if you are struggling to claim your life back from the addiction of your smartphone, or technology in general, a dumb phone may be the right option for you.

Read the full article: The 5 Best Feature Phones You Can Buy Today