While some find the convenience of smartphones a lifesaver, others will be happy to have a phone that only makes calls and writes messages, and has enough battery life to last longer than a day or two.
Feature phone (also known as dumb phone) is a great choice when you want to break your smartphone addiction or when you are looking for a cheap secondary phone. It offers ease of use, great battery life and gives you freedom from endless scrolling through web pages. However, finding the right feature phone is not so easy. Companies are tapping into consumer nostalgia by releasing new premium phones every year. Fear not, we have done the heavy lifting for you, here is a list of some of the best dumb or feature phones on the market right now.
- 1 The best feature phones of 2019
- 1.1 1. Palm Phone – Best Secondary Phone
- 1.2 2. Punkt MP01 – Best Premium Phone in Design
- 1.3 3. LightPhone – The best minimalist feature phone
- 1.4 4. Jio Phone – Best Phone Bundle
- 1.5 5. CAT B30 – Best Rugged Feature Phone
- 1.6 6. Ushining 3G – The Best Foldable Feature Phone
- 1.7 7. Nokia 3310 – Best Affordable Feature Phone
- 1.8 closing words
The best feature phones of 2019
1. Palm Phone – Best Secondary Phone
I want this transition to be smooth. So, I’ll start with a phone that you can use as your secondary phone.
The Palm Phone is a pretty small phone, and it might bring you weird looks if you’re walking around with it. But can you use it every day? Yes really. The idea behind these phones is to keep your main phone out of the way, as the Palm Phone runs on Android but only has a 3.3-inch screen, making this an unlikely option for multimedia streaming. With a 800mAh battery, it can keep you talking for 3 hours and it comes with Qualcomm 435 Octa-Core CPU that can handle your basic messaging and email applications. It also features a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie camera on the front.
All of your apps are easily accessible by phone so you can book a taxi with Uber, browse maps to find a nearby restaurant, and forget your primary phone in the car, so you still do everything with your PALM. There are dual speakers. G-sensor, GPS, Gyro and proximity sensor power all major applications. The phone is running Android 8.1 and locks the device with Face Unlock. Currently, it is available in two colors, titanium and gold.
- Life mode puts the phone in airplane mode and limits all calls and notifications.
- IP68 rated in hardness verification tests. He can handle pressure easily, so don’t think twice before tossing and dropping him.
- Connection types: Personal lets you get a new number and data plan for the phone, and the Companion option makes it a secondary phone by keeping your number working with that device.
- It fits in your pocket so it can just be left and forgotten.
- It delivers great power in a small package. So it may not be the right device for watching videos or spending long hours on the internet.
Buy the Palm Phone on Amazon ($178)
2. Punkt MP01 – Best Premium Phone in Design
Punkt MP01 comes from a brand based out of Singapore (although it is similar to most phones that are made in China). If you are a person who cares about design, then this phone will be a perfect replacement for your smartphone. The user interface is simple, and it doesn’t have any app icons or major OS like Palm phone. So, if calling and messaging is your only concern, then this straightforward phone might be worth giving a try.
It has a solid build with two colors displayed, black and white. It uses a Gorilla Glass screen and a steel frame reinforced with fiberglass with a camera-like finish, for added stability. 1000mAh battery, with talk time rounded up to about 5 hours. For better texting, there is T9 for predictive text entry, in addition, there is a reminder, alarm, and calendar option to display dates.
- Dedicated contact button, takes you to the address book eliminating time searching for contacts.
- The monochrome interface looks clean and displays the text clearly.
- Bespoke Ringtones are original ringtones created by Norwegian audio artist Kjetil Røst Nilsen, so you don’t have to confuse your secondary and main phone the next time it rings.
- Support 2G only, so it may not work with some phone companies.
Buy Punkt MP01 on Amazon ($249)
3. LightPhone – The best minimalist feature phone
I suppose the original Light Phone was a huge success because the Light Phone 2 raised about $8.4 million in seed funding from Foxconn and John Zimmer (Lyft). The Light Phone One had limitations like it could only call and restricted you to only 9 contacts in the address book, while the Light Phone 2 intends to improve things a bit.
I’ve got some new tricks and some news. You can still call but there are text messages and unlimited number of contacts can also be saved in the address book providing much needed support. It runs using Light OS and makes the menu option customizable through the Dashboard. It is claimed to have an uptime of 7 days and 3 days of regular use. It also has GPS, Bluetouth, and WIFI.
- LightPhone provides a separate service plan and SIM card (USA only) to make it easier and simpler for the consumer, by providing some services that include unlimited calling and texting. It also allows you to update your information, edit plans, and view payment history on the Dashboard.
- It uses e-ink in the display, so there is no battery usage, it comes in black and light gray.
- The phone is limited to calls and messages. Although the developers say it has a menu bar that shows all the widget apps you can use and modify from the Dashboard, it’s still in the development stage.
Evacuation responsibilaty: If you are an Apple user trying to use this as a secondary phone, you must disable iMessage to get the message in plain text.
Buy Light Phone 2 ($350)
4. Jio Phone – Best Phone Bundle
Jio Phone is one of the most popular feature phones in India. Although it looks like a dumb phone, it has great features. It has a QWERTY keyboard for someone who is looking for a different typing experience. It supports HD audio. You can also download apps designed for that specific phone. It comes with a 2000 mAh battery with an estimated use time of up to 15 days. You can use up to two SIM cards with dual-sim support. Jio Phone 2 is based on KAI OS. I know you will miss the camera, as this camera offers a mere 2MP resolution.
- You get 4G support with the phone, so even if you buy it, it won’t be out of date for quite some time. There is also the NFC feature which is a useful tool when you want to get something.
- There are JIO-specific apps like Jio Movies, Jio Video Call and Jio Music so that you don’t have to get out of the multimedia JIO UI.
- It’s a premium phone, and while the amount of options it offers is great, I feel the screen is small, and I wouldn’t use it for more than basic operations.
Buy Jio Phone
5. CAT B30 – Best Rugged Feature Phone
a surprise? Yes, besides making one of the biggest trucks in the world, they also make phones. CAT B30 is one such phone that has an IP67 rating, which makes it dust and water resistant. It has a 1000mAh battery with an estimated talk time of 6 hours and 10 days of low usage time. It has multimedia support so that video and audio can be played with ease.
- IP67 gives it endurance for 30 minutes underwater (1 meter depth). It is also drop resistant which makes it an option for someone who is especially looking for an easy and solid option.
Buy the CAT B30 on Amazon ($84.98)
6. Ushining 3G – The Best Foldable Feature Phone
It would be too stupid not to include a foldable phone in my list. It looks funky and makes a sound when folded back. This is the nostalgia for a foldable hoof even if you don’t have one.
Ushining 3G Unlocked Flip Phone provides a convenient phone that is unlocked so you are not bound with any carrier. Besides letting you make calls and send messages, it has an SOS button that can be used in an emergency time.
It only has a notch in the case, as well as distortion-free speakers. It may be other basic features like alarm, calendar, FM and notch which are really useful for elders and kids.
- The SOS button allows you to keep 5 numbers as emergency numbers in case you need them. You can also disable it if not in use.
Buy Ushining 3G Unlocked Flip Phone on Amazon ($42.98)
Consider second hand options for a feature phone
If your country doesn’t have the phones mentioned or you want something else, try Craigslist or the Facebook Market Place. If you don’t want to spend a lot on a stupid phone, find people who might want to sell it online for a much lower price.
7. Nokia 3310 – Best Affordable Feature Phone
Finally, the list of feature phones cannot be complete without the indestructible Nokia 3310. The new 3310 is the old phone in a new avatar. It is stylish and can easily be used as a primary phone. It comes in four colors, azure, yellow, warm red, and charcoal with a matte finish. It’s a 3G-enabled phone, so you can also access the internet, but the bendability is limited and it doesn’t have the most attractive screen for watching videos.
There is a basic menu that is customizable and it works well without being too complicated. It has an alarm, calendar, notes, FM radio. In addition, it now uses a chat form instead of individual messages which makes it a better option for smartphone users. There is a camera but the quality almost makes it inconvenient to use. It has a 1200 mAh battery that leaves no room for frequent daily charging.
- Snake Game – Yes, it has the old charm and also lets you play a modern version of Snake.
- We haven’t tested this phone in a war room, so we can’t be sure it’s as powerful as the old Nokia 3310 we’ve always known. But you’ll drop it anyway. You can try.
Buy the Nokia 3310 ($54)
Let’s keep the idea of a utopia aside. Yes, having a dumb phone may help you limit screen time but it won’t make life any easier for you. Personally, I rely on my phone to order groceries, book movie tickets, taxis, and even as a fitness tracker. Before I tell you how I feel, here is a quick comparison of all the phones that have been shown.
|Palm||Punkt MP01||LightPhone||Jio Phone 2||Ushining Flip Phone||CAT B30||Nokia 3310|
To make it all in a clear piece, it may not seem like there is any addiction to your phone but with the constant pressure of dopamine, it becomes. So the problem is not with the phone but with excessive use of it. Dumb phones may actually be good secondary or good phones, but in an age where there is so much integration with the outside world, you may want to change your habits rather than replace the phone entirely. Alternatively, if you want to get a feature phone for privacy issues, check out our article on how to use Android smartphones without Google services.