Featured phone (also known as dumbphone) is a great choice when you want to break your smartphone addiction or when you are looking for a cheap secondary phone. They are easy to use, offers great battery life and gives your freedom from endless scrolling. However, finding the right feature phone isn’t that easy. Companies are banking on consumer’s nostalgia by releasing new feature phones every year. Fret not, we did the heavy lifting for you, here is a list of some of the best feature phones or dumbphones in the market right now.
Best Feature Phone in 2019
1. Palm Phone – best secondary phone
I want this transition to be smooth. So I’ll start with a phone you can use as your secondary phone.
Palm Phone is a super tiny phone, that might fetch you weird looks if you walk around with it. But can you use it every day? Yes. The idea behind these phones is to keep your main phone away, it runs on Android but with a screen of just 3.3 inches, it makes an unlikely choice for multimedia consumption. With a battery of 800 mah, it can get you talking for about 3 hours and comes Qualcomm 435 processor Octa-core CPU which can handle your basic messaging and email apps. It also boasts of a 12MP front camera and 8 MP selfie camera in the front.
All your apps can be easily accessed with the phone so you can book a cab with Uber, check out a restaurant on Maps, forget your phone in the car and still do everything with your PALM. There are dual speakers under the grill. G-sensor, GPS, Gyro and a proximity sensor do get all the major apps running. It runs Android 8.1 and secures the device with Face Unlock. Currently, it’s available in two colors, i.e, titanium, and gold.
- Life mode feature puts the phone into Airplane mode and restricts all calls and notification.
- IP68 rating validates its ruggedness. It can handle strain with ease so don’t think twice before you toss and turn.
- Connection Types: Personal lets you have a new number and data plan for the phone and Companion makes this a secondary phone by keeping your number working with this device.
- Fits in your coin pocket so if you can keep it and just forget.
It’s a lot of power in a small package. So it’s might not be the right device to watch videos or spend long hours on the internet.
Buy Palm Phone on Amazon ($178)
2. Punkt MP01 – best design feature phone
Punkt MP01 comes from a brand based out of Singapore (though just like most phones it’s manufactured in China). If you’re someone to whom design matters, this phone will be a perfect alternative to your smartphone. The UI is simple, it doesn’t have any app icons or mainstream Operating System like the Palm phone. So if calling and messaging is your only concern, this sober-looking phone might be worth the try.
It has a solid build with two colors on offer, black and white. It uses a gorilla glass screen and a tough glass-fiber-reinforced body with a camera-like finish, for more grip and ruggedness. A 1000 mah battery, with a claimed talk time of about 5 hours. For better text messaging there is T9 predictive text input, in addition to that, you’ve reminders, alarm, and calendar for viewing dates.
- Dedicated contact button, takes you to the address book eliminating time searching for contacts.
- The monochrome interface looks clean and displays sharp text.
- Bespoke Ringtones are original ringtones created by Norwegian sound artist Kjetil Røst Nilsen, so you don’t have to be confused, the next time your phone rings.
Only 2G support, so might not work with some carriers.
Buy Punkt MP01 on Amazon ($249)
3. LightPhone – best minimal feature phone
I presume the original Light Phone was a hit because Light Phone 2 raised about $8.4 million in seed funding from Foxconn and John Zimmer (Lyft). Light Phone One had limitations such as just being able to call and a restriction of 9 contacts in the address book, with Light Phone 2 they plan to shake things a bit.
It has got new tricks under its sleeves. You can still call but there is text messaging and also unlimited contacts can be saved in the address book bringing the much-needed support. It uses Light OS and makes the menu option customizable through the Dashboard. It claims to have a stand by time of up to 7 days and 3 days of regular use. It also has GPS, Bluetooth, and WIFI.
- It t provides a separate service plan and SIM card (Only USA) to make it easy and more streamlined for the consumer, which includes services like unlimited calling and text. It also lets you update your info, modify plans and view payment history on the dashboard website.
- E-ink is used in the screen, so there is almost no use of the battery, it comes in black and light gray.
The phone is restricted to calls and text. Though they say they have a menu bar that displays all the utility apps you can use and modify from the dashboard, it’s still in the development phase.
Disclaimer: If you are an Apple user trying to use this as a secondary phone, you need to disable iMessage to get the message as plain text.
4. Jio Phone – Best Packaged Phone
Jio phones are one of the most popular feature phones in India. Although it looks like a dumb phone, it packs terrific features. It has a QWERTY keyboard for someone looking for a different typing experience. It supports HD voice. You can also download apps tailored for this specific phone. It packs a 2000 mah battery with claimed standby time of up to 15 days. You can use up to two SIM cards with dual-sim support. Jio Phone 2 based on KAI OS. I know you still miss the camera and this one offers a mere 2-megapixel rear camera.
You get 4G support with the phone, so even if you buy it, it won’t be out of date for some time. There is also NFC which is a handy tool when you want to cast something. There are JIO Apps like Jio Movies, Jio Video Call and Jio Music so you don’t have to go out of the JIO UI for multimedia.
It is a feature phone, though the amount of features it is providing is bang for the buck, I feel for small screen size, I wouldn’t use it more than the basic operations.
5. CAT B30 – Best Rugged Feature Phone
Surprise? Yes Beside making one of the world’s largest trucks they make phones as well. CAT B30 is one such phone which boasts of IP67 rating, making it both dust and water-resistant. It has a 1000 Mah battery with a claimed talk-time of 6 hours and 10 days of standby time. It has multimedia so both video and audio playback can be done, seamlessly.
IP67 gives the capability to sustain for 30 minutes underwater ( 1 meter). It is also drop-proof making it a choice for someone who is specifically looking for a plain rugged option.
6. Ushining 3G – Best Flip Feature Phone
It would be so dumb of me to not include a Flip Phone in my list. They look funky and also that click sound when you fold it back. It’s pure nostalgia even if you didn’t have one.
Ushining 3G Unlocked Flip Phone has an ergonomic phone body and comes unlocked so you’re not bound by any carrier. Besides letting you you make calls and send messages it has an SOS button that can be used in the time of emergency.
It has a torch just in case and also distortion-free loudspeakers. Other basic features like alarm clock, calendar, FM and torch might be really useful for elders and children.
SOS button lets you keep 5 numbers as an emergency in case you need them. You can also disable it if not in use.
Consider Second Hand Feature Phone
If your country doesn’t have the phones mentioned or you simply want something else, maybe try Craigslist or Facebook Market Place. If you don’t feel like spending so much on a dumb phone, look for people who might be willing to sell it online for a far lesser price.
7. Nokia 3310 – Best Affordable Feature phone
Finally, a list of feature phones can not be complete without the unbreakable Nokia 3310. The new 3310 is the old phone in a new avatar. It is sleek and can be easily used as a primary phone. It comes in four colors, Azure, Yellow, Warm Red, and Charcoal with a tactile matte finish. It’s a 3g phone so you can also access the internet but the bowsing capability is limited and it doesn’t have the most appealing screen to watch videos.
There is a basic menu that is customizable and works well without being too complicated. It has an alarm clock, calendar, notes, FM radio. In addition to that, it now uses Chat form rather than single messages making it a better switch for smartphone users. There is a camera but the quality almost makes it not fit to use. It packs a 1200 mah battery which doesn’t leave space for frequent charging.
Snake – Yes, it has the old charm intact and lets you play a modern version of Snake.
We haven’t tried this in a war-room, so we can’t be sure if it’s the old robust Nokia 3310 we always knew. But you dropping it anyway. But you can try.
Let’s keep the idea of utopia aside. Yes, having a dumb phone might help you with cutting the screen time but it won’t make life easier for you. I personally depend on my phone for ordering groceries, booking movie tickets, cabs and even as a fitness tracker. Before I tell you what I feel, Here is a quick comparison of all the phones.
|Palm||Punkt MP01||LightPhone||Jio Phone 2||Ushining Flip Phone||CAT B30||Nokia 3310|
To have everything in a piece of plastic might not sound addictive but with the constant push of dopamine, it becomes so. So the problem isn’t the phone but out excessive use of it. Dumb phones might actually be good secondary or emergency phones, but at an age where there is so much integration of the outside world with the smartphone, you might want to change your habits rather than replacing the phone altogether. Alternatively, if you want to get a feature phone for privacy issues, check out our video on how to use Android smartphones without Google services.