The best basic phones of 2023 (2023)

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Nicole M. LaMarco

The best basic phones of 2023 (1)

Nicole M. LaMarco


Nicole LaMarco has over 15 years of experience writing about web hosting, antivirus, backup software and other technologies for publications such as Tech Republic and Web Hosting Sun.

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Updated August 3, 2023

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The best basic phones of 2023 (2)

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If the main goal is to be able to make calls, you can make your life easier by using a simpler phone instead of an expensive smartphone.

These are our favourites.

In this article

  • Our choice

  • What you should look out for in a simple mobile phone

  • FAQ

Best for Verizon

Kyocera DuraXV Extreme E4810

The best basic phones of 2023 (3)

What we like

  • Tough, durable flip design

  • Certified for hazardous conditions

  • Exceptionally loud dual speaker system

What we don't like

  • Limited advanced features

We have to give credit to the Kyocera DuraXV Extreme E4810; They don't joke about the extreme part. You can drop it onto solid concrete from 1.5m or leave it in 2m deep water for 30 minutes. The phone is also certified for use in Class 1, Division 2 hazardous locations. We're not even sure we can be there.

Extremities aside, this is a good basic phone with camera and video capabilities, really loud front speakers (at full volume) and it can be used as an LTE deviceMobile Hotspotto ten units. It's a simple phone that can handle more than just basic conditions.

screen size:N/A |Solution:N/A |Processor:1,2 GHz |Camera:5MP |Battery life:9,5-Timer

What we like

  • Easy navigation

  • Big buttons

  • speaker

What we don't like

  • Not compatible with large networks

  • Mediocre camera

Jitterbug and its provider Lively design their phones specifically for seniors. The Jitterbug Flip is a flip phone with a small external screen that shows incoming calls and notifications. The interior screen has a simple user interface with simple yes/no navigation. The big buttons, bright screens and powerful speaker are perfect for anyone who needs a no-fuss phone.

However, the phone's camera isn't the best. The Jitterbug Flip is a Lively exclusive. So if you're a customer with another carrier, you'll need to switch to Lively to use that phone. However, the carrier doesn't have long-term contracts and doesn't rely on Verizon's extensive nationwide network.

screen size:1.44 and 3.2 inch |Solution:N/A |Processor:1,1 GHz |Camera:2MP |Battery life:About a day

What we like

  • Easy to use

  • Can surf the internet and download apps

What we don't like

  • Strange camera

  • Average battery life

The Nokia 2780 Flip is a first phone with some additional features. It has4Gand a 5 MP camera, is available in blue and red and is very affordable.

You can use it to make calls, text, play music and take photos. It also has a web browser and an app store. The 2780 Flip has a simple user interface, but it is less responsive than a smartphone.

While the battery life isn't impressive (around 7 hours of talk time), the phone has a range of accessibility features including larger font sizes, higher volume, a speed dial button, closed captioning, text-to-speech and more hearing aid compatible.

screen size:2.7 inch |Solution:320 x 240 |Processor:N/A |Camera:5MP |Battery life:7-Timer

Best for T-Mobile

TCL Flip Go

The best basic phones of 2023 (6)

What we like

  • Can be used as a mobile hotspot

  • Good battery life

What we don't like

  • Not a great camera phone

The TCL Flip 4 has 4G, a 2 megapixel camera, a headphone jack and mobile hotspot function. The phone has good battery life (about 14 hours of talk time), it is hearing aid compatible and you can adjust the text size.

It's easy to use and inexpensive, making it an excellent choice if you only need the bare essentials. The camera isn't particularly good, although it's rare for a basic phone to come with a good camera.

screen size:2.8 inch |Solution:320 x 240 |Processor:N/A |Camera:2MP |Battery life:14 Timer

What you should look out for in a simple mobile phone

Battery life

In the world of basic cell phones, you will often find that battery life is measured in days or even weeks. Unlike smartphones, simple mobile phones do not have to constantly perform many complex actions. Carefully review the phone specifications to find out which phone offers the maximum talk time and standby time. To avoid having to charge your phone as often, you should also consider how many advanced features there are, as they can drain battery life.

user friendliness

If you're buying a basic cell phone, it's at least partly because you don't want to deal with the complexities of a modern smartphone. While most simple cell phones are inherently simple, some are surprisingly complicated. Today's basic phones can have functions such as text messaging, taking pictures or listening to music. Aside from premium features, some full-featured base phones have complex interfaces. When looking for a basic phone, make sure that it has an interface that allows you to make and receive calls easily.

Expandable Storage

Both basic phone users and smartphone users can benefit from additional storage space. Nowadays, most basic mobile phones have a camera. If you want to take photos or videos, you should make sure that the phone has enough storage space. If you can't transfer your memories from your phone to a computer, getting a phone with expandable storage can help. With expandable memory, you can not only add more capacity, but also easily switch memory cards when the current card is full.


  • What is a basic cell phone?

    As smartphones become more complex, the basic mobile phone is designed for people who want a simpler experience. It's usually a small phone without a big screen and often a clamshell phone. It has large buttons and a large, easy-to-read screen and interface. They typically can't run apps, but for those struggling with a more modern smartphone, they're the perfect way to stay connected.

  • How much does a basic cell phone plan cost?

    The cost of a basic cellular plan can vary, but there are a number of cheap cellular plans out there if you don't want to pay the price of a major cellular provider like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Smaller carriers and MVNOs like Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Visible, Republic Wireless, and others offer plans that can save people significant amounts of money. Instead of signing up for a full prepaid plan, you have the option to sign up for a plan where you only pay for the amount of minutes, texts and data you need and can use. Some of these plans are only $15 to $20, which is significantly cheaper than the mainline options.

  • Can simple mobile phones be hacked?

    If your primary concern is privacy and security, a basic cell phone can offer some benefits, as not all come with full WiFi connectivity, GPS, apps, and sophisticated operating systems. But like any mobile device, they can be used to track you and your whereabouts, even a simple cell phone. However, if your mobile phone doesn't have any significant apps and you don't use it to browse the web, it will severely limit your visibility.

  • How long will basic phones be supported?

    Most new base phones will have at least 4G LTE connectivity and you should avoid buying 2G devices as these networks have been shut down in the US and many other parts of the world. The 3G service will continue to be supported, but will also be phased out in the next few years. Therefore, it is best to make sure that your device supports 4G LTE.

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