Best Dumb Phone Models in 2022
Updated: April 08,2022
At a time when smartphone sales are dipping, the not-so-smart mobile phones are gaining relevance. The latter is more like a slab of glass than a mini-computer. And although it isn’t necessarily a great choice if you’re looking for a myriad of advanced apps, keep in mind that the humble features on dumb phones have plenty of consumers pining for the past.
In short, this mobile phone that’s primarily used for calls and texting with minimal access to the internet is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to smartphones. That’s why we've made a list of the best dumb phone models you can get in 2022.
Nokia 3310 3G
- Ergonomic design
- Long-lasting battery
- Dual SIM
- Very small screen
For a lot of people, the 90s were defined by the grunge band Nirvana, the hit sitcom Friends, and the Nokia 3310 - a mobile phone synonymous with excellence. Today, this model is back with a vengeance, packed with a couple of unique features. There were two revivals of this model in 2017 and 2019. We’re focusing on the 2019 version.
The first thing that stands out is the remarkably straightforward design. The sizable number pads make this an ideal texting design that enables users to easily send and receive text messages. The phone can also use two different SIM cards that serve different purposes. If your focus is on texting, go to the menu and select “Preferred SIM for messages.”
The 2.4-inch display has a vivid selection of colors, including black and blue, and the QVGA screen resolution of 240x320 pixels will get the job done for most of the things that you’ll use the device for. The only exception is internet browsing which can be a bit tricky at times with this resolution.
The one area where this dumb phone shines is battery life. Packed with a 1,200 mAh removable battery, the Nokia 3310 3G can last for 22 hours of constant talking and up to 40 hours when you’re playing games. And if you leave it on standby, the battery will keep the device on for nearly four weeks. This particular model comes with 128 MB of internal memory, which can be enhanced up to 32GB by adding a MicroSD card.
The 2017 version only had a 2G network, but the newer models come with 3G network support. The GSM network bands are 900/1800, along with 2.1 Bluetooth connectivity support. All of this is powered globally by the Nokia series 30+ operating system. Meanwhile, in China, the 4G version runs on YunOS.
Nokia 3310 3G has a light design that’s also capable of withstanding minor drops without sustaining any real damage. However, the device isn’t as sturdy as some of the other models on our list.
We didn't have any trouble navigating the phone's apps. The menu is neatly organized, and all the essential apps are easily accessible.
This dumb phone Nokia model also comes with a few additional apps and features. You have a torch function, an FM radio, and an excellent Snake game. However, if you’re looking for messaging apps like WhatsApp, Nokia 3310 3G isn’t the dumb phone for you.
Nokia 800 Tough
- Dust and water resistant
- 4G network
- Popular apps
- Screen size not ideal for texting
Nokia 800 Tough is a dumb phone that has a tendency to surprise users with its excellent performance capabilities and many features. The phone’s candy bar design includes large buttons that facilitate an effortless experience when it comes to typing and texting.
But these components essentially compensate for the lackluster screen size on this candy bar phone model. In a way, this complicates the whole texting process. Still, a 240x320 resolution isn’t exactly the worst option on the market and should be perfectly sufficient for most users. And thanks to the dynamic colors on the screen, you won’t have to worry about straining your eyes. The 2.4-inch QVGA screen is also well-suited for playing games and much more.
As with the previous Nokia dumb phone, this model excels when it comes to battery life. The Nokia 800 Tough 2,100 mAh battery will last you between nine and 14 hours of constant talking, depending on the network type you use. If you’re using a 3G network, this phone lasts up to 43 days in standby mode, and with a 4G network, the battery can last up to 34 days on standby. Overall, we were very impressed with the battery lifespan.
Moreover, you can use a SIM card for both 3G and 4G LTE networks. You can also connect via Wi-Fi or create a mobile hotspot, which is an excellent addition. And if you need fast data transfers from another phone, Bluetooth 4.1 is a great asset. Just bear in mind that you’ll have a somewhat limited 4GB of storage space. But if you run out of storage, you can always add MicroSD cards to get more.
Furthermore, this Nokia phone is highly durable. The phone has an IP68 rating, which means it’s designed to withstand accidental drops, water, sand, and even extreme temperatures. In other words, you can take this Nokia phone anywhere because it will continue to work even if you submerge it in water as deep as 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes or drop it onto concrete from up to 1.8 meters.
Thanks to the dumb phone’s rubberized edges, these accidental drops will cause no or minimal damage. Also, it doesn’t matter whether you’re facing really low or high temperatures because the device is designed to withstand between -20°C and 55°C. As such, the "Tough" part of its name is fully justified.
This 4G phone comes with FM Radio, Facebook, and WhatsApp. You can download more apps thanks to the phone's KaiOS operating system. And don’t think that incorporating WhatsApp turns this model into a smartphone. WhatsApp communication is strictly limited to messaging purposes.
Of course, if you’re interested in downloading more apps, you'll be given a long list of choices, including Twitter, Google Assistant, and Google Maps. The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor, ensuring that all apps perform well.
- Minimalistic and appealing design
- Robust internet connectivity
- Gorilla Glass 3 coating
- Monochrome display
Sleek is the best way to describe the Punkt MP02 design in one word. It might look like a calculator, but this dumb phone has very responsive and easy-to-use buttons. The keys have a circular design, which makes texting on this phone a highly comfortable experience.
The one aspect that won't get anyone excited is the 2-inch screen bordering on the barely readable. The good thing is that the phone goes for a 240x320 pixel resolution for functional messaging purposes. But the monochrome VA TFT transflective display means that this dumb phone tailors to users who want minimal distractions from our technologically advanced world. This point is further reinforced with the distinct lack of a camera.
The battery type is a 1,280 mAh lithium-ion that needs around two hours to fully charge. Unlike with the Nokia models on our list, the Punkt MP02 battery isn’t removable. It'll last you four hours when speaking and up to 13 days in standby mode, which is notably less than the dumb phone battery life of the afermentioned products. Luckily, 16GB of storage space will be enough to customize your phone and add a few features.
Punkt MP02 impressed us with excellent internet connectivity support via hotspot. You can connect to the network with Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth, which is much better than what other dumb phones are offering with respect to connectivity. You also have the option between the 4G LTE SIM cards and the older 2G and 3G networks. It’s powered by the Android Open Source Project or the AOSP 8.1 version from Google.
The phone body is made from a polycarbonate casing with a highly durable coating, while the screen glass is reinforced with fiber and has Gorilla Glass 3 protection. All of this means that Punkt MP02 is resistant to water splashes. However, we would not recommend submerging this dumb phone into water or dropping it onto concrete.
The dumb phone is on the slimmer side, considering the pre-installed apps and features. You got eCompass, airplane mode, and a monthly calendar along with a few more basic functions, but nothing special or too advanced. On the plus side, the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 210 processor guarantees solid software performance.
- Highly durable
- Decent battery life
- Camera and music player
- Inferior display
CAT phones are renowned for their resilience and bulky design, and the B30 model is no exception. This isn’t exactly a light phone, and the keys don’t offer much in the way of tactile feedback. They feel a bit slippery, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have any problems texting.
The screen design on the Cat B30 phone model involves a two-inch QCIF 176 x 220 display type. Unfortunately, this results in the colors feeling a little muted and washed-out, while the screen emanates subdued quality.
However, this is expected from a CAT phone that focuses entirely on functionality and delivers an experience away from social media and the internet. It's all about chatting and texting capabilities, while its 1,000 mAh removable lithium-ion battery ensures six hours of uninterrupted talking time.
The battery will also work up to 10 days on standby mode. The internal storage space of 128 MB can and will feel mighty cramped, especially if you add MP3 music files. You can alleviate that by adding the MicroSD card that provides up to 32 GB of additional storage space.
With Cat B30, users have a choice between a 2G and a 3G network with a maximum uplink data rate of 384 Kbps. These features also highlight the fact that this dumb phone doesn’t tailor to users who require a constant internet connection.
On the other hand, the B30 model provides unparalleled resistance to any potential damage. With an IP67 rating, this dumb phone is resistant to water submersion up to one meter and is impervious to dust. Moreover, drop tests show that it can survive falls onto concrete from up to 1.8 meters.
Aside from the MP3 and MP4 player and the FM radio, the Cat B30 comes equipped with a rear two megapixels camera and an LED torch. The good thing is that it uses a proprietary Android-based OS so that you can download a dozen "rugged" apps from Cat's App Toolbox and Google Play.
- Hearing aids and emergency assistance
- Excellent 2.8-inch display
- Facebook pre-installed
- No Bluetooth connection
Doro’s primary focus is on straightforward and intuitive design above all else. The numeric keyboard has one of the most elementary designs and is easier to use than many other dumb phones. It even supports hearing aids, and there is an emergency assistance button for users to notify their contacts about the dumb phone's location. All in all, this is one of the devices that tailors to new mobile users, especially the elderly ones.
It also has the biggest screen on our list with an impressive 2.8-inch color display, which is perfect for texting, playing games, or browsing the internet. The supported resolution is QVGA, or 240 x 320 pixels, which is a treat for the eyes.
The battery life is equally impressive. Doro 7010 has a 1,600 mAh lithium-ion battery that provides seven hours of constant talking. And when you put the phone on standby mode, the battery will last for a decent 13 days. Unfortunately, the 4GB of storage isn’t always enough for such a well-polished device, prompting users to turn to a MicroSD card for additional storage space.
Doro 7010 supports 3G and 4G networks, which will help with locating a suitable mobile provider. With a hotspot support connection via Wi-Fi, you can hook yourself up to the internet and check Facebook and WhatsApp, which are preloaded on the phone.
Aside from these two popular apps, you'll get other useful mobile apps, including customizable wallpaper, startup wizard, a calculator, and calendar. You'll receive all the apps needed for everyday activities. It runs on DorOS.
Finest Dumb Phones in 2022
- Nokia 3310 3G
- Nokia 800 Tough
- Punkt MP02
- CAT B30
- Doro 7010
Guide to Get the Perfect Dumb Phone
Getting a dumb phone that suits your needs can be challenging, especially when all your friends are talking about the newest smartphones. But despite some limitations, there are plenty of useful dumb phone features. These devices have a practical design and deliver a unique level of simplicity.
We've compiled a list of features that every prospective dumb phone user should look for. And even though most of these models lack advanced apps, you'll get plenty of practical solutions with this phone.
Layout and Quality
The primary purpose of dumb phones is to blend simple text and talk functions. Consumers who prefer smartphones are typically seeking more superior functions and a sizable touch screen. However, that doesn’t mean that clumsy fingers and the limits of triple-tapping will prevent you from sending messages. A dumb phone has practical and pressable number pads that are conveniently separated from the screen and work great for short texts.
The number pads on dumb phones come in several shapes. The texting buttons are easy to use and offer the convenience of an average computer keyboard. Meanwhile, the screen size is generally no bigger than three inches.
Among the more popular categories of so-called feature phones are flip phones. These are devices that fold in half. The screen is inside the flip and has an extra layer of protection. Also, the keys are large and provide users with tactile feedback. There is also the more classic banana-shaped and bluetooth-enabled phone that comes with a signature slide mechanism.
Our reviews explore the different options for an affordable price.
Screen Size and Quality
These devices have very small screens - even when compared with their small smartphone counterparts and as such, every pixel counts. We’ll delve deeper into the options concerning texts, numbers, and symbols. We'll also review the image quality and any potential display issues.
Dumb-phone screens are generally more durable than those on smartphones. Most are shock, water, and dust resistant. We're putting all of them to the test.
Battery Life and Storage
Another universal advantage of dumb phones is the longer battery life. Thanks to their bulky design and significantly reduced number of supported apps, batteries have better mileage. We'll check how reliable these batteries really are while taking into account the screen size on each dumb phone.
Another aspect we'll focus on in our reviews is storage. Most dumb phones have storage that can be measured in megabytes instead of gigabytes. And this is fine for everyday dumb phone usage. However, when you include photos, music files, or additional apps, such as WhatsApp, you can quickly use up the storage space. We'll inspect the amount of available storage and what types of storage each dumb phone employs.
Supported Network Types and Connections
We've also covered the types of networks that various dumb phones use. There is a sizable difference between 2G, 3G, and 4G plans. Moreover, Verizon doesn’t offer the same kind of dumb phone SIM cards and mobile services as other network operators. Simply put, not all dumb phones work with all mobile communication companies, and users need to know what kind of network type the phone needs.
We'll also dive into the types of connections supported whether you have Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi network sharing support, as well as hotspot and tethering capabilities. The latter features are crucial for those who want to be disconnected from the internet.
Case Sturdiness and Software Accessibility
Some dumb phone models use light and more fragile cases. Others provide a sturdier design that can take a beating but weighs more. Our tests focus on the aesthetics and the endurance of these mobile phones.
One of the tests covers the general ease of use of the pre-installed software on the phone. It goes without saying that these can’t compete with smartphone apps, their vast features, and superior design. That’s why it’s critical to check how well-implemented software solutions are on dumb phones. There's a big difference between providing quality texting feedback for kids and elderly users.
Additional App Features
Even though dumb phones are economical and minimalistic, some models go a step further and surprise users with their implemented or supported software. For example, an installed MP3 player will make long trips from home and back more enjoyable - even though the sound quality these devices offer may not match the performance of the top-rated smartphones for music lovers.
Some models have a camera, but the quality of the images is notably inferior when compared to other mobile devices. A few dumb phones also have WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, or other popular social network apps. We'll cover all these non-essential dumb phone features.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best minimalist phone is Nokia 3310, followed by Punkt MP02 and the Nokia 8110 4G banana phone.
Surprisingly, this title belongs to a smartphone. The Energizer Power Max P18K has a giant smartphone battery. And although the 18,000 mAh battery lasts a long time, it failed to impress consumers as it increases the phone's size to the size of a human fist.
LG Wing has a chilling design that it's generally considered the ugliest Android smartphone, if not the ugliest mobile phone ever produced.
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