Don't get me wrong, I still love my smartphones as much as any modern 21st-century kid. But there's something about whipping out a flip phone and then snapping it closed that is very gratifying and nostalgic. And while many phone manufacturers pump out high-tech handsets every season, it's nice to see that once in a while, a simple flip phone still makes it through the pipeline.
Not only do these handsets have the best call quality (and really, isn't that what phones are made for?), but they also are extremely simple to use and can withstand a good knock or two. Below, we've gathered our recent favorites.
Editors' note: This post was originally published August 14, 2012, and was been updated on May 16, 2013, with additional handsets.
Kyocera Kona (Cricket Wireless), April 2013
While its 2-megapixel camera isn't going to make you the next Ansel Adams (especially since it doesn't have an LED flash), the Kona will make great calls and its user interface is easy to navigate. It also has a nifty feature that lets you hide certain contacts in your phone book, keeping that info away from nosy snoops. Read the full review.
Kyocera DuraPro (U.S. Cellular), February 2013
As the U.S. Cellular version of Sprint's DuraXT, the DuraPro retains the original's extra-tough qualities. Not only is it waterproof, but it's also resilient against dust and shock. Just don't expect the same Direct Connect push-to-talk button on this one, since that's a Sprint-specific feature. Read the full review.
Doro PhoneEasy 618 (Consumer Cellular), December 2012
Designed specifically with seniors in mind, the PhoneEasy 618 has features like a built-in emergency call button, an ICE app to store pertinent medical information like your blood type and medications, and even an FM radio. Not to mention, its design is incredibly intuitive. Read the full review.
Samsung t159 (T-Mobile), August 2012
It may not be the most stylish of handsets, but with its excellent call quality, generously sized buttons, and contract-free affordable pricing, the t159 is a flip phone done right. Be warned, however, that it lacks a headset jack, so you won't be able to plug any audio accessories into it. Read the full review.
Samsung Entro (Virgin Mobile), August 2012
The Entro may be missing a camera altogether, but it does have some strong points, including voice action, a GPS, and a mobile Web browser. Initially offered at the bottom-barrel price of $14.99, Virgin is currently selling it for just $11.99, which is less than you probably spent on lunch today. Read the full review.