Flip phones to flip for (roundup)

Yes, flip phones don't sport the bells and whistles of modern handsets, but with their charming design and intuitive interface, they're here to stay.

I love my smartphone 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 clamshell device still makes it through the pipeline.

Not only do these handsets have superb call quality (and really, isn't that what phones are made for?), but they're also extremely simple to use. In addition, these devices surprisingly cater to several demographics, from the active to the elderly. Below, we've gathered our recent favorites.

Editors' note: This post was originally published August 14, 2012, and was updated on November 19, 2013 with additional handsets.

LG Exalt (Verizon Wireless)
The LG Exalt from Verizon Wireless. James Martin/CNET
LG Exalt (Verizon Wireless), November 2013
Sporting an interesting LED light design that displays the time, your missed calls, and your text messages, the LG Exalt is a polished-looking handset with a generously sized 3-inch screen, expandable memory, and a 2-megapixel camera. Read the full review.

LG Revere 2 (Verizon Wireless)
The LG Revere 2 from Verizon Wireless. Josh Miller/CNET
LG Revere 2 (Verizon Wireless), April 2013
The Revere 2 keeps it simple: its interface is extremely user-friendly, and its alphanumeric keypad is comfortable to press. You can also easily adjust the size of the fonts onscreen via the volume buttons. Read the full review.

Kyocera DuraPro (US Cellular)
The Kyocera DuraPro from U.S. Cellular. Josh Miller/CNET
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 PhoneEasy618 (Consumer Cellular)
The Doro PhoneEasy 618 from Consumer Cellular. Josh Miller/CNET
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)
The Samsung t159 from T-Mobile. Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Read the full CNET Review

LG Revere 2 (Verizon Wireless)

The Bottom Line: Although it has a competitively low price, Verizon carries better-performing feature phones than the Revere 2 at just a few dollars more. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Kyocera DuraPro (U.S. Cellular)

The Bottom Line: U.S. Cellular's Kyocera DuraPro has both the brawn and the reliable call performance that make it a good choice for users looking for a rugged feature phone. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Samsung t159 (T-Mobile)

The Bottom Line: An example of excellent call quality at a dirt-cheap price, the Samsung t159 excels at the basics, but stumbles on style. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Doro PhoneEasy 618 (Consumer Cellular)

The Bottom Line: Designed with seniors in mind, the Doro PhoneEasy 618's not only an affordable buy, but it also includes a few extras without skipping over the essentials. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

LG Exalt (Verizon Wireless)

The Bottom Line: With its generously sized screen and smooth performance, the LG Exalt is a top contender in Verizon's line of basic phones. / Read full review

About the author

Lynn La is CNET's associate editor for cell phone and smartphone news and reviews. Prior to coming to CNET, she wrote for the Sacramento Bee and was a staff editor at Macworld. In addition to covering technology, she has reported on health, science, and politics.



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