The Best Dumb Phone

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on March 15, 2016, Buying Guides

Smart phones are everywhere, and they certainly have their uses. Being able to take pictures, get online, call, text and practically wash the dishes, means that smart phones are the clear choice for many of us. However, there is an alternative, which rather obviously is called a dumb phone. Why might you want one of these? And if you do, which one should you buy? That’s what we’re here to find out…

Why Get a Dumb Phone?

Your first question might be why on earth you’d want a dumb phone in the first place, but you might be surprised at the number of reasons. Firstly, dumb phones are cheap. They’re cheap to buy (nearly always under £50), and cheap to run as well, since you won’t need that costly mobile data in your contract or PAYG plan. And because a dumb phone generally lacks internet connectivity completely (though some have basic browsers), this can make them a good choice for a couple more reasons. A dumb phone makes a great first phone for a kid, for example, since they’re unlikely to be able to go online and get into trouble. And if you’re travelling, a dumb phone can keep you in constant touch with home without having to worry about hefty roaming fees for using mobile data.

There are many reasons why you might want to invest in a cheap phone, and cheap really is the word. Damaging or losing a £30 phone is a whole lot different from damaging or losing a £600 flagship smartphone. Battery life on a dumb phone is incredible, often lasting for days at a time since there’s no big touch screen to power. But once you’ve decided to make this small investment, whatever your reason, which one should you be buying? We’ve got some of the top choices right here.

The Samsung E1270

Samsung E1270

This is the classic dumb phone, it’s clamshell, meaning that it’s a flip phone, so it’s tough and sturdy, and you don’t need to worry about breaking a fragile screen. There’s no camera, no internet browser, and only one game (Sudoku, in case you’re interested). This is as basic as it gets, you can call and text, that’s pretty much it. So, if you’re looking for something that isn’t going to distract you, the E1270 is the perfect choice.

It does have a radio and an MP3 player attached, though with only 32 MB of internal memory you’ll be hard pressed to get more than a couple of songs on your mobile. And the best part? It costs a mere £29.99.

The Nokia 225

Nokia 225

This is one of the last true Nokia phone releases, and it’s a great one if you’re looking for a dumb phone, though it’s a little more pricey than most at around £45. However, the Nokia looks fantastic, it’s got a 2.8 inch colour screen, it supports calling, texting, MMS and even email, though you won’t be opening any attachments. It’s sturdy, robust, available in a host of colours (red, yellow, green, black and white), has an MP3 player and a stereo FM radio.

If you’re looking for a kid’s phone, the 225 is the clear choice. It’s bright, easy to use, and simple whilst still offering some neat extras, like a 2 MP rear facing camera. As a throw away phone it’s maybe a little pricey, but the Nokia 225 could make a younger kid very happy indeed.

The Alcatel 20.45X

Alcatel 2045x

Alcatel make some fantastic dumb phones, which tend to be very reasonably priced, but our favourite has to be the 20.45X, which is available on PAYG through some operators for as little as £15. It’s the epitome of a dumb phone, small colour screen, big buttons, a low resolution camera, sturdy and very durable.

The 20.45X does come with a radio, MP3 player and even a video player though, which is pretty impressive for a phone in this price range. And those large buttons make it a great choice for older users too.

The Kazam Life B7

Kazam Life B7

Generally, Kazam make some pretty cool looking smart phones, however they do include one dumb phone in their range, and that’s the Life B7. And we’ve got to admit, that the B7 looks pretty snazzy. It’s bulky and block like, with nice big keys, and a very sweet little colour screen. It’s also got a 5 MP camera on board, which is a nice addition. It’s got a torch, a radio, a limited web browser, and excellent call quality too.

There are two things that make the B7 a good choice. The first is that even with fairly heavy use it gets a solid three days or so of battery power, so you won’t have to charge all weekend. Secondly, it comes in at a very wallet friendly price, at around £27.

The Nokia 515

Nokia 515

Okay, okay, money saving probably isn’t the biggest reason to choose the Nokia 515, which will set you back around £90, making it the most expensive phone on our list, and yet the 515 might be a good choice for a certain kind of user. Firstly, it’s solid, it’s got a nice colour screen, a decent keypad, a massive 33 days of battery stand by time, and even a 5 MP camera. All of which is very nice, but doesn’t explain why you’d want to spend £90 on a dumb phone.

The real selling point of the 515 is that it’s a dual SIM phone, and if you’re looking at a holiday phone, then this could make the difference for you. The 515 can run two different SIM cards, which means you can run your normal UK SIM and get all the calls and texts from home. However, you can also run a cheap PAYG local SIM from whichever country you happen to be in, and avoid mobile roaming fees for making calls and sending texts. If you’re a frequent traveller, then the Nokia 515 is more than worth it’s slightly higher price tag.

There are many reasons why you might be considering buying a dumb phone, but if this is what you’re in the market for, these five models are going to be your best bets!