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What is the best feature phone of 2017?

Feature phones

So what is the best feature phone 2017 had to offer?

So with everybody using smartphones, who on earth would still want a basic feature phone ( AKA dumb phone )? Well they still have their place and are very popular today. Here are some reasons for using a feature phone instead of a smartphone.

  • You find it awkward using touchscreens and small icons.
  • You do not care for the myriad of features and complexities of a smartphone.
  • Even a technophobe can use one.
  • You are doing an activity where you could risk damaging your expensive smartphone.
  • Going on holiday and hence just want a basic phone to use in emergencies.
  • Young children can use them before they demand a smartphone.
  • Elderly people can use them to keep in contact as well as for emergencies.
  • You use multiple phones and do not want a second smartphone.
  • Long battery life from a single charge.
  • Quite a few models support dual SIM cards.

There are loads of feature phones and this list could surely be a lot bigger. We have stuck to the main manufacturers and the newest models. Here is our list of the best feature phones of 2017.

Also, check out our 2017 top ten of the best premium, mid-range and budget smartphones here, here and here.

  1. Nokia 3310 2017

    Nokia 3310 2017
    Nokia 3310 2017

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    • Display : 2.4″ LCD 240 x 320
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 2MP
    • Battery : 1200mAh
    • Dimensions : W 51mm x H 115.6mm x D 12.8mm
    • Weight : 79.6g
    • Pros : Classic retro design, easy to use, fun games and battery life.
    • Cons : Not the cheapest here.

    To many people, Nokia were the best at making traditional feature phones. They have always been robust and easy to use. Other feature phones might have done a few more things, but Nokia always seemed to come out on top. The Nokia 3310 2017 is no exception and is a nice modern retro version of their old 3310 from 2000. The 3310 was one of their best selling phones back in the day, so it makes sense to give it a modern makeover.

    Everything about it is what you would expect. The display is large and the graphics and menus are clear and intuitive. The keypad works well and navigates the menus with ease. The old favourite game Snake has been given a modern refresh and is just as addictive as before, as well as some other new games. There is a MicroSD card slot that can take a card up to 32GB in size.

    Initially there was only a 2G model, but later Nokia released a 3G version. This new version is very slightly larger and heavier, a better CPU, 64MB of storage, operating system upgrades and new colours. Also the 3G version only costs a fraction more which still makes this phone excellent value. There is also a dual SIM card version available as well.

    There is not really anything bad about this phone in general. It does exactly what you would expect with a nice modern take on an old classic. There are much cheaper feature phones here, but this one is the coolest of the lot, and could even get some admiring looks from others.

  2. Doro 6050

    Doro 6050
    Doro 6050

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    • Display : 2.8″ LCD 240 x 320
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 3MP
    • Battery : 800mAh
    • Dimensions : W 56.2mm x H 106.9mm x D 19.6mm
    • Weight : 111g
    • Pros : External information display, assistance button, lovely display, hearing aid compatible.
    • Cons : Expensive price and flip phone case might not be to everyone’s liking.

    Doro is a company that specialises in mobile phones for older people. They are simple to use with a very clear display, large easy to read fonts and graphics and a simple keypad with large buttons nicely spaced out. The sound output is louder than other phones and they are also hearing aid compatible.

    The Doro 6050 is a classic flip phone design that was very popular before smartphones came along. If you liked flip phones before, then you are sure to like this one as well. Everything about it is clear and easy to use. A lot of effort has been put into this and it works really well. The 3MP camera is a lot better than the other phones here. There is a neat display on the back of the case, so it can display important information when the flip phone is closed. It has an assistance button to contact predefined people if needed. There is a MicroSD card slot that can take a card up to 32GB in size.

    There is not really anything bad to say about this phone. The price is a lot more than other feature phones, but it does offer things the others do not have. If you need a phone that is clear and easy to use and has hearing aid support, then your choices might be a bit limited. This phone would certainly fit the bill.

  3. Nokia 216

    Nokia 216
    Nokia 216

    Amazon buy button

    • Display : 2.4″ LCD 240 x 320
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 0.3MP
    • Battery : 1020mAh
    • Dimensions : W 50.2mm x H 118mm x D 13.5mm
    • Weight : 82.6g
    • Pros : MicroSD card slot, social media apps and fun games.
    • Cons : Basic camera and keypad can be fiddly to use.

    For a cheap feature phone the Nokia 216 offers quite a lot. But bear in mind this is all in a very limited sense. You get some social media apps, a web browser, FM radio and video / MP3 playback. You are also able to download some apps and games. It has a MicroSD card slot that can take a card up to 32GB in size. There is a dual SIM card version as well.

    Doing anything serious with this phone is not going to happen and the apps will all be on a very small scale, but after all, this is just a feature phone. For some people, they may find the keypad a little fiddly to use with its small buttons placed quite close together. An ideal cheap phone with the reassurance of a well known manufacturer.

  4. Binatone Blade

    Binatone Blade
    Binatone Blade

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    • Display : 2.4″ LCD 240 x 320
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 0.3MP
    • Battery : 600mAh
    • Dimensions : W 59mm x H 99mm x D 10mm
    • Weight : 67g
    • Pros : Classic retro design, dual SIM cards, MP3 player and external status indicators.
    • Cons : Flip phone case might not be to everyone’s liking.

    So after the fantastic retro Nokia 3310 2017 at the number one spot, we now have this phone, the Binatone Blade. This is a licensed remake of the popular Motorola RAZR flip phone from 2004. The Binatone Blade has taken this classic design and given it a modern retro makeover.

    Like most other feature phones, there are the usual apps, but nothing for social media. It can accept Dual SIM cards and it can play MP3 files. There are external status indicators to show if there are any missed calls, text messages, etc.

    The flip phone design is not to everyone’s taste, but this is the best one we have seen. It looks very stylish and modern with a nice retro touch. Like the Nokia 3310 2017, ideal for someone who wants a retro feel to their phone.

  5. Nokia 130 2017

    Nokia 130 2017
    Nokia 130 2017

    Amazon buy button

    • Display : 1.8″ LCD 120 x 160
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 0.3MP
    • Battery : 1020mAh
    • Dimensions : W 48.4mm x H 111.5mm x D 14.2mm
    • Weight : 68.6g
    • Pros : Fun games, FM radio, MP3 player and MicroSD card slot.
    • Cons : Basic camera.

    The lower end of the Nokia feature phones are all starting to look quite similar. The Nokia 130 2017 is no exception and certainly supports more or less all the basic features you will expect on such a phone.

    The usual array of games are present along with an FM radio and an MP3 player. There is a MicroSD card slot and it will accept a card up to 32GB in size. A dual SIM card model is also available.

    There is not really a lot to fault this phone on as you cannot have high expectations on its abilities above what a basic feature phone can do. The battery life like other Nokia feature phones is very good and will indeed give a long time between charges. On this model the camera is just a VGA 0.3MP resolution. An ideal basic feature phone with no extra bells and whistles.

  6. Doro 5516

    Doro 5516
    Doro 5516

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    • Display : 2.4″ LCD 240 x 320
    • Network : 3G
    • Camera : 2MP
    • Battery : 800mAh
    • Dimensions : W 48mm x H 124mm x D 11.5mm
    • Weight : 91g
    • Pros : Easy to use screen / keypad and hearing aid compatible.
    • Cons : Poor battery life.

    Like the Doro 6050 at number two, the Doro 5616 is a phone aimed at older people. It has an easily readable display and a keypad with nice buttons that are easy to press. And as before, the sound output is louder and it is hearing aid compatible.

    If you like the idea of the Doro 6050, but do not want a flip phone, then this would is a good choice offering the more or less the same features in a regular case. The camera is only 2MP, but still gives nice pictures. It has an assistance button to contact predefined people if needed.

    The main problem we found with this phone is that is had poor battery life for a feature phone. Traditionally, feature phones have enjoyed a long battery life between charges compared to a smartphone. But this phones battery life is more like a smartphone. When used it would barely last two days, and if it was idle it would last about 4 days. Compared to other phones here that can manage weeks unused, this is not good. If the battery life was better, then this phone would have got a higher number here. This is still a very good phone despite the battery life.

  7. Nokia 150

    Nokia 150
    Nokia 150

    Amazon buy button

    • Display : 2.4″ LCD 240 x 320
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 0.3MP
    • Battery : 1020mAh
    • Dimensions : W 50.2mm x H 118mm x D 13.5mm
    • Weight : 81g
    • Pros : MicroSD card slot, dual SIM cards, FM radio and MP3 player.
    • Cons : Basic camera.

    The Nokia 150 is fairly similar to the Nokia 130 2017 and is quite a basic phone. A lot of the features are going to be more or less the same. It does however have a slightly higher resolution screen.

    Like before, you get an FM radio, MP3 player, MicroSD card slot that will accept a card up to 32GB in size, provision for dual SIM cards and some games. Battery life as always with Nokia is very good indeed and will give lots of usage before recharging. A VGA 0.3MP camera will only give basic photos, so do not expect much here. All in all a good choice if the features are right for your needs.

  8. Nokia 105 2017

    Nokia 105 2017
    Nokia 105 2017

    Amazon buy button

    • Display : 1.8″ LCD 120 x 160
    • Network : 2G
    • Battery : 800mAh
    • Dimensions : W 49.5mm x H 112mm x D 14.4mm
    • Weight : 73g
    • Pros : Cheap price and FM radio.
    • Cons : No camera and not a lot of features.

    So here is the last Nokia on our list, the 105 2017. This is about as basic as a Nokia feature phone can get and indeed with a budget price to match. All the basic features are present and the only extras seem to be an FM radio and the famous Snake game. Battery life is as always very good and will indeed give lots of use. A dual SIM card version is also available.

    As this is the cut down lower end of the Nokia feature phone range, you do not even get a camera. Okay, so this is quite a basic feature phone, but it is made by a reliable manufacturer with a budget price.

  9. Alcatel OneTouch 1054X

    Alcatel OneTouch 1054X
    Alcatel OneTouch 1054X

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    • Display : 1.8″ LCD 128 x 160
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 0.3MP
    • Battery : 800mAh
    • Dimensions : W 45mm x H 108mm x D 12.7mm
    • Weight : 67g
    • Pros : MicroSD card slot and FM radio.
    • Cons : Basic camera.

    Okay, we are nearly at the end of our list and nearly at rock bottom for a cheap phone. Here is the Alcatel OneTouch 1054X. What can we say about basic feature phones that has not already been said before. This is a very cheap phone and it will of course have very basic features on it. It does however have a MicroSD card slot which can accept a card up to 32GB in size. There is an FM radio and that is about it apart from the usual basic apps most feature phones will have. A dual SIM card version is available as well.

    The camera is VGA 0.3MP, so it will just do quick basic photography. However, battery life is very good and will give a long usage between charging. A basic phone with no fancy features with a low price.

  10. STK R45i

    STK R45i
    STK R45i

    Amazon buy button

    • Display : 1.8″ LCD 128 x 160
    • Network : 2G
    • Camera : 0.3MP
    • Battery : 600mAh
    • Dimensions : W 46mm x H 113mm x D 12.8mm
    • Weight : 59.2g
    • Pros : FM radio and dual SIM card slots and long battery life.
    • Cons : Basic camera.

    So the last phone on our list, the STK R45i. This is about as cheap as a mobile phone can get. This is basically a no frills phone and everything about it will be very basic, but keep reminding yourself of the price. You will get all the basic apps that any other feature phone will have and not a lot more. On the plus side, it can accept two SIM cards and has a nice long battery life. Ideal to pop in a pay as you go SIM card and if you lose it, then it is not such a big deal. A good basic phone that is about as cheap as it gets.

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