Flip Phone vs. Smartphone: Which Type Is Better?

We are firmly set in the smartphone generation, with 85% of the United States population owning one. While flip phones dominated the 2000s and modernized portable cell phones, they now comprise a much smaller portion of the mobile phone market.

That being said, smartphones are not objectively better products. Despite their popularity, there are plenty of reasons a person might prefer to stick with a classic flip phone. Here are some of the pros and cons of both smartphones and flip phones:

How Do Flip Phones and Smartphones Compare?


Flip phones are building off of three-decades-old technology. The original designs were built to convert clunky ’80s cell phones into foldable devices that you could take anywhere. While technology has advanced, the basic design of a flip phone has remained relatively consistent.

One positive about flip phones is that they have a wide variety of different shapes and sizes. Because the design does not revolve around a large central screen, there is more flexibility for different colors and materials.

However, because flip phones are not in demand, they tend to be made out of chapter materials than your average smartphone.

Smartphones, on the other hand, are much more homogenous. Regardless of your preferred brand, smartphones will always have a rectangular design, with the screen taking up a majority of the real estate. Because they tend to be much more expensive, they will also be made with premium materials.

These improved plastics and metal alloys improve the look of the phone. The appearance of smartphones is also much more customizable, with a variety of cases that are compatible with all the primary brands.

Overall, smartphones have more options when it comes to aesthetics.


When it comes to price, flip phones are significantly cheaper. Smart features make up a big chunk of the price for smartphones, which flip phones do not deal with. Even a flip phone from a popular brand like the Nokia 2720 V Flip can be purchased online for a little over $100.

Smartphones have a lot more variety when it comes to price. Relatively cheap smartphones like the iPhone SE go for $439, which is significantly more expensive than most flip phones. Premium smartphones will cost upwards of a thousand dollars, making them much bigger investments than flip phones.

Flip phones are the way to go if cost is your primary selling point.


Flip phones come with basic call and text capabilities. Most of them also have limited internet access to use phone apps and connect to the web. They have small screens compared to smartphones and physical keyboards with buttons you can press.

Smartphones are basically small pocket computers, so they have a lot more features. You can stream video, connect to video calls, play 3D games, and utilize a wide variety of phone apps. Your smartphone can be a computer, a compass, a calculator, and an HD camera all in one.

Smartphones blow flip phones out of the water when it comes to features.


The advanced nature of smartphones comes with a big drawback: increased vulnerability to security breaches. Smartphones constantly connect to different networks, requiring users to have significantly more advanced security protocols in place if they want to keep their data safe. There have been many recent instances of cloud data being hacked and internet info being stolen.

Flip phones are not perfect when it comes to security. Phone scams are still common, and you have to be careful about who you give your information to. However, these scams are no more common on flip phones than on smartphones.

Flip phones are the winners for security.

What Is a Flip Phone?

A flip phone is a mobile phone that flips along a horizontal axis. This protects the screen and the keyboard and makes the device more portable.

What Are the Advantages of Flip Phones?

Flip phones tend to be smaller and easy to carry around. They are cheap and hard to hack, given how limited the internet connection is compared to smartphones. They still have basic call and text features, so anyone not interested in smart features will find they have all the basic features a phone needs.

What Is a Smartphone?

Smartphones are mobile phones with touchscreens and advanced computing features. They can connect to 4G and 5G networks and cost significantly more than your average flip phone. Most phones in the United States are smartphones, and there are a wide variety of different brands out there.

What Are the Advantages of Smartphones?

Smartphones let you browse the internet and connect with anyone you need to at any time. You can use your smartphone to play games, record audio, and watch movies or TV shows. There are also a variety of other practical uses through the app store, which lets you check the stock market, use a calculator or compass, deposit checks, and even edit photos.

Smartphones have become a major part of daily life, with everything from government payments to restaurant menus having a smartphone-compatible component. Having a smartphone makes many aspects of daily living considerably easier.

Can Flip Phones Be Smartphones?

There are phones out there that bridge the gap between smartphones and flip phones. The Motorola Razr is a smartphone that can flip on its central axis to contain the main screen. It combines the classic design of old-school flip phones with modern-day smartphones.

For the most part, the similarities to flip phones end with the fact that you can flip the phone. It is a smartphone through and through, with a full network and application access to boot. The processing power and extra features are exactly what you would expect from a modern smartphone.

Unfortunately, the price is also what you would expect from a modern smartphone. In fact, at $1,399, the Razr is one of the most expensive phones out there. If you are interested in nostalgia, it could be worth it to pick up this product. However, if you just want a functioning phone that gets the job done, the Razr is to be a major competitor in the industry.

Bottom Line

Flip phones and smartphones are both impressive, but there is a reason that smartphones are so widespread. They just have so many features when compared to flip phones, and the older models cannot keep up.

If you are in the market for a cheap and simple phone, you might just be better off with a flip phone. But if you want modern technology with basic app access, you are going to need to go with a smartphone.

Make sure you never pay too much by using Navi. Navi analyzes your needs to determine the best phone and phone plan for you. We use industry insight to give your wallet a fighting chance. Check out Navi for more information on the best phones for you.


Feature phones Nokia 2720 V Flip | Nokia

iPhone SE | Apple

Flip Phones: Are They Secure? | WhatsaByte

Iconic, Flippable Design | Motorola