As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.
There are many cases when someone is looking for smartphone alternatives. For example, if you are a parent, there are many reasons why you might not want to buy your child a smartphone.
In most cases, you should introduce your children to smart cell phones gradually and a top non-smartphone may be of consideration.
I also tested the 12 Best minimalist phones
You’ll also want to view: Flip phones vs smartphones – Which provides a full comparison of these types of phones.
Even though surfing the web and having fun on social media has so many benefits, giving your kids unlimited access is not always a wise decision.
Aside from setting some ground rules (ex: no phones at the dinner table), you can opt for a non-smartphone for your kids.
For this reason, we have researched and selected the best smartphone alternatives. Our list is full of alternative smartphones: from phones for kids without internet to dumb smartphones and slip phones, you’ll find it all here.
Want to find the best smartphone alternative for you or your family? A phone without GPS or with a bulky, heavy camera? If so, read on!
- Smartphone alternatives: Non Smart Phones
- Choosing the right non smartphone device
- How we chose & rated the best non smartphones & smartphone alternatives
- Are Non Smartphones Good for Seniors?
Smartphone alternatives: Non Smart Phones
Are you looking for a smartphone alternative that is both low-cost and offers the benefit of minimalist features that will help keep you focused?
Here are some of the top non-smartphone options available on the market.
1. Jitterbug: Best non smartphone
Although the Jitterbug phones aren’t specifically designed for kids, they are an ideal choice for them. And the best part; the Jitterbug phone series isn’t limited to one or two devices. From flip phones to beginner-friendly smartphones, the series has it all.
See our list of the 12 best Minimalist phones – these are similar to the non smartphones in this list, but they vary a bit in features and cater towards minimalist design
Let’s say you don’t want your kids (or seniors) to have any internet access. If texting and calling are your priority, you can opt for the Jitterbug Flip. The phone has big buttons and a large screen that will cover your kids’ basic needs. There is also a special button for urgent calls in case of emergencies.
Moreover, the Flip edition has all the essential apps like calendar, alarm, FM radio, calculator, contacts, an 8MP camera and so on.
However, if you need a simple (yet modern looking) phone to enter the complicated world of smartphone technology, the Jitterbug Smart is the best choice for you. The phone has a 13MP camera, allows you to browse the web and email, and even has a GPS built in. However, everything is done through an easy to use main menu.
2. Punkt MP02: Very Simple non-smart phone
The Punkt mobile phone is one of the best smartphone alternatives for those who are looking for a simple, yet useful device.
The Punkt phone was originally designed to be one of the best minimalist phones and streamlined, making it perfect for those who want to disconnect from the constant distractions of a smartphone.
One of the standout features of the Punkt is its clear audio, which makes calling and texting a breeze. The design provides an aesthetic that is hard to beat for a non smartphone.
The minimalist UI is sleek and easy to navigate, making it a great choice for those who want a phone that is simple to use. Additionally, the phone has a 2-in gorilla glass display, which means that it can withstand drops and rough handling.
The phone has 4G LTE connectivity, which means that it is compatible with Signal, a messaging app that is known for its strong encryption.
The Punkt also offers a great alternative to the Jitterbug phone, which is also a good simple basic non-smartphone. The Punkt has a more polished design and a stronger display than the Jitterbug, and also has 4G LTE connection and compatibility with Signal, which Jitterbug lacks.
In conclusion, the Punkt is a great alternative for those who are looking for a more basic, non-smartphone option
3. Flip Phones
Should we feel a bit old when we remember using a flip phone ourselves? Well, probably. Still, flip phones have numerous advantages and are great smartphone alternatives. Remember how long a flip phone’s battery lasts? In many cases, it’s more than a week.
Plus, a flip phone is much cheaper than a smartphone. So it does not seem like a bad idea to buy such a phone for your child, does it? Just remember that the flip phone you buy should support 4G Networks.
After our review, we have come to the conclusion that the best flip phones on the market are:
- Jitterbug flip 2: This is by far our favorite flip phone when it comes to kids and seniors. The phone has a very handy emergency call button and all the essential features.
- Alcatel QUICKFLIP 4044C: Alcatel is widely known for its reliable devices, and the latest QUICKFLIP is no exception. We particularly liked the small, extra screen on the front panel that allows you to see who is calling or texting you.
- Uleway Senior Flip: As the name suggests, this Uleway phone is the best choice for seniors who need large buttons and a handy emergency call button.
Nokia and Motorola also make some notable flip phones, but the ones we tested had features that were too similar to a smartphone to include in our smartphone alternative list.
4. Boring Phone – A great smartphone alternative (light phone alternative)
If the Jitterbug Smart wasn’t quite what you were looking for, maybe the Boring Phone is the one for you. As the name suggests, it’s a pretty boring phone.
However, it’s the perfect non-smartphone for kids and seniors. Plus, you can use it as a secondary device for calls and text messages.
As far as features go, the Boring Phone has everything you’d expect from a traditional phone and more. The main menu is very beginner friendly.
Apart from calls and messages, you can listen to music and take photos with the phone’s front (5MP) and rear (12MP) cameras.
Finally, the latest version of the Boring Phone also has a GPS /navigation system. So if you need a phone that has a minimalist, modern design (looks like any other smartphone) but is ultimately kid-friendly, this is a great choice.
5. LightPhone – Coolest non smartphone (best dumb phone)
Looking for something even simpler? Our next suggestion is LightPhone, a minimalist phone with no social media or internet browser. If you don’t want your kids to engage with apps like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or Whatsapp, this is a reliable solution.
With a fully customizable menu, you can use the LightPhone to make calls, text, set an alarm, listen to music, and more. You can even use this phone as a personal hotspot.
During our testing, we immediately noticed that this device isn’t only suitable as a dumb phone for kids. In fact, the LightPhone is a solution for those of you who want to get rid of your smartphone for a few days.
So if you want to change your lifestyle for a while by giving up social media, this is the best smartphone alternative for you.
If you don’t want your kids to have a phone at all, we have the ultimate solution. Relay was designed specifically to address this concern for parents. You can think of this device as a pocket-sized walkie-talkie. But believe us, it’s much more than just a walkie-talkie.
First of all, the device has advanced GPS tracking technology. The device connects seamlessly with your Relay Dashboard and you can communicate with your kids within seconds.
And the best part; Relay connects over the cellular network. That means your kids can take the device with them. It doesn’t matter if they are a few miles away. You will be able to contact them.
A rugged one-touch device with a modern, compact design, Relay grabs our attention for many (good) reasons. If you are looking for a non-smartphone that your kids can use to communicate with you, Relay is the device for you.
7. Cobra Chat Tags
If you liked the Relay solution but find it a bit too expensive, Cobra’s portable walkie-talkies are your best bet. Just like a conventional set of walkie talkies, this Cobra set includes two devices.
As far as features go, we really liked the 12 mile radius. This is a great solution for parents who want to communicate with their kids quickly. All you have to do is press the button and talk.
Plus, the battery lasts up to 10 hours and the design is modern and lightweight. In a few words, this is a great budget-friendly alternative to the Relay device described above.
8. Smart Watches (phone enabled)
Although most of us are familiar with smart watches, not many know that there are smartwatches that can be used as smartphone alternatives. Some devices even have features like emergency calls, calling and texting capabilities, and GPS tracking. For this reason, the watches are a great option for kids who are on the go a lot.
Most parents avoid devices that include games or internet access, and we think that’s reasonable. Don’t forget that most smart watches have a very small screen that could damage your kids’ eyes.
The best smartwatches that can be used as non-smartphone devices for kids are:
- Ticktalk 4 (GPS tracker, calling & messaging, music streaming with Spotify)
- VTech KidiZoom DX3 (messaging, games and internet access)
- Amazfit Bip U Pro (GPS tracker, must be connected to a phone)
Choosing the right non smartphone device
Choosing the correct non smartphone devices comes down to your personal needs and preferences. For instance, if you need to get rid of the internet for a few days, you should definitely opt for the LightPhone or the Boring Phone.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a smartphone alternative for your kids, you can purchase a Jitterbug or flip phone device with no internet. Also, if you don’t want them to have a phone, there is nothing better than Relay.
Finally, we consider the Jitterbug flip to be the best choice when it comes to seniors. The emergency button is very helpful and setting up the device won’t take longer than a few minutes.
How we chose & rated the best non smartphones & smartphone alternatives
When researching the best non-smartphone and smartphone alternatives, we considered a variety of factors to determine which options were the best fit for our readers. One important factor we considered was the cost of the phone. We made sure to include a range of options, from budget-friendly options to more high-end models.
Another key factor we took into consideration was the security and privacy features of the phone. We rated phones higher that have 4G LTE connectivity and compatibility with Signal, a messaging app known for its strong encryption.
We also placed a high importance on the durability of the phone, and included models that have strong displays like gorilla glass and rugged build.
Finally, we considered the overall user experience and ease of use, taking into account factors such as the simplicity of the UI and muscle memory for texting on a number pad.
Overall, we aimed to provide a diverse selection of options that meet different needs and preferences, while highlighting the key features that make each phone a top choice as a non-smartphone or smartphone alternative.
Are Non Smartphones Good for Seniors?
Smartphones have been around for almost 20 years. That said, there are many seniors who are now familiar with this technology. But, if your parents (or grandparents) don’t feel comfortable using a smartphone, you can definitely opt for a smartphone alternative.
We consider flip phones like the Jitterbug flip to be an awesome choice for seniors. Big buttons and a large screen should be your priority. Also, the emergency call button is a very helpful addition to some of these devices.
Finally, devices that integrate new technologies like Relay, can be an innovative solution. This is the best way to go if your loved ones don’t want a mobile device at all.
Summing up, we can safely say that non smartphone devices are a great solution for seniors.