Best Basic Phones In 2018

Basic phones are solid smartphones that are capable of executing all the basic tasks reliably and come with a good call quality. These are not phones that will impress anyone, as they are sans all the bells and whistles that are seen in flagship smartphones. However, if you love simple phones that do their job effectively, these mobiles are for you. There are many manufacturers who are manufacturing phones for the budget market. It does not mean that low-end phones are not sturdy or reliable. They also come with features that were once available only in high-end flagship models. Here is a look at some of the best basic phones.

See also: Best phones for gaming

Best basic phones

Covering all the Basics

LG Extravert 2

LG Extravert 2

The LG Extravert 2 comes with a screen display of 3.2 inches and a screen resolution of 400 x 240 with a QWERTY keyboard that slides out. The menu icons and the widgets are simple and the graphics are clear and crisp. The dimensions are 4.12 x 2.09 x 0.62 inches and it weighs 4.3 ounces. It comes with the usual 3.5 mm headphone jack. The phone comes with a microSD card with a maximum capacity of 32 GB. The phone is powered by a processor that clocks at 1.9 GHz and can handle all the basic tasks.

As for the camera, there is a 2 MP rear camera featuring some customization options like white balance night mode and so on. Photo qualities are good.  These features are also available for recording videos, along with video adjustments for quality ranging from low to medium to high.  The battery is a lithium polymer one, powered at 950 mAh and can last for about 6 hours for average use.  For connectivity, there is a Bluetooth 3.0 version.

Recommended For:

  • Those looking for a good call quality and smooth execution of basic tasks along with ease of use.
  • Suitable for those looking for a small and compact basic phone that fits in their pocket.
  • Ideal if you have small hands, for using the QWERTY handset with spaced out keys and a good sliding mechanism.
  • Useful for those interested in using health features. The eco-calculator measures carbon dioxide emissions when walking or cycling.
  • This phone is for you if you’re looking for good call quality; strong connections and loud and clear audio.

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Solid Ultra Rugged Flip Phone

Kyocera DuraXE

Kyocera DuraXE

The device is bulky at 4.21x 2.22 x 0.99 inches weighing 6 ounces. It has a micro USB port along with a headphone jack. It is IP68 certified, OSGA certified and also credited with 810G, meeting military standards. The display is 2.6 inches with a resolution of 102×90 pixels.

It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon, 210 quad-core chipset clocking at a speed of 1.1 GHz. The RAM is 1 GB and the internal storage is 8 GB expandable up to 32 GB. It also has Bluetooth 4.1 LE version. It runs on the Android Lollipop version 5.1 with Kyocera customization.

The rear camera is 5MP. You can record videos at 720 pixels. The battery lasts for 15 hours of talk time and is enough for a day’s usage. It is, however, unsuitable for those looking for a complete Android experience and people with a large music collection.

Recommended For:

  • Those looking for a rugged flip phone offering a good battery life and good connectivity options.
  • Suitable if you’re looking for a solid phone that can stand a lot of abuse. With all the certifications, you get a phone that can stand shock; vibrations; rain; heat and even dangerous environments.
  • If you’re looking for a phone that has a clear audio even in loud environments, this is for you.

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One of the Best Basic Phones with Excellent Call Quality

LG Xpression 2

LG Xpression 2

This compact phone comes with physical keyboard and is encased in a plastic body, keeping it light. The dimension is 4.24 x 2.13 x 0.63 inches and it has a display of 3 inches with a screen resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. It is small and maneuverable with a single hand. It has a microUSB port along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The rear camera has a 2 MP sensor and no flash. Hence, the photographs aren’t great. The battery is powered at 1000 mAh and it can get you through one day without having to charge it. It also has an additional slot for microSD card which has a capacity of 32 GB expandable memory. The internal memory of the phone is 256 MB with 128 MB of RAM. One of the connectivity options features a Bluetooth 2.1 version. It does not feature Wi-Fi abilities but it can run on the 3G network of AT&T.

Recommended For:

  • Conscious consumers looking for a simple, compact phone with good call quality. Satisfactory for basic mobile needs.
  • The size is small and is only suitable if you have small hands.

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The Bare Bones Experience

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

The LCD screen size is 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a full HD display.  It is powered by an Exynos 7870, octa core chipset clocking at a speed of 1.6GHz. The RAM is 3 GB and the internal storage is 16 GB, expandable up to a maximum of 256 GB. The dimensions of this phone are 5.97 x 2.95 x 0.31 inches and it weighs 5.9 ounces. It runs on Android Nougat, 7.0 version with an overlay of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface 8.1 version. This means that users can have access to the Google Assistant, split screen browsing on Chrome etc. but will not have features like Bixby.

The phone comes with a rear camera of 13 MP and a front camera of 8 MP. The battery is powered at 3300 mAh and offers a battery life of around 8 hours. It has a fingerprint sensor, but no edge to edge display. Nor does it sport the USB type C port, having merely a micro USB. However, it is quite competitive as far as speed and power is concerned, due to the Exynos 7870 processor. The phone is fine for playing lightweight games, but isn’t capable for playing graphics intensive games. It does not support Verizon or Sprint nor work on CDMA networks. This phone is not for you if you wish to watch videos on a big screen or if you are a selfie fan, as the lens quality is quite low. Nor is it the best phone for gaming, with other phones in this range being more capable.

Recommended For:

  • You if you’re only looking for the basics, as there are no latest or greatest features of Samsung present in this phone.
  • Suitable for those who don’t mind a classic or dated Samsung design.
  • Those who are happy with the Samsung classic or old school design.
  • In short, suitable for you if you just want a basic phone for surfing the internet, take regular photos and play some basic games.

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Compact and Convenient with Less Internal Memory

ZTE Z432, AT&T

ZTE Z432 AT&T

It comes in a compact form and has all the convenience features. For instance, there is a four-way key for navigation, allowing users to access shortcuts fast. Another feature is the QWERTY keyboard that can help you type easily and quickly. It is offered in a single color: Black. It is slim at 0.44 inches with the height and width being 4.48 x 2.38 inches respectively. The weight of the phone is 3.24 ounces.  It has a diagonal size of 2.4 inches with a display resolution of 320 x 240 pixels.

It is a 3G phone powered by a Qualcomm processor, QSC6270.  As for the camera, there is a 2 MP rear camera along with QVGA for recording photos on your phone and sharing with others quickly. This phone does not have too many features, but there is a separate listing for your contacts. The screen display is LCD with TFT technology. It has an internal memory of 256 MB and supports an internal memory up to 32 GB using a microSDHC card. The RAM is 128 MB. The ZTE Z432 is powered by a removable Lithium Ion battery powered at 900 mAh. The phone comes with a rear camera of 2MP with a maximum video resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. It also has a Bluetooth 2.1 version.

Recommended For:

  • Those who are looking for a quick replacement or just for a basic phone.
  • This phone is not for you if you’re looking for a long battery life. It just lasts for 4.5 hours of talk time.

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Nice Looking with Brilliant Camera

Asus Zenfone 3

Asus Zenfone 3

This one is the Full HD IPS 5.2 inches variant with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.  It has a RAM of 3 GB and an internal memory of 32 GB that can be expanded up to 128 GB using the microSD card. It is protected with curved Corning Gorilla Glass in the front and a metal frame behind, making it stylish but sturdy. It is slim at 7.69 mm with rounded edges and weighs 145g. The Asus Zenfone 3 runs on Android Marshmallow, 6.0.1 and is overlaid with the company’s proprietary ZenUI 3.0 interface.

The design of the phone combining glass with metal looks stylish and impressive. This device is powered using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 64-bit octa-core and a mid-level chipset, clocking at a speed of 2 GHz. This is combined with an Adreno 506 graphics card. The battery combined with the software and the processor results in easily getting you through one whole day even with heavy usage. The camera is one of the highlights of the phone. Asus PixelMaster 3.0 software processes the sensor data and creates the magic. The rear camera is 16 MP with an aperture of f/2.0, focusing in just 0.03 seconds in any condition. Other features include OIS and EIS making it easy to shoot in low light conditions as well. On the front, the camera is an 8MP one offering sharp, detailed selfies in spite of low light conditions.

Recommended For:

  • Those who are willing to pay a little more for a stylish, sturdy camera that can take some knocks.
  • Also suitable for gaming and graphics intensive games and those who want to use Game Genie for recording gameplay, as there are no issues related to dropped frames or any overheating of the device.
  • Those on the go. Suitable for those looking for a good camera. Ideal for regular and power users.

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Stylish Flip Phone with Large Screen

LG Exalt 2 VN370

LG Exalt 2 VN370

It has a notable design with a big 3 inches screen with a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. The keypad is generous and comfortable for typing with stylish buttons. Though the features are basic, the look is stylish, with its smooth, glossy design. The dimensions are 4.37 inches in height; 2.06 inches in width and 0.62 inches in thickness. Its weight is 3.88 ounces. It comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a micro USB port for charging.

The rear camera is 5 MP without flash. It has removable 900 mAh battery with a talk time of about 5 hours. The internal memory of the phone is 260 MB. The microSD card is expandable up to the maximum of 32 GB.

Recommended For:

  • Those interested in a fast, basic, chic looking flip phone that does not have the bells and whistles of the latest phones.
  • Those looking for a flip phone with a large screen and a high resolution with a big battery life.

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AT&T Connect on the Go

ZTE Z431

ZTE Z431

The dimensions of this basic phone are 4.49 x 2.4 x 0.41 inches and the weight is 3.34 Oz or 95 grams. The physical display size is 2.4 inches and the resolution is 320 x 240 pixels with a pixel density of 167. It has a rear camera of 2 MP and an internal storage of 0.058GB, which can be expanded up to a maximum of 32 GB. The battery capacity is 1000 mAh and it offers a talk time of around 4.5 hours.

This is a 3G phone in candy bar style coming with QWERTY keyboard and Java runtime. It is an AT&T prepaid mobile phone and has Bluetooth, allowing users to connect on the go. It is not a very compact phone and is only available in black color.

Recommended For:

  • Suitable for those who are not looking for a very powerful phone.

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Crystal Clear Sound

Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime

Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime

This phone was launched in 2016 and comes with a screen display of 5 inches with a resolution at 720 x 1280 pixels. It is powered by a quad-core processor clocking at a speed of 1.4 GHz and has a RAM of 2 GB. It comes with a headphone jack of 3.5 mm and is a dual SIM phone. The internal memory is 16 GB and it can be expanded up to a maximum of 256 GB using the microSD card. As for the camera, the phone has a rear camera or primary camera of 13MP and a front camera of 5 MP for clicking selfies.

It runs on the Android 6.0 version and has a non-removable battery powered at 2400 mAh. The dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime are 142.8 x 69.5 x 8.1 inches and weighs 143 grams. It is available in two colors: Black and Gold. It is a slim phone with a fingerprint sensor and is in a metallic body with aluminum body combined with a front glass finish. It looks good and has a good hand grip. The audio is clear and the media player also comes with a good sound equalizer.

Recommended For:

  • Those who just want a basic phone for making calls and for playing some basic games without lag or crashes.
  • People who love listening to music as it is one of the budget phones that offer good audio and clarity.

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GoPhone with Basic Specs

AT&T ZTE Z222

AT&T ZTE Z222

The screen size of this basic phone is just 2 inches and it is offered in black color. It is a rather thick phone of 0.54 inches.. The screen resolution is 220 x 176.2 pixels, and a pixel density of 141, which gives it reasonably good graphics quality. The dimensions are 2.94 inches in length and 1.44 inches in width, weighing 3.24 ounces. The internal storage is merely 51.2MB and this is enough for basic users. However, there is an external memory card slot where you can store videos and photographs, including some applications that enable installation of external memory.

The rear camera is 0.3MP and the battery is 900 mAh offering a talk time of just 4 hours. There is Wi-Fi capability, but you cannot use it as a hotspot. 3G connectivity is supported using EDGE as well as UMTS technology. It is equipped with Bluetooth 2.0.

Recommended For:

  • Those who are not looking for a powerful phone, but just a basic one.

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Durable and Certified for Military Specs

Samsung Convoy 3 Verizon Wireless

Samsung Convoy 3 Verizon Wireless

It works with service provider Verizon Wireless. The phone has a diagonal size of 2.4 inches and it weighs 4.4 oz. It uses the CDMA2000 1X technology. Additional features include dual microphones and noise cancellation technology, along with text to speech recognition and a flashlight. The screen display measures 2.2 inches with a resolution of 220 x 176 pixels. The interface offers ease of use with several editing options. It comes with a microSD card slot as well as a headphone jack of 2.5 mm.

It is a rugged phone with strong plastic skin and rubber for the sidings. The battery cover is firmly packed into its place. Other top features include a USB mass storage options; PC syncing; a stereo Bluetooth and it also supports POP3 email. The GPS is integrated and this makes it easy to connect with VA Navigator of Verizon.

Recommended For:

  • Those who are looking for a durable phone that is easy to use.
  • Those who want a phone that has good camera quality and call quality.
  • Suitable if you are looking for a phone that can withstand temperature, dust and humidity as well as salt fog.

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Offering Mid-Range Specs

Samsung Galaxy C5

Samsung Galaxy C5

This phone has a 5.2 inches display using Super AMOLED technology with a ppi of 424, and a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. It is powered by an octa-core processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, clocking at a speed of 1.2 GHz. This is combined with an Adreno 405 graphic card.

The RAM is 4 GB and the internal storage of the Samsung Galaxy C5 is 32 GB. This storage can be expanded up to a maximum of 128 GB using a microSD card. As for the cameras, there is a primary or rear camera of 16 MP and a front or selfie camera of 8 MP. The rear camera has a sensor of 1080 pixels at the rate of 30 fps for video recording and comes with a dual LED flash feature.

The phone runs on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software and has a battery powered at 2600 mAh, which is non-removable. The dimensions of the phone are 145.9 x 72 x 6.7 inches and it weighs 143 grams. It is slim at 6.7 mm and comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The Samsung Galaxy C5 is a dual SIM phone with several connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi: GPS; and Bluetooth 4.2 version, as well as 3G, 4G. It is available in different colors like Gold and Rose Gold.

Recommended For:

  • Those who are looking for a slim, dual SIM basic phone.
  • Those looking for a sturdy phone with the good build quality and finish.

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Conclusion

This list of basic smartphones proves that you can have a great experience with your smart at affordable prices. It is not impossible. These mobile phones are certainly not the top phones available in the country, but they offer good features for the price. You can buy these phones without breaking the bank. Not everyone is ready to spend $500 and more for a smartphone. Many people don’t even need such a phone. These are phones that combine good hardware and a reasonable price and are worth considering.

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