Flip phones make a comeback, from old-school revivals to sleek folding screens

As Mobile World Congress 2023 gives the tech industry its annual shake-up, we’ve rounded up the current crop of flip phones for minimally-minded users

OPPO Find N2 Flip, part of our flip phones round-up
Oppos Find N2 Flip
(Image credit: OPPO)

Mobile World Congress 2023 saw concept phones with roll-up screens, folding tablets and a whole lot more. Pocketable, more discreet, less demanding of your attention (albeit with a higher fidget factor), flip phones are back for a new generation. The current options are very much split in two; on the one hand, you have the new breed of flip phones made possible by folding screen technology. 

Uniwa F2720 Flip Phones

Uniwa F2720 flip phones

(Image credit: Uniwa)

On the other, you have the age-old form factor being revisited by retro-minded users who either relish or relinquish the lack of data on the go, with all its attendant pitfalls and practicalities. Weirdly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, many of these revived devices are pitched at senior users who don’t care to adapt to our touchscreen-heavy times. Regardless of how you relate to the relentless presence of the mobile phone, the following devices are our tips for the flips.

Flip phones are back

Oppo Find N2 Flip

OPPO Find N2 Flip phone

(Image credit: OPPO)

The latest device to reach the market is this hugely credible from Oppo, the Find N2 Flip. The Chinese company (which unveiled plans for a Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Oppo HQ in Shenzhen) has already delved into this relatively new world of folding devices with the Find N model, but the Find N2 Flip is the first full-screen clamshell to bear the Oppo name. As with all the big-player touchscreen flip phones, Oppo’s contribution comes with a cover screen for easy access to info and notifications without opening the phone. You’ll also notice the hinge is slimmer than its rivals (tested to 400,000 folds), and the camera unit is supplied by Hasselblad, no less. An all-day battery, ultra-fast charging and competitive pricing make this a welcome entry into the field. 

Oppo Find N2 Flip, £849, oppo.com

Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei P50 Pocket

(Image credit: Huawei)

Not to be outdone, Huawei also has small-format folding phone in the shape of the P50 Pocket, a jewel-like contraption that clusters its lenses alongside the front screen in two circular portals. The company, which has collaborated with Porsche Design and Leica in the past, has collaborated with Iris Van Herpen on the Premium Edition, with its rippling fold finish. 

Huawei P50 Pocket, from £950, consumer.huawei.com

Motorola Razr 2022

Motorola razr 2022

(Image credit: Motorola)

We’ve raved about the Motorola Razr but the company’s flagship device is already proving hard to find, hinting that an update might be in the works. Motorola can be credited with giving the form factor its biggest boost, way back in 2003 with the first ever Razr phone, and even earlier still, with the ‘clamshell’-style StarTAC, the form factor that gave rise to the flip phone. 

Motorola Razr 2022, £949, motorola.co.uk

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phone

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has been in the fold since 2019, bearing the burden of being early to market with a brand new technology. Over the years the company has perfected the tech (see our Galaxy Z Fold3 and Flip3 reviews) and recently launched the Galaxy Z Flip4 as a showcase of its best compact form factor flip phone. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, from £999, samsung.com

Alcatel Go Flip V

Alcatel GO Flip V phone

(Image credit: Alcatel)

Now we’ll take a dive into an alternate reality, the world of old-school flip devices. This is a button-only business, a place where touchscreens are anathema, prices run around a tenth of their smartphone siblings, and ease of use is the ultimate USP. Alcatel’s Go Flip V is a case in point. The $99 flip phone is aimed squarely at the more luddite-minded amongst us, whether young or old. 

Alcatel Go Flip V, $99, us.alcatelmobile.com

Nuu F4L Flip Phone

NUU F4L Flip Phone

(Image credit: NUU)

A similar thing could be said about NUU’s old school offering, the F4L. Powerful enough to run apps like WhatsApp, with an earlier version of Android on board, the F4L has two cameras, up to 4GB of storage as well as an SD card slot, plus a traditional headphone jack.

Nuu F4L Flip, $89, us.nuumobile.com

Nokia 2720 flip

Nokia 2720 flip phones

(Image credit: Nokia)

The Nokia 2720 flip is a modern iteration of the 2720 fold model from 2009. Nokia started making flip phones back in 1998 with the 282 model, a distinctive clamshell design that was the first to divide the phone and keyboard into each half of the device. Back in its heyday, the Finnish-born brand built phones of all shapes and sizes, with a diverse set of mechanisms that folded, slid and twisted. The 2720 flip has been on the market a few years, with a simple spec that offers minimal social media interaction and should suit every kind of digital detox. Twenty-eight days of standby time should alleviate the constant search for a suitable charger. 

Nokia 2720 flip, £89.99, nokia.com

Uniwa F2720

Uniwa F2720 Flip Phone

(Image credit: Uniwa)

You can also head down the rabbit hole of licensed and unlicensed designs, where suspiciously similar IP and blatant copies of older models proliferate, usually from small manufacturers based in the Far East. Shenzhen-based Uniwa, for example, which sells the f2720, a straight up reworking of the Nokia equivalent, albeit with a very low-res camera as well as space for dual SIM cards. 

Uniwa F2720, cwelltech.com

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.