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Figuring out which is the right smartphone to buy is certainly challenging (our Best Smartphone buyer’s guide can help), particularly if all you’re looking for is just a basic phone. For thirty bucks you CAN have an active working cell phone. That’s right, the LG Classic Flip is a classic prepaid “burner phone” with nationwide 4G LTE coverage provided by Tracfone Wireless. With the Flip you have the classic pay-as-you-go no-contract arrangement with a well regarded wireless provider. No worries that your kid consumes all available minutes on your plan, and with its low price the loss or theft of the Classic Flip isn’t a huge financial blow. Finding a cell phone for a youngster presents a unique challenge. GR’s Best Phone for Kids buyer’s guide can help, allowing comparison of the LG Classic Flip against other handsets suitable for kids.
The LG Classic Flip is the classic low cost “burner phone” providing a no frills cell phone with Bluetooth and Wi Fi connectivity, a camera, minimal apps, and a real push-button keypad in an all too familiar-but-dated clamshell form factor.
If your main intended use case is telephone calls then the LG Classic Flip can be all the device you’ll need. It is possible to do other smartphone-type things with the Classic Flip, like texting or email or web surfing, but if you’ve ever done that sort of stuff on a more full functioned smartphone, then the limits of the LG Flip will be frustrating. On the other hand, if you find that you’re frustrated and overwhelmed by all the features of smartphones such as an Apple iPhone 11 or a Samsung Galaxy A50s, then the simplicity of the Classic Flip will be welcomed. That makes the Flip an attractive choice for younger children and older adults. Many love that the Flip has real buttons, so no virtual keypad displayed on glass. There’s even an SOS button on the back of it which can make the Flip a truly valuable thing to have in an emergency. One downside is texting since the Flip has only a 10-key telephone number pad (where numbers 2-10 are each assigned 3 letters of the alphabet). Thus, composing a text message takes some finesse and more time than on a qwerty style keypad . The Flip also has some of the more popular smartphone capabilities –like front and rear cameras to take pictures or for video calling, although only 2MP max resolution; and you can store a music library and enjoy listening to tunes on the Classic Flip. The Flip is powered by a 1.1GHz Quad-Core processor which is enough for the Flip, and the Flip has 32MB of storage which could be all that’s needed, but thanks to a microSD slot the Flip’s storage can be doubled with an SD memory card. The Flip is an Android phone running the base Android Open Source Project (AOSP) 8.1 version which is more than enough for its bundled apps. The Flip connects on 4G LTE cell networks using VoLTE which delivers about 3x the performance of 3G (older models of the Classic Flip were 3G according to user comments). The Flip is also Bluetooth and WiFi capable.
The LG Classic Flip has remarkable battery life. It’s 1470mAhLithium-Polymer battery lasts for a claimed 6 hours of talk time and up to 15 days in standby mode. Battery life always varies according to use, so typical real world battery life of at least 7-8 hours is a very reasonable expectation.
The LG Classic Flip has a quite small (by smartphone standards) 2.8 inch QVGA display within the upper arm of its flip-open design. QVGA is short for Quarter Video Graphics Array, and as implied the resolution is one quarter of the standard VGA resolution (VGA = 640 x 480 pixels, QVGA = 320 x 240 pixels). QVGA is enough for the tiny Flip display since you’re probably not going to watch a full length feature film on the Classic Flip –although you can certainly do casual viewing of YouTube videos and other content on the Flip’s 2.8” screen. The Flip’s display is suitable enough for the bundled apps (email, calendar, web browser, timer/stopwatch, calculator), but it is small so some web content displaying really small text may become difficult to read.
The LG Classic Flip is small and light. Less than 5” tall and about a half-inch thick in a sturdy plastic case weighing 4.5 ounces. A real advantage of its flip-phone is that the screen is hidden when it’s closed, so dropping it doesn’t carry the same screen breakage risk as typical glass faced smartphones. It works great for kids almost similar to KidsConnect KC2, which is a perfect starter phone for your children.
The price of the LG Classic Flip is about the same as an extra large 3-topping pizza, which makes it a pretty good deal –although perhaps less immediately satisfying, but you can call in another pizza order. Losing a Classic Flip is way easier to absorb than losing a smartphone like an Apple iPhone SE costing multiple hundreds of dollars, or even other low-cost burner phones –even the LG Stylo 5 that costs about 99 bucks.
The LG Classic Flip is a fine choice for kids and elderly users because of its simplicity and low price. There are other budget smartphones with more features such as the Unihertz Jelly Pro, and even simpler devices with fewer features such as a KidsConnect KC2, and while both have GPS tracking capability, they come at a higher cost than the LG Classic Flip.
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