The 5 Best Text Messaging Phones of 2021

Because the group chat never sleeps

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Sending messages in record time with ease is possible with these best for texting phones. If you remember the days of struggling to text by press buttons multiple times to get to the letter S, then these phones will seem to be the Ferarri of mobile devices. Phones have even evolved to be 100% touch screen operated!

Lose the physical keyboard with the Motorola E5 at Amazon or keep it by obtaining the Samsung Galaxy S8 Keyboard Cover at Amazon. Are you looking for a smaller device? The LG Extravert 2 at Amazon slides up and down, allowing it to be super compact, while the Apple iPhone 8 at Amazon is expansive in length is mega thin and lightweight. You can even take this a step further and combined it with one of the best Bluetooth keyboards for smartphones!

Check out the best text messaging phones below:

The Rundown
Best Overall:
LG Extravert 2 at Amazon
A fantastic phone that offers a QWERTY keyboard in a stylish package.
One of the best devices Samsung has ever produced.
Best Attachable Keyboard:
Samsung Galaxy S8 Keyboard Cover at Amazon
Adds plenty of functionality without hindering anything else.
Best Features:
Apple iPhone 8 at Amazon
Includes GIFs, drawing tools, and hundreds of stickers to use in conversation.

Best Overall: LG Extravert 2

LG Extravert 2

For Verizon customers, the LG Extravert 2 is a fantastic phone (notice the lack of smart) that offers a QWERTY keyboard in a stylish package. With a 3.2” W-QVGA device, there’s no sense in comparing this to an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy device. They are designed for different users. The bottom line is that the display is functional, regardless of how it may compare in today’s competitive phone marketplace.

At 15mm thick, it’s twice the size of a new iPhone so we’re feeling safe calling it a little clunky. However, that additional size is overlooked as it fits the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Unfortunately, the two-megapixel camera on the back also means you’ll probably want to pass up using this as your dedicated camera, but again, that is not the intended purpose. What you do get is 17 days’ standby time, something none of today’s best-known smartphones can match. Still, there’s no LTE data, no apps, games or Snapchat, just a phone that can send and receive text messages.

Best Display: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

If you’re willing to splurge, the Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best devices Samsung has ever produced. Texting aficionados will find plenty of creative ways to make use of the massive 6.4-inch display. And Samsung has included their own set of fun messaging features. With the available S Pen stylus, you can write and draw messages to friends and family. Want to add a smiley face to a photo before you send it? The Galaxy Note 9 can make that happen. You can even be creative with Samsung’s AR Emoji to send in messages.

 The rest of the device is just as good as its messaging. The 12MP rear camera snaps great photos that are perfect for sharing, and built-in stereo speakers make music and videos sound great. Throw in a giant 3300mAh battery and you’ll have a texting-friendly smartphone that lasts all day. 

Best Attachable Keyboard: Samsung Galaxy S8 Keyboard Cover

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 display is, in a word, gorgeous. Vibrant colors and good viewing angles make it a favorite for text messaging. The one way it can be improved is with the Galaxy S8 Keyboard Cover. Sometimes, the tactile feel of a keyboard is exactly what you need for long messages. This detachable full-size QWERTY keyboard is ergonomically friendly. It’s easy to add and remove and responds instantly to touch. The cover is a polycarbonate shell and a snap-on keyboard.

Once attached, the keyboard cover doesn’t distract from the rest of the device. There’s still plenty of room to hit the Bixby button as well as the volume and power buttons. The bottom of the keyboard cover also leaves ample space for the USB-C port, speaker and microphone. Needless to say, it adds plenty of functionality without hindering anything else. 

Powered by the phone itself, there’s no pairing process required. Just attach and start typing. The display automatically resizes to accommodate the keyboard. The QWERTY lettering takes up the top three rows while the bottom two rows consist of multipurpose keys. Samsung has dedicated buttons for recent apps, home and back. When you want your full screen experience, just clip the keyboard to the back of the case for storage.  

Best Features: Apple iPhone 8

Apple iPhone 8

Apple offers a uniquely simplified messaging experience. iMessage allows Apple users to message other Apple users using Wi-Fi or phone data instead of the traditional SMS. It was a paradigm shift in how we think of text messaging, but it’s opened the door to all kinds of new features. Apple’s recent iOS software updates have added dozens of new features including GIFs, drawing tools, and hundreds of stickers to use in conversation.

The strength of iMessage aside, the iPhone 8 in particular has proven to be an extremely popular device. With an App Store that has over one million downloadable apps for gaming, weather, productivity and more, there’s something for everyone. All of this takes place on a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with beautiful colors and sharp details. The rear camera has a 12-megapixel sensor. For extra peace of mind, Apple ensures the iPhone 8 is splash, water and dust resistant.

What to Look for in a Text Messaging Phone

Platform - Not all of our recommendations are smartphones or run conventional operating systems like Android. Before committing to one of the devices showcased, be sure that the applications you need on a daily basis are available on the platforms’ respective mobile app stores.

Keyboard feel - Understanding exactly how a keyboard feels is a difficult task to do via the Internet. If you’re purchasing a smartphone because of its keyboard, be sure to give it a test run at a local electronics store before buying it, as most carriers will charge a restocking fee if you change your mind.

Carrier - Not all phones will work with your mobile carrier. Whether you have T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, or another service provider, be sure that your selected device will work with your existing network.

Was this page helpful?