Flip Cell Phones Gallery

Remember When Foldable Feature Phones Were the Height of Communication Style?

An image of a woman using a flip phone.

 Getty Images

Flip phones were all the rage before smartphones saturated the market. Taking over from the older candy bar-style phones, flip phones—with a heyday from the early 2000s to the early 2010s—offered the same features as their predecessors but with a smaller form factor.

The release of the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry phones and Windows Mobile eventually phased out the feature phone. But even though modern phones present as sophisticated slabs of aluminum and glass, it's a great treat to walk down the cell phone memory lane.

01
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BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230
CrackBerry.com

You didn't have to give up all the advanced features of a smartphone to get a device with the convenient flip-phone design. Take the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230, for example. The Pearl Flip packed the best features of a BlackBerry phone — including its excellent e-mail handling — into a small, sleek handset that flipped open and closed.

The Pearl Flip 8320 used BlackBerry's SureType keyboard, which offered a modified QWERTY layout, with two letters on most keys instead of one. It's not as easy to use as a typical QWERTY keyboard, but it was much easier to use for composing messages than a numeric keypad.

The Pearl Flip 8320 featured a 2-megapixel camera and access to BlackBerry App World for downloading software to your phone. It was available from Verizon Wireless.

02
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LG Accolade Flip Phone

LG Accolade VX5600
PhoneArena.com

Verizon Wireless has a long history of offering quality LG cell phones, and one of their most popular was the LG Accolade VX5600. It was a flip phone that didn't offer a lot of extras but handled your basic calling needs with ease.

The Accolade featured a blue-and-gray design with internal and external displays. The external display, which measured just a tad more than 1-inch diagonally, showed a clock, a battery and signal strength meter, and caller ID. It also doubled as a viewfinder for taking self-portraits.

Phone features included support for Bluetooth, so you could use the Accolade with a hands-free headset, and voice commands and dialing. It also came with direct access to Microsoft's Bing search engine, and support for Verizon's VZ Navigator for turn-by-turn directions. In addition, you got access to Verizon's Family Locator service.

The Accolade's 1.3-megapixel camera featured a 2x digital zoom that let you adjust some basic settings, but it did not capture video.

03
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Sony Ericsson Equinox

Sony Ericsson Equinox
Gizmodo.com

Just because a phone is a flip phone doesn't mean it had to be boring and bland. Case in point: the Sony Ericsson Equinox, one of the sleekest-looking flip phones available at the time. It packed plenty of features, including a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS support, and gesture control, which lets you control your phone without actually touching it.

The gesture-control feature worked in conjunction with the phone's camera, which served as a sensor that registered movement. You could mute an incoming call or set the alarm to snooze by waving your hand in front of the camera.

The camera captured photos and videos and included software for editing both onboard the phone. The Equinox was YouTube compatible, so you could view videos from the site on your handset.

Other multimedia features included a music player, FM radio, and Sony Ericsson's Media Go software for transferring music, photos, and videos from your computer to your phone.

The Sony Ericsson Equinox flip phone was available from T-Mobile.

04
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Nokia Mural

Nokia Mural
PhoneArena.com

The Nokia Mural 6750 may look like your standard-issue gray flip phone, but it's actually much more colorful than that. The Mural shined in one of several colors — including blue, red, green, orange, purple, or pink — when it's open or closed, or when a call or message arrives. You select the color and can change it to fit your mood.

The Mural offered more than just a pretty face, however. It also supported AT&T's 3G network for high-speed Web browsing and access to AT&T's multimedia services. The Mural supported the carrier's Cellular Video service, which delivered video clips, as well as AT&T Mobile Music and AT&T Video Share. It also offered access to XM Radio and AT&T Navigator, the latter of which delivered turn-by-turn driving directions.

The Mural included a 2-megapixel camera that captured still photos and videos. Messaging options included text and picture messaging, instant messaging, and e-mail.

05
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Sony Ericsson w518a Flip Phone

w518a Walkman Phone
Boing Boing Gadgets

The Sony Ericsson W518a served two purposes. On the one hand, it was a cell phone with some pretty decent features (including support for Bluetooth and GPS). On the other hand, it was a full-fledged portable music player that allowed you to tote your tunes on the go, in a time when most people used iPods for music.

The W518a was one of Sony Ericsson's Walkman phones, which accounts for its prowess as a portable music player. When the flip phone was closed, you still had access to the music player controls, which sit on the front of the phone. You also could shake the phone to increase the volume. In addition, the W518a featured an FM radio.

The W518a ran on AT&T's 3G network. It supported AT&T Navigator for turn-by-turn driving directions, AT&T Mobile Music for adding tunes to your music collection, and Cellular Video, which delivered pre-packaged streaming video clips to your phone.

06
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Samsung t139 Flip Phone

Samsung t139 Flip Phone
Cnet.com

The Samsung t139 delivered all the basics you need from your cell phone. It offered good call quality, Bluetooth connectivity for use with a hands-free headset, and a variety of messaging options — including both text and picture messaging, as well as instant messaging.

The Samsung t139 featured a VGA-quality camera with a 4X digital zoom. The camera captured snapshots in four resolutions and offered some extras, like a self-portrait timer. The camera did not capture video clips, however.

Samsung's t139 sported a gray case with a light, compact design. It also included a small external display (it measures 1-inch diagonally) for viewing the time and caller ID information. This flip phone was available from T-Mobile.