Cell Phones

Is there such a thing as a secure dumb phone in 2020?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 4th, 2020 1:04 pm
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[OP]
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10363 posts
6837 upvotes

Is there such a thing as a secure dumb phone in 2020?

Wondering if there's a phone outside of the iOS and Android ecosystem, one that is open-source audited with platform updates would be nice (whatever that platform might be).

Intended for voice calls only?

(Don't need: Camera, wifi, bluetooth, MMS, LTE, GPS, USB/lightning/TB port...you get the idea)

So, far, there's the Nokia 105 (2019), and Cat B26. What else is there?
13 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 27, 2015
3094 posts
2508 upvotes
Main & Hastings
You looking for some thing old school?

Cool pad Snap. A Flip phone
[OP]
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10363 posts
6837 upvotes
chilli604 wrote: You looking for some thing old school?

Cool pad Snap. A Flip phone
Yeah, oldschool...but rugged would be great. For a kid.

The Sonim XP3 (there's a non-camera version of this) and XP5s look interesting, too. Also the Punkt MP02 (but that's running on AOSP 8.1).
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2015
821 posts
514 upvotes
I was really hoping Firefox OS would succeed. Such a shame they shutdown that project.

Buy a phone and never connect to the internet via wifi or data. That's what I do.

or a mildly better option. Buy a phone that supports a custom OS like lineage OS.
Sr. Member
Dec 4, 2017
587 posts
260 upvotes
Worthy choices would be "senior phones", aimed at older people who mainly want reliable calling, very simple user interfaces with large lettering, and loud, clear audio. These things are also handy for urgent calls with kids. Notable brands that are available in Canada:

Doro
Easyfone
Jethro
Jitterbug
Deal Addict
Feb 18, 2016
1808 posts
526 upvotes
I had an Alcatel A392 flip phone which would be great for mainly talking and occasional texting. I never had a cell before that but I quickly realized I hated T9, lol. Moved on to Moto E. The flip phone used to be available from 7-Eleven Speakout, but they don't have it anymore. It had a proprietary Alcatel OS (unsure of name).

Best Buy seems to have something similar under the Chatr prepaid label, called Alcatel Go Flip. Uses KaiOS. Don't know anything about that OS other than it's a Linux-based system (as is Android). But I'm guessing it has limited features, similar to the older Alcatel flips.
Jr. Member
Feb 29, 2020
152 posts
29 upvotes
Looking for a Flip Phone for a young children? Correct?
chatbox wrote: Yeah, oldschool...but rugged would be great. For a kid.

The Sonim XP3 (there's a non-camera version of this) and XP5s look interesting, too. Also the Punkt MP02 (but that's running on AOSP 8.1).
[OP]
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10363 posts
6837 upvotes
DeJesus wrote: Looking for a Flip Phone for a young children? Correct?
Doesn't have to be a flip phone. Positive: When it's shut, the line is dropped. No accidental dialing. Negative: Moving parts.
Member
Sep 29, 2008
434 posts
225 upvotes
AB
chatbox wrote: Wondering if there's a phone outside of the iOS and Android ecosystem, one that is open-source audited with platform updates would be nice (whatever that platform might be).

Intended for voice calls only?

(Don't need: Camera, wifi, bluetooth, MMS, LTE, GPS, USB/lightning/TB port...you get the idea)

So, far, there's the Nokia 105 (2019), and Cat B26. What else is there?
Does the 105 even work in Canada? Isn't it 2g only. Which we don't have here.

I've tried to find something similar but even the few 4g dumb phones are missing the correct banda for Canada.
And 3g networks are not really reliable I've found. I did have a Samsung rugby which was good. But 3g network only just doesn't cut it any more. Too many missed calls and dead spots.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 28, 2004
21719 posts
2982 upvotes
Toronto
Lol, interesting....

Recently found a brand new Samsung C414 flip phone cleaning up the basement...still in its box with new accessories!

I struck gold babbyyy!!

FS: Nothing at the moment
Heatware: 63-0-0
[OP]
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10363 posts
6837 upvotes
crunchiespg wrote: Does the 105 even work in Canada? Isn't it 2g only. Which we don't have here.

I've tried to find something similar but even the few 4g dumb phones are missing the correct banda for Canada.
And 3g networks are not really reliable I've found. I did have a Samsung rugby which was good. But 3g network only just doesn't cut it any more. Too many missed calls and dead spots.
Fido and Rogers still have 2g and 2.5g. (Till the end of the year)
Deal Addict
Feb 28, 2012
1054 posts
1711 upvotes
Alberta
For simple, secure and robust, the Sonim XP3 looks good. IP68, mil-spec tough, 3-yr comprehensive warranty.
No social media on phone, apps can't be downloaded, stripped-down Android 8.1, gets updates.
To further dumbify/childproof, you can lock out any app behind a PIN (camera, web browser,,).
Side PTT button can be re-programmed (voice dial, flashlight,,). Contact black-/whitelisting.
All LTE bands. Excellent reception, call quality, speaker. VoLTE, WiFi calling. SIP, GPS, FM radio.
$350 from Telus or Bell. $199 used on Amazon, unlocked ex-Sprint (no VoWiFi, VoLTE, ESChat).
PCMag Review - Sonim XP3 User Guide

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Last edited by pjw918 on May 4th, 2020 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Member
Sep 29, 2008
434 posts
225 upvotes
AB
chatbox wrote: Fido and Rogers still have 2g and 2.5g. (Till the end of the year)
Even the 3g is patchy at best around here. I couldn't imagine how little effort they put into keeping 2g reliable.

3g was bad enough for me to not trust it as a reliable means of receiving or making calls.
I wish the 2g network was still viable. I love the simplicity of basic phones.
Deal Fanatic
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May 11, 2009
5710 posts
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Debtario
Check out the Nokia 3310 3G for maximum OG factor. Not sure about secure though, it's from 2017. Really wish the BB Bold 9900 was still around but with android and upgraded internal hardware, BB was quite secure for its day.

That XP3 seems to be the best choice out of the current offerings, unless there is some other niche manufacturer.

Ugh those old phones of old were great. I liked the LG rumor 2 for the slide out keypad, too bad it was CDMA and sucked at everything else apart from they keyboard.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"

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