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Top simple mobile phone brands for 2017

By Oli McKean

Want a simple mobile phone that's built to last? We reveal the best simple mobile brands, according to our survey of owners.

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You should be able to rely on your mobile phone lasting for years, particularly if you've bought a simple model without loads of the latest technological bells and whistles.

But even the simplest phone can start to let you down after you've had it for a while. A battery that starts to drain increasingly quickly, frequent screen freezes and unexpected shutdowns can all become daily annoyances for owners of mobile phones that weren't built to stand the test of time.

This is why we've surveyed simple mobile phone owners about their handsets to find out which brands are the most durable, and that last the longest without developing serious faults. 

More than 700 Which? members have rated their handsets in our latest mobile phone brand reliability survey - and we've crunched the numbers to bring you our definitive verdict on the most and least reliable simple mobile phone brands in the table below. We also asked each owner to rate their overall satisfaction with their phone to bring you customer scores for each brand.

Only logged in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings in the table below. If you're not already a Which? member, you can get instant access to this, and all our best simple mobile recommendations, by taking a £1 Which? trial.

Brand Average test score Customer score Reliability score Reliability rating
73% 73% 93%

This brand comes top for both reliability and overall customer satisfaction.. That, alongside its impressive collection of Best Buy-recommended models, makes the brand a good bet for your simple mobile phone choice.

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58% 58% 89%

This brand just misses out on a five-star reliability rating, but earns a disappointing customer satisfaction score. Our lab tests show that simple mobile phones from this brand are quite hit-and-miss. The best we've tested scores a decent 68%, while the worst got just 51%. So it's worth doing your homework before buying a phone from this brand.

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45% 55% 86%

Though this brand picks of a decent reliability score, it scored less well for customer satisfaction. We've tested just one simple mobile from this brand, and we weren't overly impressed with it.

To find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about, log in now or take out a £1 Which? trial.


Member Content
Table notes
Sample sizes: Reliability 707; Customer score 857.

Choosing the best brand of simple mobile phone

The table above reveals an overview of real-life experience of people with their simple mobile phones. Simply put, models from a brand with a higher reliability rating are more likely to stand the test of time. 

The best of the bunch earned an incredible 93% reliability score and 73% customer rating. The worst, meanwhile, recorded a customer score of just 55%.

93%The highest simple mobile reliability score

Our research revealed the most common simple mobile phone problems to be:

  • Not charging or quickly losing charge No one likes being caught short by a mobile phone that runs out of battery quickly.
  • Freezing A frozen phone means you can't use it. Turning the phone off and on again usually solves the problem - but precisely no one want to do this regularly.
  • Turns off of its own accord This is arguably the rudest of mobile phone faults - it's the mobile phone equivalent of someone hanging up on you mid-conversation.

We also asked Which? members to tell us about their general satisfaction with their products - and whether they'd recommend the brand to their friends. We use this information to generate our customer score.

Our reliability and customer scores, alongside our independent lab test results of the most popular simple mobile phones available, means you can make the best buying decision for you using our full simple mobile phone reviews.


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