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Don't Buy simple mobile phones

by Oli McKean

Avoid these Don't Buy simple mobile phones. Our tests show that they can only be relied upon to deliver poor battery life and muffled calls.

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While you may well assume that any mobile phone marketed as being ultra-simple and easy to use would deliver on these claims, our tests show there are bad apples that make owning a mobile far more fiddly than it needs to be.

Our independent lab assessments and tests have uncovered so-called ‘simple’ mobile phones with small, cramped and fiddly buttons, and others with such poor call quality that they could leave you struggling to follow the thread of the conversation.

We also analyse the features of each mobile we test, so you can use our reviews to find the right model for your needs – whether you need a mobile phone with large and easy-to-use buttons,  hearing-aid compatibility or just one that’s ultra-simple to use.

We highlight the worst models as Don’t Buys, to help you avoid ending up with a simple mobile that makes your life harder.

Log in or sign up for a £1 trial to Which? to unlock the Don’t Buy-rated simple mobile phones on this page.

Simple mobile phones that fail our tests

Imagine trying to catch up with a close friend, but the conversation sounds muffled and garbled. It’s probably low on your list of things you want from a mobile phone – as is one that seems to take pleasure in running out of battery.

You might think that, as technology has developed so much, such poor mobile phones no longer exist. But unfortunately our independent test lab reviews have found some mobiles that simply aren't up to scratch on the basics.

You’ll want a mobile phone that will be a pleasure to use –  not one that will prompt your fury whenever you pick it up. We scrutinise the merits and flaws of all the mobile phones we handle in our tests, to help you make the best choice with your hard-earned cash.

Helping you avoid substandard mobile phones

We’ve tested and rated many of the latest simple mobile phones from brands including Alcatel, Doro, Nokia and  Onetouch. Our independent lab tests take no prisoners, ensuring we recommend only those simple mobile phones that you can trust to be breeze to use. The phones that fail to hit even our most basic benchmarks in the Which? test lab are highlighted as Don't Buys that we think you should avoid.

  • We put all simple mobile phones through the same demanding tests, assessing everything from battery life to how easy it is to send a text message.
  • All mobile phones get a Which? test score, to help you quickly deduce the models worthy of your time. You can also use our reviews to shortlist the models with features you might need or require, such as hearing-aid compatibility.
  • Our test score pays no attention to price, hype or claims – so you can trust our impartial reviews to truly separate the high-flyers from the stragglers.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don’t take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

Find out which mobile phones are Don’t Buys and which are Best Buys by taking out a £1 trial to Which?

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