Suppose you are planning to purchase a new phone for your child or elderly parents. You would want a basic phone with a long battery life that allows you to make phone calls, listen to music, and is easy to use. You don’t expect it to have a 64 MP camera or a huge display that’s common in smartphones these days. All you need is a simple mobile with a few basic features, correct?
But wait, why not a low-end smartphone which can easily serve all the basic requirements? Are you confused between these two choices? Well, let us list some of the reasons why you should consider getting a feature phone over a smartphone:
- Long-Lasting Battery: The battery life of feature phones is usually a lot better than smartphones. Once you charge a feature phone, you wouldn’t have to worry about charging it for days, weeks, or even as long as a month.
- High Security: Keypad phones are less vulnerable to viruses, bugs, and other security issues.
- Easy to Use: Feature phones don’t have a lot of features. This makes them very easy to use. They have some basic applications like FM radio, Music player, Calculator, Stopwatch, Alarm, etc. Nothing too complicated.
- Portability: Feature phones weigh under 100 g. They are compact and lightweight.
- Budget-friendly: You can purchase a feature phone for as low as 1,000 INR.
- Ruggedness: A good feature phone from Nokia or Samsung may even survive a drop from a height of 1 meter.
After much research and in-house testings of several feature phones that cost between 1000 INR to 3000 INR, we are here to bring our top picks that do everything you would expect on a keypad phone. So, are you ready to grab one for you or your loved one?
Let’s get started!
- Best Feature Phones in India (2021)
- 1. Best Overall: Nokia 5310 Xpress Music
- 2. Best Keypad Mobile: Lava Pulse
- 3. Best Voice Quality: Nokia 216
- 4. Best from Samsung: Samsung Guru Music 2
- 5. Best Under 1500 INR: Lava GEM
- 6. Best with Dual Sim: Nokia 150 (2021)
- 7. Best Battery Life: InFocus Power 2
- 8. Best for Durability: Samsung Guru 1200
- 9. Best Budget-Friendly: Nokia 105
- 10. Micromax X380
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Feature Phones in India (2021)
Now that you understand all the features and functionality, we would also like to enlist some of the factors that have helped us choose the best models available in the Indian market, apart from considering the brand reputation. Let’s look at them to have a clear idea of how an ideal feature phone should be!
Know them already? Jump to the reviews!
- Screen size and resolution: A feature phone with at least 1.8 inches display and a resolution of 240 x 320 can be considered good.
- Calls and Audio quality: The single most important thing when purchasing a feature phone, call and audio quality decide if the device will be a hit or a miss.
- Battery life: The battery capacity of a feature phone does not matter as much as the battery life does. The phone should last for a good 3-4 days on standby.
- Design and durability: Design is a personal preference, but durability is something that is something that just can not be ignored when discussing feature phones.
- Keypad size and layout: Feature phones should have a large and spacious keypLet’s
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the first product that we have on this list.
1. Best Overall: Nokia 5310 Xpress Music
Nokia’s current-gen 5310 is a successor to the very popular phone Nokia 5310 Xpress Music. It was released back in 2007 and used to sell like hot pancakes back in those days. The company released its successor in March 2021.
The phone feels good in the hand. Just by holding it for a few seconds, you can easily tell that the device is well built and will last for a long. This is a dual sim feature phone with a lot of must-have features. 3 buttons are provided on the right side of the phone that can be used to control the volume. The buttons are placed well.
The phone comes with a 2.4 inches display having a resolution of 320 x 240. It has a battery capacity of 1200 mAh, which the company claims will last for up to 22 days. It has a 3.5 mm headphone jack and decent speakers. The device comes with a 0.3 MP camera.
The phone supports Bluetooth connectivity. You can transfer small files between your phones using Bluetooth. The call quality Nokia 5310 is pretty good. You can easily hear the other person on the phone call loud and clear. You can browse the internet from this phone as it supports 2G networks. The phone also supports external storage of up to 32 GB via a micro SD card.
The phone comes with a 1-year warranty. It is slightly overpriced at around 3,500 INR but has all the things you expect a feature phone to have. The phone is a lot less bulky than the phones available in this price range.
- Looks very good
- The device is very durable
- The audio quality of the speaker is good for listening to music
- Battery life is great
- UI is clean and easy to navigate
- Great call quality
2. Best Keypad Mobile: Lava Pulse
Here is the latest feature phone from the company. The one unique feature about the Lava Pulse is that it can measure your heart rate and blood pressure, which is usually found in quality smartwatches and fitness bands. The sensor used in the phone may not be perfectly accurate but because the company is thinking about its user’s well-being is something commendable.
The phone comes in a gold coloured body which looks nice. The buttons on the keypad are well spaced. The phone is straightforward to use. The device has a 0.3 MP camera on the rear side, but we don’t think that it will come to much use. The quality of cameras on feature phones, in general, isn’t outstanding.
The phone comes with a 2.1 inches display having a resolution of 320 x 24. The display is slightly small, but we can let go of considering the price point. The device comes with number talker functionality. This means that the phone will call out the number that you are pressing on the dialer.
With a battery of 1750 mAh, the company claims that the device can last for up to 6 days. The claim is pretty genuine, and Lava is completely honest here. The speakers on this phone are pretty good. You can listen to music or FM radio using this phone easily. The phone does not have internet connectivity.
Lava Pulse comes with a 1-year warranty. This is a perfect smartphone for older people. As we have already mentioned, it has features like a heart rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, number talker, and a lot more. For around 1,500 INR, this is an excellent phone with some features you will not find in any other feature phone.
- Heart rate and Blood pressure sensor
- Keypad is spacious
- Number talker functionality
- Expandable storage of up to 32 GB
- Value for money phone
- No internet connectivity
- Call quality is average
3. Best Voice Quality: Nokia 216
Here comes a 3-year-old feature phone from Nokia, which the company claims to be ‘internet ready.’ The Nokia 216 comes with Opera Mini web browser and supports some Java-based games. Surprisingly, the device has a front camera, which is not seen even on Nokia 5310.
The device comes with 3 colour options. The grey and blue variants are available on Amazon. The grey looks the best. When it comes to durability, undoubtedly, Nokia is among the best. It is a dual sim phone. It has all the essential features like an FM radio and an MP3 player. Speaker’s audio quality is good, and you can connect your earphones to the device via the 3.5 mm jack.
The phone has a standard 2.4-inches display that we see on most of the feature phones. The resolution of the phone is 230 x 320, which is a little less but manageable. The company has not explicitly mentioned the amount of storage the device has, but, surely, you will have to buy a micro SD card if you want to store pictures or music on the device.
The phone has internet connectivity. Though this is a feature phone that we are talking about, it supports some basic Java games. The device’s battery capacity is a little less, but Nokia’s optimisation makes it last for at least 24 days on standby. It can offer up to 18 hours of talk time on a single charge.
The device comes with a 1-year warranty. In the sub 3,000 INR category, this is surely a good pick. If you can slightly increase your budget, you can also go for the Nokia 5310, which is released this year which has a bigger battery but doesn’t have a front camera.
- Durable and good looking
- Supports up to 32 GB Micro SD card
- Front camera with flash is present
- UI is clean and easy to navigate
- Battery life is good
- Audio quality is average
4. Best from Samsung: Samsung Guru Music 2
Samsung Guru Music 2 is a popular feature phone from Samsung that costs under 1800 INR. The phone doesn’t have a camera, but we don’t expect to have one for the price it is selling. Let’s take a look at what the company has to offer.
The phone comes in 4 colour variants: Black, White, Blue, and Gold. All of them look really cute. The is extremely lightweight and weighs just 75 grams. You can easily carry it around in your pocket. The phone comes in a complete plastic build.
The phone has a display of just 2 inches and a 128 x 160, making it unsuitable for senior citizens and those who have weak vision. The battery capacity of the device is less too. The RAM, however, is pretty good. The device comes with an SD card slot and supports up to 16 GB of external memory.
The device does not have Bluetooth connectivity, which is quite essential these days. The phone doesn’t even have internet connectivity. With this phone, Samsung has made it very clear that they don’t believe in connecting people. The one single thing that is really great about this device is that it has superb call quality. Both the speaker and the mic are amazing on the device.
If your workplace doesn’t allow you to carry a camera phone, you can purchase it. The Guru Music 2 offers great audio quality during phone calls and when listening to music as well. As we have pointed out, there are many missing features in this device, and if you are fine with that, go ahead and buy one.
- Call quality is amazing
- Small form factor
- Doesn’t have Bluetooth or internet connectivity
- Small and low-resolution display
- No camera
5. Best Under 1500 INR: Lava GEM
Lava was once a trendy brand that lost its market in India when smartphone giants like Xiaomi arrived. Lava GEM is a dual sim 4G ready feature phone with some great features.
The phone comes in 3 colour variants. All the colour variants look good not because of the colour but because of their design. The phone has a mad body which is both durable and good looking. The keys are well spaced. The UI of this phone is not as good as we have in Samsung and Nokia basic phones.
GEM’s has a 2.8 inches display, which is probably the biggest you can get on a feature phone with a keypad. The device has a humongous battery capacity of 1750 mAh, which will last for up to 4 days. The device has 32 MB of RAM and expandable storage of UPTU 32 GB.
The highlight of this phone is it’s 3G/4G connectivity. We’re not sure how you will be able to utilise high-speed internet on this phone, we’ll have to give it to Lava for providing 4G at this price. Before you buy this feature phone, it is important to know one more thing. It doesn’t support Jio 4G sim cards.
Lava GEM is a phone that offers fantastic value for money. Lava GEM is one of the best phones that we have on this list. It comes with a 1-year warranty. If you don’t plan to use Jio 4G sim, you can buy this device.
- 3G and 4G support
- Larger display
- Battery life is good
- Supports up to 32 GB Micro SD card
- Doesn’t support Jio sim
- UI not as good as Nokia or Samsung
- Even though the device has 4G, basic apps like WhatsApp are not available
6. Best with Dual Sim: Nokia 150 (2021)
Here, Nokia presents this year’s feature phone. The Nokia 150 (2021) is priced slightly lower than the Nokia 216 but a great package overall. It is a true feature phone, and unlike some other devices, this one doesn’t have any redundant features that you will never use.
Nokia 150 comes in 3 different colour variants. While the red and blue variants look very funky, the black one looks more classy. The devices have excellent looks and build quality. The backside has a matte rubber finish. Along with the camera and flashlight, it has Nokia’s branding.
The display of this device is neither too small nor too large. The text is readable even in bright sunlight. The battery capacity of Nokia 150 is a little less on paper, but Nokia has done a great job optimising it. The company claims that the device will last for up to 23 days on standby.
The phone call quality is good, but we cannot say the same for music quality. The device comes with Bluetooth connectivity. You can increase the phone’s storage capacity up to 32GB using an external micro SD card.
If you increase your budget, you can purchase the Nokia 216, which has a front camera. If you increase your budget a little more, you can get the Nokia 5310, which is best for listening to music. If you don’t mind the missing front camera and don’t care much about music, you can save some money by getting the Nokia 150.
- Costs under 2500 INR
- UI is clean and easy to navigate
- Long battery life
- Supports up to 32GB Micro SD card
- Speaker is mushy
7. Best Battery Life: InFocus Power 2
Here is a new feature phone from InFocus. It is an old brand that specialized in manufacturing displays and projectors. The company is now known in India for its budget-friendly smartphones.
The design and build quality of InFocus Power 2 is not very impressive. The plastic body makes it look cheap. It has two sim slots. It comes with a headphone jack. Speakers of the Power 2 are neither good nor bad. You don’t get any colour options here.
The phone has a 2.4 inches display. The highlight of this feature phone is its battery. The 2500 mAh battery of the Power 2 offers a standby time of up to 56 days, which is crazy. You wouldn’t find another feature phone which has a better battery life than this one. It has a Micro SD card slot through which you can increase its storage up to 32 GB.
The device has Bluetooth connectivity. It has all the basic features like an FM radio and an MP3 player. There isn’t much to talk about here as this phone offers all the standard features that we have seen on other phones on this list.
InFocus Power 2 is a great secondary phone. If you already own a smartphone with average battery life, you can get this one. The phone can prove extremely useful in emergencies when you don’t get a chance to charge your devices. With Power 2, you get a warranty of 1 year.
- Long-lasting battery (2500 mAh)
- Costs less than 1300 INR — value for money.
- 32 GB Micro SD card support
- Poor design and build quality
- Average audio quality
8. Best for Durability: Samsung Guru 1200
Samsung Guru 1200 is an old keypad phone from Samsung. This is a tiny and lightweight phone. The phone is too simple. There aren’t any special things that the device has to offer. The phone left us a little disappointed.
The device comes in four colour options, viz. Black, White, Blue, and Gold. The phone supports a single GSM sim card. In terms of durability, the phone is good. There are customer reviews on Amazon that claim that the phone can survive a complete wash cycle in a washing machine.
The display of the device is very small. 1.52 inches with a resolution of 128 x 128 is too less considering today’s standards. The battery of the phone is average. It has a rather small battery with a capacity of just 800 mAh. The phone doesn’t even support SD cards.
The device neither has Bluetooth connectivity nor internet connectivity. The only good thing about this phone is its call quality. Both the mic and the speaker are decent, but the device lacks even the most basic features.
This feature phone comes with a 1-year warranty. There are a lot of people who keep a separate phone for receiving OTPs for online transactions. If you plan to get a phone for receiving OTPs or occasional calling, you can purchase the Guru 1200. For anyone else, the device is too basic.
- Call quality is good
- User-friendly interface
- Very lightweight
- The display is small and has low resolution
- Battery life is average
- Bluetooth, Internet connectivity missing
- Not worth the price
9. Best Budget-Friendly: Nokia 105
Nokia 105 is HMD global’s most basic and entry-level feature phone. It doesn’t have many features, but still, the phone manages to be perfect in what it offers. So how does it perform compared to the other similarly priced features from other brands? Let’s see.
Black, Blue, and Pink are the three colour options you get in the Nokia 105. The design of the device is simple. Most of the front side of the device is taken by the keyboard. On the backside, we get a matte plastic finish with Nokia’s branding. The phone looks good and has great durability. The dual-sim variant of the 105 is also available.
The phone has a 1.8 inches display with a resolution of 240 x 320. Like the other Nokia phones we have reviewed in this article, this also has a bright screen. The battery capacity of the phone is quite good too. It has an 800 mAh battery that can last for up to 25 days. It doesn’t have expandable memory.
When you are purchasing a phone that costs as much as this one, you really shouldn’t be expecting much. It doesn’t have internet connectivity. There’s no point in even discussing Bluetooth or other connectivity options. The phone has good call quality, and calling is the exact thing you should do with the device.
The phone comes with a 1-year warranty and is rated as the #1 best seller in the category of basic phones on Amazon. Priced at around 1,200 INR, the Nokia 105 competes with Samsung Guru 1200. The dual-sim variant of the device will cost around 200 INR more. Even the single sim variant is a much better product than Samsung’s entry-level offering.
- Good call quality
- The display is very nice for the price
- Value for money device
- Easy to use
- best basic mobile phone on Amazon
- Lightweight and sturdy
- No Bluetooth or Internet
- The base variant is single sim
10. Micromax X380
Micromax’s feature phone, the X380 is a device priced around 1100 INR, which has some features that are usually not present in the feature phones we get in this range. The device has a rear camera and a very powerful 4 LED flashlight.
The X380 comes in two colour variants: Red and Black. Both the variants look very similar. The only difference is in colour on the sides of the device. The device seems completely outdated, and when it comes to durability, the phone is nowhere near the feature phones that come from brands like Nokia or Samsung. This phone has dual sim support.
The device has a much better display than the Samsung Guru 1200. 1.77 inches is not bad for a cheap device like the X380. The phone has a giant 2500 mAh battery, which the company claims will last for around a month. The phone comes with expandable storage of up to 32 GB storage via a microSD card.
The internet support is not present on the phone, but it has Bluetooth. Not sure what users will do with a phone with such a large expandable memory, Bluetooth support but a tiny screen. The call quality of the phone is pretty good too.
The UI of Micromax phones is not very intuitive. It has a 1-year warranty. The 4 LED flashlight is very powerful but again, who purchases a phone to use it as a torch? The device is aimed at first-time smartphone users. It has many nice features that are not available in Samsung and Nokia’s basic feature phones, but most of the people who buy the X380 might not be able to use all of them anyway.
- Battery life is tremendous
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Expandable storage
- Bright torchlight
- Outdated looks
- UI is not convenient to use
Frequently Asked Questions
While feature phones can not be used as a daily driver these days, there are a lot of reasons why you should have at least one keypad phone at home. The device can be used with a sim card that you use for online transactions. Feature phones have a long battery life. They can be used as secondary or backup devices. Feature phones with long battery life are preferred by older people who are not familiar with touch screen devices.
Feature phones cost anywhere between 1000 INR to 3000 INR. Phones from brands like Lava, InFocus, and Micromax offer more features than phones from Nokia and Samsung. The feature phones from premium brands offer better build quality, durability along with clean and stable UI.
The answer will be NO for most of the basic phones. Even the phones that do have internet support don’t have official applications. There is no way you can have a good experience using social media applications with feature phones, no matter how much money you spend.
Both Nokia and Samsung build highly durable phones. Nokia’s phones released back in the early 2000s were very well known for being ‘indestructible,’ but things have changed. Nokia was sold to Microsoft and subsequently to HMD global, and since then, the company lost its charm. The phones that they manufacture these days are not bad, but they are not as durable as their great predecessors.
You can import contacts from one feature phone to another or between a smartphone and a feature phone if both the devices support Bluetooth. You have to open the contacts application and create a contact backup (.vcf) file and send it to the phone on which you want to restore the contacts.
Usually, the feature phones come with a charger, USB cable, earphones, user manual, and a warranty card. Always check the list of accessories from the Amazon product page before buying a phone.
All the phones that we have reviewed in this article are special. That is the reason why they have made it to this list. But there are some feature phones that outshined others in terms of one or more situations.
The Nokia 5310 Xpress Music lives up to the reputation of its predecessor. The phone has great speakers. If you listen to a lot of music from FM radio or the MP3 player, this is the one for you. The only complaint about the device is its price. At above 3000 INR, the device is a bit costly.
The Lava Pulse offers the best performance for the price. The best part about the phone is the heart rate and blood pressure sensor. All you have to do is place your finger on the sensor present on the rear side of the phone, and all the stats will be displayed on the screen — the phone stores the data for future reference. Lava pulse is a great phone for seniors and health-conscious people. It has much more features compared to similarly priced phones from Nokia or Samsung.
Nokia 105 is perfect for those of you looking for a feature phone without a camera. It comes in 3 colour options, all of which look very elegant. The phone is sturdy and offers a great overall experience. The Nokia 105, being a new model, offers better features for the price compared to Samsung’s Guru 200. All the feature phones from Samsung badly need a refresh.
Feature phones are perfect for several different needs. You can use a feature phone for receiving OTPs and completing online transactions. Feature phones are safe and easy to use. You can give them to your kids or elderly parents/grandparents as they are very easy to use. They can prove to be very useful in emergency situations.
If you don’t have a secondary phone, this is the perfect time to get one. So which one do you think is worth your money?