Some best push-button phones

Best with App Support – Qin F22 Pro

Qin is a Chinese company that is part of the Xiaomi ecosystem. She specializes in producing unusual devices. F22 Pro is an Android 12 smart phone  with a touchscreen and physical buttons. In terms of its functions, the model is not inferior to smartphones.

Unlike other phones in the selection, it has LTE, Wi-Fi and app support. Contacts can be synchronized via Google. There is GPS and the ability to use a navigator.

Qin F22 Pro is released only for the Chinese market – initially it does not have Google services, the Russian language in the menu, and only English letters on the buttons. But sellers on marketplaces solve these problems: they engrave them with Russian keys and install the Google Play store. But you will have to use English as the system language.

You can navigate the menu using the joystick, type messages on the physical keyboard, and do all other manipulations with applications on the 3.5-inch touch screen. The display is responsive and responds quickly to presses, but using programs on a small panel is unusual: in some utilities the interface buttons are too small, and it’s easy to miss.

The hardware is powerful: the MediaTek Helio G85 processor and 4 GB of RAM are enough for the phone to work without slowdowns or hitches. Any software starts almost instantly. You can even open games with complex graphics like PUBG.

Thanks to 4G support, the phone can distribute Wi-Fi. You can make an access point for laptops, tablets and other devices.

The sound of the main and conversational speakers is loud and clear, the vibration is confident. And the body is made of non-marking plastic. There is an 8 megapixel main camera and a simple front camera for video calls – it is built into the lower right corner. Not the most convenient location: the interlocutor will look up at you. But  it’s unlikely that anyone really plans to use a push-button phone for constant calls on Zoom.

The 2150 mAh battery lasts for about four days of use in dialer mode. If you constantly correspond in instant messengers, regularly check your mail and distribute the Internet, then you will have to charge the gadget every other day.

The physical keys are comfortable: large, easy to hit with your thumb. The phone is lightweight, weighing only 116 g. At the top end there is an infrared port for controlling household appliances – you can change channels on the TV or adjust the air conditioner.

The Philips Xenium E590 has a 3100 mAh battery, which is almost the same as the  iPhone 14 . But  due to the small screen, weak processor and lack of Wi-Fi and LTE, it consumes power tens of times slower.

The manufacturer claims up to two months of standby time. During a day of active use with an hour of telephone conversations, the battery drains by 5%. You can confidently count on two or even three weeks of calls, SMS and periodic listening to music.

The phone can even be used to charge other devices. To do this, you will have to buy an adapter from  micro-USB to regular USB. The battery is small, so there is not much point in this, but it will be possible to save a smartphone or Bluetooth headphones in a critical situation.

The Xenium E590 is quite heavy at 184g, but it feels solid and reliable due to the good build quality and metal back cover.

There is a 2 MP camera. It’s not suitable for artistic photography, but it’s fine for photographing an advertisement at the entrance. The phone has only 128 MB of built-in memory, so it’s better to immediately buy a microSD memory card for it. For FM radio to work , you need to connect wired headphones as an antenna.

The set of applications is minimal: audio player, calculator, e-book reader. There is a browser, but the phone only connects to the Internet in the slow 2G Edge, there are no built-in games. The phone can also automatically record telephone conversations. They are saved in good quality, the speech of both interlocutors is easy to understand.

I liked the buttons, they are large and well separated. The menu interface is simple, everything is clearly labeled.

The speaker is loud and clear, and the network reception is excellent, making talking on the phone a pleasure. The main speaker is loud, but the vibration is weak – in silent mode there is a risk of missing a call.

Best flip phone – Panasonic TU456

Panasonic TU456 is lightweight, non-staining, with a discreet design. There is a separate button on the side to launch the flashlight, and on the back panel there is a large SOS button, when pressed, the phone automatically calls or sends SMS to preset numbers.

The menu is as simple as possible, it is almost impossible to get confused in it. Additional functions include only a voice recorder, a calendar, Bluetooth for connecting a headset and a gallery for viewing pictures. The phone has no Internet access, no radio, no audio player, not even a calculator.

I liked the buttons: large, with large font, well separated. There are three keys with quick access to your favorite numbers.

A 1000 mAh battery lasts for about a week. For such a simple phone this is not very much. In order not to miss the moment of discharge, a bright orange indicator is provided on the front panel.

One inconvenience is that you cannot quickly add a number from the call log to your contacts. You need to go to the “Contacts” section in the menu and enter your phone number manually. And the SMS log does not display the dates of outgoing messages.

The main speaker is located on the rear panel, but it is very loud, the call can be clearly heard even if the phone is lying on the table. The network reception is excellent, there were no problems with the signal. The camera is only 0.3 megapixels – even during the day the pictures turn out blurry and pale.