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Definition: flip phone


A hinged cellphone that is more compact when closed. The cover "flips open" to reveal the screen, keypad, speaker and microphone. Also called a "clamshell phone," the flip phone is a basic cellphone without Internet access. See feature phone.




A Half Flip
In 1989, as part of its MicroTAC line, Motorola introduced the Digital Cellular Personal Communicator, which had a folding mouthpiece to reduce bulk.






A Regular Flip Phone
A flip phone closes to half its original size, and this LG model has a second screen on the outside. (Image courtesy of AT&T, www.att.com)






Back With a Flair
In 2020, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (shown here) and the Motorola Razr clamshell smartphones debuted with folding screens. Unlike the flip phones of the past, these devices are state-of-the-art and considerably more expensive. See Galaxy Z Flip, FOLED and smartphone. (Image courtesy of PCMag.com.)