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Long story short, I'm looking to buy a new feature phone/dumbphone, possibly within the next 12 months. However, I'm finding it difficult to find a dumbphone with my list of preferences:

  • Price under $100 AUD.
  • Must be strong/durable, and able to keep working for a long time (i.e. it's feasible to see it still holding together and functional up to 10 years from now, even if this includes battery changes when the old battery stops holding a charge).
  • Good battery life.
  • Telstra specific or network-unlocked, and must be able to work on Australian 3G network or higher.

Bonus points for:

  • Price under $50 AUD.
  • Having a waterproof or water-resistant design.
  • Handling being left outside overnight.
  • Being a more recent model (i.e. the more recent the model, the better, but "old" models are still fine if they match the other criteria).

Must not only be able to work on 2g network, as 2g is being retired by Telstra in late 2016.


Any form factor (e.g. candybar, clamshell/flip-phone, slide-out keyboard, etc.) is acceptable.

Any good recommendations out there? Even a recommendation which meets most of the preferences, but not quite all? From your recommendation, please state if it doesn't meet any particular preference(s), and/or has additional features not stated.

  • 1
    Something worth considering. A lot of places are dropping 2g support sooner rather than later. That might be as much of a factor as anything else on hitting your 10+ year lifespan. Might be worth including if that's the case in your question. A pity really, my old nokia did something like 3 weeks on a charge, but would be unusable at the end of the year since my country is dropping 2g support. – Journeyman Geek Oct 20 '15 at 9:34
  • Hmm... Okay. Thanks for the info. Will look into how soon this is happening for Aus. – RPBCL Oct 20 '15 at 22:33
  • @JourneymanGeek Yup, looked into it, 2g is being retired in Aus in late 2016. Will edit the question. Thanks again. – RPBCL Oct 20 '15 at 23:14
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    Have a look into Doro. I don't know if they ship in Aus, but they do good simple phones, and there's a (more expensive) smart(er)phone in their range too. Also, I seem to recall that JCB are doing rugged phones these days. – ArtOfCode Oct 21 '15 at 21:29
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    So you want a strong, durable phone that costs you less than $10 per year for the hardware? (10 years, $100) That seems like a stretch, particularly when all your other needs can be met with a Telstra Tough 3. Unfortunately that will cost you $25/year, or about 7 cents a day for the hardware - quite a bit more than the 3 cents a day you're aiming for... – Adam Davis Nov 4 '15 at 16:05
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Kyocera's "Dura" line of phones and Casio's "G'zOne" line

  • frequently ~$100 new and ~$20 used.
  • Waterproof and "military grade" specifications for impact resistance and dust resistance.
  • Easily go for a whole week on a single charge.
  • Easy to find these unlocked; not sure how Australia's mobile network works, but I think any GSM phone will work.

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