Looking for the simplest possible cell-phone with following features:

  • physical keypad (like the old phones before the iPhone era)
  • simple phone-book - like old Nokia phones and like...
  • allows phone calls
  • allows SMS
  • and allows create an wifi hotspot (for my tablet) using the operator's 3G/4G.
  • that's all - e.g. don't need radio, GPS, camera, hairdryer :), etc...

Maybe, would be nice to have:

  • nice design (woman friendly) :)
  • somewhat rugged/watertight (but see the previous)
  • long lasting battery

Exists such simple phone which allows create an WiFi-hotspot? My googling, even searching Alibaba and such - failed.

If the phone will "know" more - I don't care, until it will have the all wanted features (mainly the physical keyboard - e.g NOT touchscreen and allows the hotspot).


Because probably i'm not enough clear, adding the example picture of the keypad. Don't want QUERY, sliding anything... just a such simple phone. Also added the example of the simple hotspot device. Looking for a combination of two. :) That's all. Nothing complicated, nor magical. :)

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  • My advice is carry a second hotspot device around. Alternatively get the android blackberry if you want physical buttons. Simpe and hotspot are kinda opposites.
    – William
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 0:18

2 Answers 2


The big issue you're going to run into is the need for a hotspot. While there are still recycled and cheap phones made by one or two manufacturers which possess the other features, it's very rare for any of them to also serve as a hotspot. They are considered entry-level phones and usually use a proprietary operating system so everything "looks like the old days" and a user would need to buy a better phone to add new apps.

I highly recommend you migrate to Android, as address books and such haven't changed much. Also, most of the mid-to-high range phones serve as a hotspot through their provider, though whether or not you can use it without wrecking yourself financially is up to your service provider contract.

This is a list of phones which have the other features you want. For a decent device which also has the keyboard as a physical component, Blackberry is your likely brand. Most manufacturers simply don't use this now, as it's additional hardware (so additional expense), can be physically damaged through use, and the Android store features many, many options for free touchscreen keyboard alternatives to the one installed on a touchscreen phone when you get it.

  • Unfortunately, no one of the listed phones are "ok". (No one is an classic keypad-like phone, without touchscreen). Looks like that you're right and simply no phone of such features exists. +1
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 21:34
  • You're looking for a keyboard type called "T9" then; the kind where you cycled through letters tied to the phone number keys to text. These do exist, but there are none which contain anything but the absolute most rudimentary functions. You will not find one that is a hotspot.
    – CDove
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 11:59
  • Yes, the classic keypad e.g. numbers, + * and # and the letters as you described. With hotspot. Unfortunately, me also find no one... :( And honestly do not understand why. Here are pure hotspot devices, (like this) here are simple phones also, so don't understand why can't combine the two.
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 16:53
  • You can technically combine them. The market for them is just so small that no-one cares to do it. That, and the software for hotspots are usually written for iOS and Android, which T9 phones don't use. Dedicated hotspots use router hardware instead of software emulation, so they're different devices from phones entirely.
    – CDove
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 17:32

Any mod capable Moto Z series device can be equipped with a Livermorium sliding keyboard mod, although as of answering this question it is out of stock from the manufacturer but should be available by years end again.

The big issue here is the requirement for a hotspot, which most older phones would not support properly... So stepping up to a newer device is a requirement, adding in all the things you don't need (like GPS for example).

Your other requirement of a simple phonebook could be handled by any number of Android applications available from the Play Store, but that would be trial and error based on what the user likes and is beyond the scope of hardwarerec.

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