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Best festival phones: we pick our top five handsets

Ah, festival season. The time of year when we revive the age-old English traditions of misrule and boozy hedonism, as young and old gather in fields to shed clothing and inhibitions. And party like it’s the last days of Rome.

But just because you’re making like the pagans at Stonehenge, you won’t want to be without the modern-day totem that is your mobile phone.

With that in mind, we’ve picked out five phones you can take to festivals. Along the way we’ll be recommending rugged phones that are tougher than Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, as well as cheap, pay-as-you-go phones that won’t break your heart (or the bank) if you lose them.

1) BLU Life Max (£109.99)

BLU Life Max

Why's it good for festivals? By smartphone standards, it’s got peerless battery life.

Battery life is at a premium at festivals, where charging stations are few and far between and always, always mean queueing for hours.

The Blu Life Max’s 3,700mAh battery is the best of any smartphone we’ve tested. And should survive a weekend of moderate use on a single charge.

Despite costing just £109.99, the BLU Life Max gives you all the main features of a high-end smartphone. So you won’t be sans 4G internet access and won’t have to go without key apps while you’re roughing it.

It also comes with a screen protector and a phone case so you can keep it safe from the inevitable rough and tumble that’s to be expected when hundreds of thousands of revellers gather.

It has a respectable 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter so you can still share perfectly Instagrammable photos. And both cameras have an LED flash so you can carry on capturing memories in the moshpit long after dark.

It even has a fingerprint scanner, adding a very useful layer of protection in case your phone is lost or stolen.

Buy the BLU Life Max here.

2) Nokia 3310 2017 (£49.99)

Nokia 3310 4 colours hero image

Why's it good for festivals? Very hard-wearing and compact. And it’s got incredible battery life.

The 2017 edition of the Nokia 3310 is every bit as hardy as the original. So you can rest assured that it’ll withstand a trampling in the moshpit.

And because it’s got a month-long battery life, you won’t have to mess about trying to find a charging station when you’d rather be chowing on a pizza from Voodoo Rays or watching your favourite heritage rock act rattle through the hits.

But there are some caveats. While the 3310 does calls and text messages, you can’t send emails. More importantly when you’re at festival, it doesn’t support WhatsApp. So you can’t set up a group chat to easily stay abreast of all your chums’ movements.

There is a web browser, of sorts anyway. But because it only supports 2.5G, it’s slow by modern standards. That means it’d be fine for checking weather news or a quick look at the football scores. But not much more than that.

You can get the new Nokia 3310 from EE or Vodafone.

3) Wileyfox Spark (£72.85)

Wileyfox Spark hero size

Why's it good for festivals? Runs all key apps you might want at a festival and takes a good snaps too.

If you’re after a cheap handset to take to a festival but you can’t bear to be parted from your social media apps for the weekend, you’ll need a good budget smartphone.

And for well under £100, the Wileyfox Spark will fulfill all your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram needs. With a decent eight-megapixel front and rear cameras, you’ll be able to share good-quality snaps and selfies throughout the weekend.

Find out more and buy the WileyFox Spark here.

4) CAT B25 Tough Mobile Phone (£59.99)

Cat b25 phone hero size

Why's it good for festivals? Takes a knocking and keeps on rocking.

Favoured by builders for its hard-as-nails construction, the Cat B25 is waterproof and can be submerged in up to a metre of water for up to half an hour and come out right as rain. So it’ll easily withstand a 3AM drop in a portaloo. If you can then bear to fish it out, that is.

It’s also guaranteed to withstand drops onto concrete from up to 1.7m. And it comes with a long-life battery to get you through the weekend and torch for finding your tent in the dark too.

Find it here: Cat B25 .

5) Vodafone Smart First 7 (£20)

Vodafone Smart First 7

Why's it good for festivals? Really cheap but still has all your favourite apps.

The big sell for Vodafone’s own-brand handset features speedy 4G, but comes in at a very reasonable £20. So it’s well worth considering if you can’t be without speedy mobile internet access for the weekend, but don’t want to risk taking along your high-end day-to-day handset.

It’s a smartphone powered by Android. So you can also run the apps you most likely to really need at a festival (CF: WhatsApp, Instagram). But given the camera is a bit rudimentary, don’t expect your snaps of buzz bands on fringe stages to get as many likes you’d want.

Find it here Vodafone Smart First 7.

Category: Features
Tagged: smartphones
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