In many cases, the old flip-phones had both better working range and longer battery life. It's funny when I compare my old LG Revere-3 flip phone with my new iPhone X (only about two months old). The Revere-3 receives "full bars" and is usable in places the X does not, including in our kitchen. The difference is likely antenna design and placement (I guess). They're both activated (different phone numbers) and "in a pinch" I've often resorted to the Revere-3.