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Samsung announce another new flip phone: Is this now a thing?

Authored by: Kris Carlon — Aug 15, 2013

We reported on a dual-touchscreen flip phone from Samsung recently called the Folder, and there was a little bit of interest in the device. Not just as a nostalgic gimmick either, but as a possibly decent handset. Well, it seems like Samsung are taking the clamshell phone revival quite seriously, because we now have another flip phone from Samsung to report: the Hennessy.

galaxy hennessy
Another retro-looking flip phone from Samsung. Is this now a thing? / © pocketlint.com

It must be said first of all though, that the Hennessy and the Folder are pretty unlikely to make it to the US, but there's every chance you might still see them if you have friends who travel regularly to China or you want to import one through, for example, Negri Electronics. This isn’t the first time Samsung have tried to reintroduce the clamshell phone either.

While the Folder is undoubtedly the higher-end device in terms of specs: with double 3.7 inch (800 x 400 pixels) AMOLED displays, dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor at 1.7 GHz, 2 GB RAM and Android 4.2.2, the fact that Samsung is making another one, with dual 3.3 inch (320 x 480 pixels) HVGA panels, an unnamed quad-core processor at 1.2GHz, 1 GB RAM and Android 4.1, means they obviously think there's a viable low-mid range market out there for these retro-styled devices.

Samsung Hennessy 02
I'm as nostlagic as anyone for flip phones, but I'm not so sure about this... / © Samsung

The feedback on clamshell phones is generally a mixture of retro nostalgia and genuine fondness for the functionality of the format. Considering innovations like the Moto X's Active Notifications, where you don't need to actually turn the device on to receive notifications, and the LG G2's QuickWindow case, which allows you to see notifications through the case, means there's a certain level of retroactive logic in the thinking here. One of my favorite parts of clamshells was the fact you didn't need to open them and fire them up to see what was going on.

On the downside of course, these devices will be sub-par for today's smartphone elite, and the additional thickness will be a non-starter for many with a size-zero policy on handsets. But as we already know, China is the world's largest smartphone market, and low-cost devices constitute a huge percentage of the Android market, so while a flip phone may not be to everybody's taste, it would certainly appeal to enough to make it worthwhile. Or maybe Samsung is just flying so high right now, they'll try anything out, just for fun. The problem is, this won't be a low-cost device, despite its specs.

Hennessy connectivity
The price tag of the clamshell device is perhaps the most bizarre thing about it. / © Samsung

In a rather bizarre twist however, SamMobile are reporting that the device will sell for $800. This is an outrageous price-tag for a pretty decrepit phone, considering you can get a Galaxy S4 for less, so I wonder what the better-specced Galaxy Folder will be running for? In any case, this price tag isn’t exactly real anyway, as it is unlikely the device will be sold in the US and the figure is based on a direct conversion of a reported 4999 Yuan price-tag floating around on various Chinese websites, but not Samsung’s. Either way, it just adds another strange angle to this retro-styled, future-priced handset.

What do you think about next generation flip phones? Would you be tempted if they made their way to your local retailer?

Via: SamMobile Source: Samsung

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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  • Mark R. Aug 17, 2013 Link to comment

    for me, nowadays there's only two types of phone - smart phones and simple phone-phones. I can't see a real market for a flip phone that costs more than a couple of hundred bucks - especially in Asia.

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  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
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    Aug 15, 2013 Link to comment

    Yeah, while I enjoyed my flippers (clappers? clamshells? whatever) I'm too used to big touchscreens the way they are now. But I'm sure these will appeal to some, but for that price and with those specs I have no idea who!

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  • Bojan M. Aug 15, 2013 Link to comment

    Nah... Too fat for my taste and although I really like this design and always liked and used flip phones in the past, I wouldn't trade Note 2's huge beautiful display for two small ones, and other stuff as well. And one phone is already enough.

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