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.
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.
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.
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?