Are flip phones ready to return to the mobile handset game? Samsung seems to back up the idea, and leaked images prove it.
Just last week, TENAA, the regulatory authority for mobile devices in China, certified a flip phone from the South Korean manufacturer.
On Nov. 16, pictures of the handset reached the media and the Samsung design is visible to the naked eye. A strong reminiscence exists with both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. The backside of the smartphone is greatly inspired by Galaxy S6's lines with its curved sides and flash-camera combo. The flip mechanism looks as if it took a time leap from the 2000s, but under the clamshell chassis the hardware is pretty buff.
According to TENAA's description, the SM-W2016 has not one, but two 3.9-inch Super AMOLED displays, both having 1280×768 resolution. Each side of the flip has one such screen. Because it is a flip phone, the SM-W2016 features a numeric (T9) keyboard.
A 16MP shooter acts as main camera and it sits on the rear of the device, while a 5MP front camera works as a selfie snapper. Processing power comes from an Exynos 7420 processor backed by 3GB of RAM. The storage space is non-expandable, as the gadget comes with a capacity of 64GB and no microSD slot. The phone supports GSM, CDMA 2000, CDMA, LTE, TD-LTE and FDD.
Software-wise, Samsung's flip phone sports Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with no word on when (or if) an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow will arrive.
When it comes to general dimensions, the device is predictably thicker than most of its competitors. Its dimensions are 4.47 x 2.40 x 0.59 inches and its weight reaches 7.20 ounces.
The specs are toe-to-toe with those of rival high-end smartphones, but this particular form choice is a big bet for the OEM.
Mobile technology enthusiasts will agree that the new directions in the industry are surprising and unpredictable. Last year, nobody anticipated that physical keyboards will make a comeback, but the BlackBerry Priv showed the world why that would be a good idea.
With the recently China-approved flip phone, Samsung aims to test the market and start a new retro direction in form, while keeping up with contemporary functionality.