The flip phone seems to be a dying breed, and evidently one of the main factors contributing to their decreasing appeal lies in the introduction of full touchscreen devices. However, some markets remain open to the idea of flip phones, and China – which is also the largest mobile market in the world – is one of them. Over the years Samsung has been supplying this market niche with a couple of clamshell models, and apparently the company is working on a new generation of flip phones for the said region, and possibly others. You may already be familiar with the “SM-G1600” which was cleared by the FCC last week, but more recently, a second clamshell phone by Samsung reached the headlines after it was briefly spotted on the Indian import-export tracking website known as “Zauba”.
The smartphone in question carries model number “SM-W2017” and is allegedly known by the codename “Veyron” behind the scenes. If history is any indication, the device should be a new entry in the Samsung Galaxy Golden series of flip phones. As a refresher, the first Samsung Galaxy Golden model was released in China carrying model number “SM-W2014”, and was followed by the “SM-W2015” (Galaxy Golden 2) and the “SM-W2016” which, to no one’s surprise, is called the Samsung Galaxy Golden 3. With that in mind, the new piece of the puzzle - the “SM-W2017” - is most likely a new entry in the series, and could be released under the “Samsung Galaxy Golden 4” moniker. In any case, the smartphone was spotted in India where it has been shipped for research & development, and the only hardware characteristics revealed by Zauba is the size of the display, which allegedly clocks in at 4.2 inches – 0.3 inches larger than the previous model.
Although no other hardware details have been mentioned, the SM-W2017 is expected to borrow several flagship characteristics, including an Exynos 8890 SoC, a 12-megapixel main camera with Dual Pixel autofocus, and presumably a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. As such and like the previous generations, the SM-W2017 should be a more powerful clamshell compared to the “SM-G1600” / Samsung Galaxy Folder 2, which should occupy the mid-range segment. Will these smartphones be the precursors to the so-called “Project Valley” in 2017, said to feature a clamshell design and a flexible / foldable display? The projects seem unrelated, but then again these (non-flexible) flip phones could remind us that this particular form factor may still have some appeal.