Samsung Releases High-End Android Flip Phone In China

Samsung have been working on a high end flip 'phone (or clamshell design) Android device destined for the Chinese market for some time now. We have seen Android clamshell smartphones sold before, usually for the Asian markets, but these have typically been mid-range devices at best. Clamshell designs offer certain advantages compared with the slab design, sometimes called the "candybar" shape. Clamshells protect the main screen when closed up and provide an easy way to answer and hang up on calls. Plus they contain a keypad built into the device; in many respects, a clamshell device is ideal for those people with limited dexterity and who find a full touchscreen experience difficult to work with.

The new high-end clamshell was being designed and prepared under the codename of "Veyron," and now this device has been released as the Samsung W2017. The device is based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 mobile chipset, which is a modern, 64-bit, big.LITTLE System-on-Chip that also powers Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge flagship devices. Like these more mainstream flagship models, the W2017 comes with 4 GB of RAM, but internal storage is bumped up to 64 GB, and the device also benefits from expandable storage support via a MicroSD card slot. There's a 4.2-inch, 1080p (or Full HD) AMOLED panel and a 12MP rear camera with f/1.9 aperture. This is supplemented by a 5MP front facing camera for selfies and video calling. The W2017 is a dual-SIM device with support for 4G LTE networking and includes an always-on display, fingerprint sensor, high speed wireless charging and a full metal chassis complete with support for Samsung Pay. perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the device is the battery capacity, which is a small-sounding 2,300 mAh. However, in most respects, the device has a high end specification that is similar to the Galaxy S family of devices.

The Samsung W2017 is expected to be released soon into the Chinese market, but we do not know the exact date or the cost of the device. However, speculation is that it will be a fairly expensive smartphone that could be somewhere in the region of $3,000, which is considerably more than the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. As such, the W2017 will have a comparatively limited market and is unlikely to be released outside of the Chinese market.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.