Samsung China on Friday announced the Samsung W2018, its latest Android-powered flip phone which the company already started teasing earlier this month and one that has already been extensively leaked online. Despite numerous reports and rumors, Samsung managed to keep one surprise a secret until the very launch of the W2018, having just debuted a smartphone with a camera lens that has the lowest f-stop in the mobile industry at f/1.5. The LG V30 and Huawei Mate 10 lineups released earlier this year both utilize at least one lens with an aperture of f/1.6, yet Samsung managed to outdo both manufacturers by installing the 12-megapixel rear sensor of the W2018 behind an even brighter lens.
The inclusion of an f/1.5 glass module into the W2018 allows the handset to open its lens even wider, allowing additional light to hit the 1.4μm sensor in any given period of time compared to a camera with a narrower aperture. The Android flip phone should consequently have excellent performance in low-light scenarios, in addition to being able to deliver a more natural bokeh effect when shooting portraits or close-ups. The South Korean tech giant has yet to provide any sample shots of the W2018 but should do so shortly. The camera software pre-installed on the W2018 is also powered by some unspecified artificial intelligence services and can automatically switch the phone's aperture in a range between f/1.5 and f/2.5, the company said. Bixby is also part of the package, being compatible with a wide variety of China-exclusive third-party apps and boasting other highly localized features which Samsung already detailed earlier this month after officially debuting its AI assistant in the Far Eastern country. No firm release date has yet been attached to the W2018 and the same goes for its official price tag, though rumors put it at up to $2,000 due to its high-end specs and a niche target market.
Besides a premium camera, Samsung's latest offering comes packed with the Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal flash memory, two 4.2-inch FHD panels, and a USB Type-C port, as well as a 5-megapixel secondary camera. The device runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Samsung Experience out of the box and should be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo next year. A model with 256GB of storage was also previously certified in China but Samsung has yet to mention it in any capacity.