Chinese smartphone maker Gionee is reportedly getting closer to releasing a new Android-powered flip phone and more recently, several renders depicting its next device have emerged on the web, showcasing its overall design from various angles. It's worth reminding that the so-called Gionee W919 clamshell phone was approved by TENAA late last year, so its existence has been virtually confirmed regardless of whether or not it will hit the market soon.
As expected, the latest renders seem to be based on the live photos shared by TENAA and present a rather unusual design employing leather on the back panel, as well as a wedge-like shape for the main display's top and bottom bezels. And indeed, the Gionee W919 should feature two displays; one that covers the entire front of the device, and a second panel that can only be viewed when the clamshell is flipped open. According to the Chinese regulatory agency, both panels should have 4.2-inch diagonals and feature a resolution of 1,280 by 720 pixels. Like any other clamshell device, the Gionee W919 also features a physical numerical keyboard reminiscent of a feature phone. Nevertheless, the W919 should fit in the smartphone category given the fact that it runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and as a result, both 4.2-inch panels are expected to be touch-enabled. Finally, the device is said to carry an octa-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of on-board memory. An 8 or 16-megapixel main camera should reside on the back panel, coupled with a 5-megapixel front-facing sensor, and all components are expected to rely on a 3,000mAh battery.
Recent reports from Chinese media outlets suggest the Gionee W919 will launch soon, though it's unclear whether the smartphone will land in other regions beyond China. Contemporary flip phones still enjoy some popularity in certain Asian countries like China and South Korea, and even Samsung continued to release clamshell devices in these regions under the 'Galaxy Folder' moniker, though they haven't seen the light of day in the Western hemisphere. Having said that, Samsung might actually face some competition in the flip smartphone market from Gionee soon, though it remains to be seen whether the Korean tech giant's product strategy changes due to that development.