Two seemingly official press renders depicting what’s said to be the new LG Folder Android flip phone leaked online on Friday, having been obtained by industry insider Roland Quandt. The images that can be seen in the gallery below show a black and rose gold variant of the upcoming handset that’s understood to be aimed at the elderly, featuring a traditional T9 keypad ennobled with the addition of a physical FM radio key. The same source claims the handset will be equipped with a 3-inch screen supporting a WQVGA resolution of 360 by 240 pixels amounting to a 3:2 aspect ratio. A MediaTek-made chip with a maximum operating frequency of 1.1GHz is also part of the package, as is 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal flash storage, though it’s presently unclear whether the flip phone will sport a microSD card slot, as per the same source.
The LG Folder will reportedly be equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1,470mAh battery which is likely to be user-removable. The handset is said to be running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, suggesting it will never receive a major operating system upgrade, whereas its entry-level nature also makes the possibility of any kind of security patches dubious. It’s presently unclear why LG is opting to ship such a low-end offering with an outdated version of Android given the existence of Android Go and the fact that its relationship with Google has been strengthening in recent years, both in terms of hardware and software. The South Korean OEM made last year’s Pixel 2 XL flagship and is also expected to be involved in the development of the Pixel 3 lineup, whereas it’s simultaneously integrating the Google Assistant into its devices in a more aggressive manner and is also supporting Google’s AI ecosystem in the smart speaker segment.
The LG Folder is likely to become available for purchase in parts of Europe and other markets in the coming months. LG won’t be the only company releasing an Android Marshmallow-powered smartphone in 2018, with Emporia Telecom planning to do the same, also with a device that’s targeted at the elderly.