• Is there a Western market for Android flip phones?

    By Josh , June 26, 2017 - Leave a comment

    Unless you live in an Adele video, most Western consumers would be forgiven for considering flip phones a dead form factor. However it remains popular further afield.

    It might be a fashion thing. Perhaps there’s an affinity for typing graphic languages on physical keys that suits this design. The lower retail cost versus smartphones is also no doubt attractive in emerging markets too. Whatever the reason, flip-phones have never truly gone away.

    The Samsung Galaxy Folder 2 hit the news last week after being announced in Seoul. Many Western-oriented outlets looked at it with a sort of puzzled interest. Headlines were a touch snarky, boiling down to “Flip Phones – Remember Them LOL?” Yet in Samsung’s native Korea, along with other areas, this is simply an up to date version of a popular design.

    The launch in Korea follows initial sales in China, so Samsung have committed to launching in more than one market. I doubt though that the phone will ever see an official release outside of Asian regions.

    Personally I’d quite like to play with the Folder 2. This is far from a ‘dumb’ or feature phone, although evokes the same sensibilities. I think both the design and ideal it represents have a place.

    Powered by Android 6.0 with a Snapdragon 425, this is a decent mid-tier specification. The small screen though dials back the phone’s capabilities. You won’t be binging GLOW on this.

    Nostalgia meets modern function

    I think the Folder 2 and similar phones would appeal to those caught up in a recent desire for simpler technology. They also do this without completely sacrificing modern conveniences.

    Phones like the new Nokia 3310 caused a disproportionate amount of media hype for a feature phone. Nostalgia seemed to outdo common sense. I wonder just how many potential 3310 customers are actually aware of that particular handset’s limitations (2G only, no Whatsapp or even email etc.)

    There is a reason technology moves steadily forward. Smartphones and the converged communication technology they integrate have changed our world. Yet for many, the ‘superphone’ is an unnecessary extravagance. Even highly-affordable smartphones such as the Moto C are not desired by those who simply don’t want a full touch device.

    The Android flip phone could be the best possible bridge here. This marries a familiar and convenient form factor (it’s very difficult to break the screen!), with enough modernisation to be useful. It also addresses a whole host of accessibility issues for those who find all-touch devices difficult to use.

    So would you be interested in an Android flip phone? Because oddly I think I would…

    Samsung Galaxy Folder 2 flip phones

    Josh

    Josh joined Clove part time a few years ago whilst studying Computing at Bournemouth University. Since finishing his studies he has remained at Clove in a full time position, involved in sales, returns and social media.

    Involved with both consumer electronics and software since the mid 2000s, keeping up to date with industry developments is as much a hobby as it is a job.

    Easy going but never afraid to share an opinion, Josh can often be found in his spare time listening to some heavy rock or at a local gig as well as playing with the latest gadgets and video games.

    Comments

  • Hiya Josh
    There are so many reasons to prefer a flip phone I wonder at the mind set of phone CEO’s.
    If I want to watch a film on a train or on the move I would prefer to use my Tablet or at home my PC.
    My LGK8 is OK but to customise it I have bought a flip wallet to protect it, but I have to unlock the screen when I want use it.My old Motorola G had a fantastic cover which opened up without unlocking or password. Which sounds to me like a Flip Smartphone which works for texts emails facebook messages whats app etc.

  • Back in the day , I was given an old flip phone my first mobile phone . I never really wanted a mobile phone at all but it had become essential for my work . As it happens it was a Samsung and I actually became rather attached to it and did not want to change to a smart phone ! Unfortunately , due to the nature of my work , my phone became waterlogged one night and would not work properly after that . So now I am rather pleased to see the possible return of the flip and could be tempted into a purchase at the right price .

  • I think the main reasons for buying a flip phone in the past were to protect the screen if dropped and to have a slightly smaller phone which would slip easily into a pocket, the same should also apply in todays market.

  • have had cause to be on a lot of building sites lately and I fear for my HTC (if it was an IPhone it would already be dead). I always loved my flips, first an Ericsson, then several Moto’s. Not to forget the butterfly Nokias.

  • My favourite phone was a wee flip phone, I would love to try a newer version, small phones were once the in thing, now its all about how big is your phone. Be interesting to see if they do come to the uk

  • Hi Josh
    The simple answer is Totally not Interested, it’s really a bit like harking back to yester year for vinal records, people brag about the feel of vinal as if it was something new, how about an 8 track cassette, I’m old enough to remember them but do I want one No. Flip phones will no doubt have their fans which creates a very small market but remember tube tv”s, they produced perfect blacks as all 3 guns could be switched off, now the nearest thing to a perfect black is an oled TV but we not going back to tube tv”s. Flip phones have to be flipped to open, people are lazy so will not be bothered so nostalgia apart, it’s a big no from me, other folks will of course have a different opinion
    Tim

  • This would suit me. Not so much for the flip aspect but for the physical keyboard. I have always had blackberry because I prefer a physical keyboard for two reasons – I can use two thumbs and type faster rather than one finger on a touch screen, also its easier to text with one hand on a physical keyboard – for me anyway! The Blackberry Priv I now have is too large for my liking so yes this would suit me perfectly and I would definitely have one.

  • I am 86 and struggle with modern smartphones. But Id rather continue struggling ( and get there in the end) than go back to older technology. OK for the retro fiends, but I never was one of them.

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