The clamshell smartphone design was one that seemed like it had disappeared into the archives of technology history, but surprisingly, at the tail-end of 2015, it’s resurfaced. We learned a few days ago that Samsung likely had something like this in the works because of a TENAA certification posting, but now the W2016 Android flip phone been officially unveiled as a swanky-looking bit of kit.
In a frame that looks like it was at least partly inspired by the screen-happy folks in that classic Xhibit hosted TV show, the Samsung W2016 packs not just one 3.9-inch, 1,280 x 768-pixel screen on the interior of its flip-phone design, but a second one on the exterior, too. In the first of several promo shots, that exterior display is used to show a few different clock designs, though presumably more useful data could be put there, too.
Unlike the clamshell designs of old, this one also folds flat to offer a more typical brick phone design, though it does, of course, feature the traditional mechanical keypad, too. It’s something that we haven’t seen since touchscreens began dominating as the smartphone input method of choice.
Internally we know that the W2016 features Samsung’s own Exynos 7420 processor running at 2.1GHz, paired off with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space. Although powerful, this won’t be likely to win any performance awards, but it should mean that when combined with the lower resolution displays and the 2,000mAh battery, time between charges may be surprisingly lengthy, as per PhoneArena.
Software wise, it runs Android’s 5.1.1 Lollipop build and features extras like TouchWiz and fast charging right out of the box. The phone housing is built from a glass-metal mix and will be available in silver and gold versions.
There’s no word yet on a potential release date or price, and whether or not it will even be released in Western countries. We’ve seen folding designs from Samsung in the past that were only made available in Asian markets, so this one could remain there.