Update: Samsung has launched a new version of its fliphone - called the SM-G9298/Leadership 8 (opens in new tab)- and I want it as much as the older version of the handset that this piece was originally written about in May 2017.
Original: It’s 2017 and Samsung is still making flip-phones – the thing is, this new one looks exciting. Yeah, you read that right, it's an exciting flip-phone, and I want it. Right now.
Samsung's W2017 features two 4.2-inch OLED screens, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chip, 64GB of storage, a 2,300mAh battery, 12MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing shooter.
That’s some remarkably good spec considering most people think of 2004's Moto Razr V3 - with its 2.2-inch screen, 680mAh battery and a VGA camera - when you say flip-phone.
The W2017 was announced at the tail-end of 2016, but we’ve now heard rumors of a release in Korea - but sadly there’s still no sign of it coming to the US, UK or Australia.
These high-end flip-phone devices never usually make it out of Asian markets, and that's a big shame for those who want something a little different.
I want those two OLED screens on my phone. The front screen suggests you'll be able to interact with the phone easily without having to flip it out.
Then when I want to text or use further apps, I'll be able to flip the phone open and feel that physical click of the top screen locking into place. This feeling is the thing I miss most from the first generation of foldable phones.
There's a Snapdragon 430 chipset inside this phone, which makes me doubt its performance credentials, and even though Samsung has packed in 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage it still doesn't feel like the powerhouse I'd hoped for.
Still, it should work as well as most modern affordable smartphones, and if slightly slower apps and less impressive gaming is the price to pay for a flip device, it's worth it in my mind.
Samsung hasn't skimped on top-end features (chipset aside), with a fingerprint scanner, wireless charging and Samsung Pay all on board - but it doesn't have the Galaxy S8's iris scanner or Bixby smart assistant. I can live without those though.
In a time when most high-end phones look very similar, it’s great to see Samsung continuing to push top spec devices in a classic form factor.
This is the phone I'd want. It looks different to everything else. The LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8 boast best-in-class design, but this flip-phone offers something no other handset can offer right now.
There's clearly a clamor for older form factor devices too. The web went wild at the announcement of the new Nokia 3310 despite it being a low-spec, not-even-3G rehash of a classic phone.
What Samsung is offering with the W2017 is a reminder of an older form factor that I love, but you also get the features you need from a modern smartphone, and I love that even more.
I don't always want a curved Samsung phone or a large flat slate in their pocket, and why should I lose all the best features on my phone because I want something different? Please Samsung, release this phone outside of Asia.
Via CNET (opens in new tab)