Flippin' nostalgia: 5 modern Android clamshells and sliders with fine specs
posted by Daniel P.
Nov 10, 2015, 8:14 AM
We ought to give it to them, flip phones and side-sliders were great in their heydays. From the unfolding to take a call, and have the lower half next to your lips, while the upper part reaches your ear - you know, like a real phone - to the reassuring click when you close it that tangibly marks the end of a call, flip phones have a certain aura about them that can't be recreated by today's large, flat pieces of toaster bread.
Flips are still the rage in Japan and some other Asian countries, and we are certain there are quite a few nostalgically-driven fans who remember the convenience of a flip handset. Well, both Samsung and LG decided to cater exactly to that crowd, but with a modern day Android twist. When asked why is it still making flip phones, LG answered that there are some user categories that benefit - those who mainly talk with their phones, or don't game and use the browser sparingly, those who want theirs kids reachable, but not distracted by apps and games, and the elderly, because of the big physical keypad.
Both Samsung and LG hence updated their flip creations to contemporary Android specs and software, not to mention the likes of Sharp or Fujitsu, which have never stopped making flips and sliders for the discerning Japanese crowd. To those, we now have to add BlackBerry with its fresh and unique Priv handset that puts the term "flagship slider" back in vogue. That is why we are rounding five of the best current sliders and clamshells with fine specs and new Android software, for those who want the best of both worlds - to satiate their nostalgia, and still have the latest and greatest.
With a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chipset and 16 MP camera, Samsung's flip Android is one of the most powerful clamshells ever created, and it runs on Android 5.1.1 fumes, too. The flip comes with two 3.9-inch Super AMOLED panels with 768 by 1280 pixels of resolution, both of them protected by Gorilla Glass 4. There are also a 5 MP front camera, expandable internal storage slot, LTE connectivity, and a 2020 mAh battery. Sadly, it's a model only for Asia still, so you'd have to import.
When it comes to sliders, the BlackBerry Priv is the most potent one ever built. With a curved Quad HD display, high-res 18 MP camera with OIS, a big battery, and the signature physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Priv can take on any of today's Androids, and then some. There is also the inevitable synergy of hardware and software encryption that only the Priv offers for your security needs, so it might not only be appealing to BB fans who have been waiting on the sidelines for a while, but also to corporate IT departments.
With a 13 MP rear camera, quad-core Snapdragon chipset, and Android 4.4, the Sharp Aquos SHF31 is one of the more decked-out flips you can get at the moment. The Touch Cruiser function equips the physical keypad with static sensors, so they follow the movement of your finger, imitating a touchscreen experience. Naturally, you'd have to import the flip via eBay, or one of the numerous Japanese resellers that ship their carriers' phones unlocked abroad.
When asked why is it still making flip phones, LG answered that there are some user categories that benefit - those who mainly talk with their phones, or don't game and use the browser sparingly, those who want theirs kids reachable, but not distracted by apps and games, and the elderly, because of the big physical keypad. Running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, the LG Wine Smart is not as powerful as the previous two, with its quad-core 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210 processor, and only offers a small 3.2-inch display with just 320 x 420 pixels, alongside a traditional numeric keypad with four hotkeys. The smart flip has a 3 MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of expandable storage space, and a 1700 mAh battery. Last but not least, it does have LTE connectivity, despite the unassuming specs.
Samsung is getting ready to announce the third edition in its Golden flip phone line, and the Galaxy Golden 3 already got certified for launch in China. It should sport a 16 MP/5 MP camera set, 3.9-inch screens, both with a 768 x 1280 resolution, and run on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, just like the Samsung SM-G9198, but is expected to be powered by an Exynos 7 Octa, and sport 3 GB of RAM.
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