We first caught wind of what would become the W2019 back in October, but following a launch event on Friday, Samsung has finally, officially brought its latest and greatest flip phone to market.
Talking about flip phones in 2018 seems like a strange notion, with most flagship smartphones opting for candy bar designs with larger screens and smaller bezels or notches. The W2019 doesn’t even place itself in the fight, treading its own path with a distinctly old-school form factor.
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Despite this, in some regions, such as the W2019’s launch market of China, there’s still a place for the flip phone, especially when the device in question is crammed with flagship hardware comparable to any of 2018’s best handsets.
The W2019 features a physical numerical keypad and navigation keys, positioned under a 4.2-inch, 16:9 Full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display. Close the phone and you’re met with yet another similarly-specced 4.2-inch screen, meaning most of the phone’s functionality is possible without actually opening the handset up; a useful bonus when you consider how insanely tall this phone is when open.
Internals include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB (Extreme Edition) or 256GB (Premium Edition) of internal storage, plus microSD expandability if you choose not to use the phone’s secondary SIM card slot. There’s also USB-C charging and a 3070mAh battery onboard but no mention of wireless charging.
On the back, you’ll find a similar dual aperture, 12-megapixel dual sensor camera to that of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, while there’s an 8-megapixel front-facer that’s only accessible when you open the phone up. To round out the standard fare of specs, there’s a fingerprint sensor mounted to the side of the phone’s body.
Form-factor aside, Samsung doesn’t treat the W2019 like a conventional handset. It comes in rose gold or platinum (with studded gems within the frame of the latter). The Android 8.1 Oreo-based software experience looks decidedly familiar to most other current Samsung smartphones, with unique features like Bixby in tow, however, as with previous W-Series Sammys, the W2019 offers users an in-built concierge service (activated by long-pressing the ‘8’ key − the luckiest number in Chinese culture).
The phone also comes with discounted screen and battery replacement, free software fixes, phone disinfection, and a dedicated customer support phone line.
Even the box the W2019 comes in is a cut above the rest, with inlaid ornamental wooden elements, plus the Premium Edition also boasts tuned AKG headphones.
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With such an emphasis on luxury, you’d expect the W2019 to be a pricey device and in reality, it doesn’t disappoint. The Samsung W2019 is being sold exclusively by China Unicom, starting at a whopping 18,999 Chinese Yuan (equivalent to around $2700 or £2100), with pre-orders in place from November 9.
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