The flip phone is back with the LG Wine Smart

LG has announced a new phone that evokes memories of a pre-iPhone era, the LG Wine Smart.

Remember when flip phones were cool? If you’re struggling to remember, it was in the days before phones got smart, back in the early to mid-noughties. Phones like those of the popular Motorola Razr range.

Some nations continue to lap up such flip phones, but the form is all but defunct in the West.

However, LG has just announced a new flip phone to an international audience. The LG Wine Smart (which was previously launched as the LG Gentle in South Korea) combines modern smartphone features with a decade-old clamshell aesthetic.

This is a decidedly entry-level phone, however. It’s got a 3.2 inch 480 x 320 touch-sensitive display on one internal surface, and a physical T9 keyboard in the other.

Internally, the Wine Smart is powered by a 1.1 GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. There’s a mere 4GB of internal storage, backed by a microSD slot. It also has a 3.2-megapixel camera.

These are lower than low-end specs for a new mid-2015 device. Yet the LG Wine Smart still runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and it still has 4G LTE network connectivity.

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All in all, the LG Wine Smart is a curious blend of old and new, and you might wonder who it’s meant for. LG says that the Wine Smart is “designed especially for a generation of users who are more accustomed to the feel of flip,” but we’d suggest it’s not a generational thing at all.

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Best cheap phones

The Wine Smart seems to be intended for those hold-outs still stubbornly using their old clamshell feature phones. Those who have never made the switch to one of these newfangled smartphones with their unnatural hingeless designs.

We’re expecting to see the LG Wine Smart retail for an extremely wallet-friendly price when it launches later in August. LG is releasing the phone across a disparate spread of “target countries,” including France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Kazakhstan and Japan.

Take a look at our hands-on with what could be the best cheap smartphone yet in the following video: