Samsung Electronics is set to release a premium flip phone, estimated to be worth 3 million won ($276,000), in China later this month.
According to the global tech giant, Wednesday, Samsung and China Telecom held an event last week to unveil the W2018 — the 10th anniversary device of its high-end flip-style W Series that was first released in 2008.
Although Samsung has yet to confirm the price of the device, the China-exclusive phone is expected to be priced higher than the previous edition, the W2017, which had a price tag of 20,000 yuan (3.3 million won).
“The price for the new model will be set soon,” a Samsung official said.
Although the retro-inspired W2018 is nostalgic of old flip phones of the 1990s and the early 2000s, the phone fills the bill, featuring modern technology on par with that of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 and Note 8 smartphones, both of which were unpacked earlier this year.
The flip phone, with dual 4.2-inch full-HD AMOLED displays, is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and comes with 6GB RAM and either 64GB or 256GB of internal storage. It also packs a 2300mAh battery.
Virtual assistant Bixby, with its dedicated button to summon it, and a fingerprint reader at the rear are also available on the W2018 like on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Last month, Samsung began to support a Chinese version of its artificial intelligence program.
The phone will come in gold and platinum and run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
However, the most impressive feature of the brand new flip phone is its camera.
The W2018 features a 12-megapixel rear camera with the widest ever aperture of f1.5 on a smartphone, which allows users to capture sharper images in low light conditions.
The camera automatically switches to f2.4 aperture when there is enough light.
When it comes to aperture, the lower the f-stop number, the sharper a picture will appear.
It also has a 5-megapixel front camera.
There is widespread speculation that Samsung may take the camera technology to the upcoming Galaxy S9, which is anticipated to be released in February or March of next year.
Meanwhile, Samsung said there is no chance that consumers outside China will get their hands on the W2018 phone.
“As the W line has been a China-exclusive, we do not have any plans to release the W2018 in other countries,” the official said.