03 Sep The Return of the Flip-Phone
Remember in Star Trek the original series the communicator device, it was a flip device, much like the original clamshell handsets that were all the rage in the later nineties, when cellular mobile phones were famous. Back in the seventies, there was a GTE flip phone, but it was Motorola that came out with the StarTAC in 1996 – you see what they did there with the name – and started a trend they continued with the RAZR. Nokia also released a clamshell design model that became the Nokia Communicator series, which they very soon abandoned until 2004, when Nokia finally came out with a true flip phone design, the Nokia 6170 and the Nokia 2650. One of the most popular flip phones was the Ericsson T39, which was a true flip phone, where the keyboard was covered by the part that flip-opened to reveal the microphone.
There were, since then, several clamshell and flip phone models available, but none made any impact, until Samsung released a dual screen clamshell model, the Samsung W999 in 2012, even before the more noticed Samsung I9230 in 2013. Later, in 2015 Samsung released the Galaxy Folder, which has only one screen, but runs on Android 5.1. All of the above smartphones in clamshell design were flops, due to the high price. Now LG is releasing a truly interesting version of the flip phone, single display 3.2 inches screen with only 1 GB RAM and 4 GB storage plus microSD. The LG Wine Smart is actually a clamshell flip phone, but contrary to the ridiculous pricing of the Samsung Folder is priced like an entry level phone.
Truly something for the nostalgic people of yesteryear, but stylish and cool in design, the LG Wine will most assuredly find plenty of interest, particularly because of the price and the features, including the IPS LCD touchscreen. It is by no means a top level smartphone, despite running on Android 5.1.1, but there is something about these Star Trek style phones, which is oddly appealing. Where Samsung clearly overacts with dual screens and unwarranted specs, such as 16 GB storage and 1.5 GB RAM in the I9230 Galaxy Golden, the LG Wine is shining with just about enough in order to keep the price grounded.