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Flip phones are making a comeback

I can't believe I'm writing about a flip phone in 2017, but lo and behold, here we are.

What you see here is Samsung's Galaxy Folder 2, a flip phone with a 3.8-inch display that's sandwiched in between a large keypad and an outward-facing metal shell. There are also separate shortcut buttons for quickly accessing contacts, text messages, social channels, and the camera app — just like on the flip phones or yore — in addition to physical Android navigation buttons.

Inside, the Galaxy Folder 2 is a 1.4GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Fret not about the limited storage space, however, as there's an additional expansion slot along with a 1950mah battery powering the entire thing.

Unfortunately, even if you wanted to buy this thing for a giggle, you'd have to contend with its year-old, outdated software. The Galaxy Folder 2 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is so old. It's also equipped with 15 special ringtones that, according to a translation of the Korean-written press release, "focus on the audible spectrum of the middle-aged people."

The Galaxy Folder 2 is only available in South Korea at present. However, it got us thinking: is what's happening overseas an indication of what's coming to the mainstream phone market? Are we due for a resurgence of cellphones past? Has nostalgia officially caught up enough that it's affecting technology, too? What do you think?

Florence Ion is an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

39 Comments
  • I'm guessing that since this isn't Samsung's first Android flip phone, it's not really a sign of anything.
  • Not in most markets anyways, they sell well enough in some.
  • I'd love a flip phone.
  • LG has a flip phone out now. Seems like a perfect time for a comeback for the BlackBerry Style: http://www.gsmarena.com/blackberry_style_9670-3326.php
  • The Style was a nice BB. Sadly it was wasted by only being offered on Sprint.
  • No it wasn't cause I'm enjoying one
  • i actually switched to Sprint at the time for the Style, and Sprint sucked so bad it soured my experience
  • I had a BB Pearl Flip on Verizon that I really liked. It was a more slender version of the Style but with the Pearl keyboard instead of the full QWERTY keyboard.
  • Here in the USA there won't be a market for them. At least nothing worth while...
  • There is a market for them, but it's not huge. I have friends in a few different security sensitive jobs, some civilian, some military, who can have phones on the job but only dumb feature phones. And NO CAMERAS ALLOWED.
    There are very few models to choose from.
  • Are you kidding me? I have several in my immediate and extended family over the age of 60 that refuse a touch screen or BlackBerry qwerty keyboard. They are content to tap out Morse code on a 12 key. Unfortunately, when their devices give out it is getting harder and harder to find a viable replacement that isn't a hunk of junk. Jitterbug is not an option since they are not supported or offered by major US carriers. The US is an untapped market for Samsung here.
  • "Galaxy Folder 2 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is so old. "
    Millennial much?
  • That is old for Android enthusiasts, so that comment has nothing to do with millennials.
  • Some people just have to find something in nothing.
  • But still newer than the version of Android running on about 70% of phones.
  • I guess you didn't sense the sarcasm..
  • Perhaps it is a perfect time to reintroduce a good flip phone. People are fed up with never ending upgrades and having features that they really don't want to use or not being able to, not to mention, not wanting to buy a smartphone just for phone calls. There are millions of people worldwide who don't want to be connected 24-7 to the web.. The main requirements for a flip phone is signal quality, and a great battery for standby time and usage and durability. If it has a adequate camera and good keyboard so much the better.. Mac
  • You're thinking of a feature phone. Remember, even though the design is flip phone, it's still an Android phone and will experience the same issues that normal Android devices have.
  • I don't think anything is stopping people from continuing to use their flip phones. Just the other day I saw a man using a Motorola RAZR 2.
  • Much smaller chance of damage from a drop is a nice plus for flip phones. I could get on board with one of these.
  • No God No.
  • Oh god yes
  • It's not so crazy to imagine for me, my father already has a LG Wine Smart, he likes to have physical keys and navigate the contact list with them, the green calling key to start the call and the red one for finishing it, he doesn't know what the hell Android is and totally doesn't care, and I can keep his contact list updated without issue from the Google Contacts website. The combination of Android + flip phone is awesome for some type of old people, would buy this thing for him again.
  • They never stopped making them in Asia. I remember reading about one for Japan about 6 months ago, and it said they're still pretty popular in certain countries.
  • Exactly...some of these Android sites seem so oblivious to the rest of the world.
  • My preferences would be durability, battery, robust speaker phone and ear speaker.
  • I remember grousing because I had to charge my Razr flip phone once a week. My candy bar Nokia used to last two weeks.
  • I want this!
  • Give me NFC/Samsung pay and it would be a good everyday phone. Easy to carry, familiar ergonomics. Toss is the same camera as the S8 and I might drop some money on it.
  • Flip phones never went out of style in Asia...
  • I wish it could be bought locally I canceled my eBay order
  • Really need a BB priv 2 right now
  • I'd use it, but going to to texting on that old numpad might kill me.
  • I owned and used flip phones for years: BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 and before that Nokia 6101 and Nokia 6085. My most vivid memories of them involve staring at a tiny 2 inch screen and suffering from "texting thumb". Their legacy are a bunch of blurry VGA resolution photos and videos.
  • I think the old crippled do-hardly-anything keyboard makes this worth a "Hmph" and hardly more than that. Now, if that had made it flip HORIZONTALLY and put in fully qwerty buttons on the keyboard half, that might really be something! Instead? What they came out with is something that hardly anyone will look at, other than Fred Flintstone luddites with nostalgia toward much harder to use phones who might look at it for 10 seconds instead of one.
  • texting on this phone isn't that bad I got pretty damned good when I had my flip wish I could use my Krazor on Sprint
  • I think the old crippled do-hardly-anything keyboard makes this worth a "Hmph" and hardly more than that. Now, if that had made it flip HORIZONTALLY and put in fully qwerty buttons on the keyboard half, that might really be something! Instead? What they came out with is something that hardly anyone will look at, other than Fred Flintstone luddites with nostalgia toward much harder to use phones who might look at it for 10 seconds instead of one.
  • I prefer a flip phone over a slab device. I hope one hits the US soon I would switch asap.
  • I know of a few people who would prefer a simple flip-phone that place and take calls and nothing else. Hell, sometimes with the issues I have with my Note 4, I wish I still had my Motorola StarTac 3000. The only problem I had with that phone was the battery dying, and I would simply pop out the dead battery, pop in a fresh one and continue talking.