LG's Lollipop-powered flip phone goes global as the Wine Smart

Late last month, LG announced the Gentle, a flip phone running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The manufacturer is known to launch several clamshell phones in its home market, with the handsets usually restricted to South Korea. That's changed with the Gentle, as LG is now stating that it will make the Gentle — which will be branded the LG Wine Smart — available in select markets around the world later this month, starting with France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Kazakhstan, Japan and the United Kingdom.

LG mentions that the Wine Smart is designed for a "generation of users who are more accustomed to the feel of flip phones." The phone features a 3.2-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 320, quad-core 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210 CPU, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal memory, microSD slot, 3MP camera at the back, front VGA shooter and a 1,700mAh battery. The handset also offers LTE connectivity, although there isn't a mention of the specific bands supported. On the software front, the Wine Smart runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out of the box.

Pricing wasn't announced, but the Gentle retails for the equivalent of $170 in South Korea, so it is likely LG will be targeting the sub-$200 segment with the Wine Smart in international markets. Would you be interested in getting one?


Flip Phone with Android Lollipop Supports the Latest Apps and Multimedia Functions

SEOUL, Aug. 5, 2015 ― LG Electronics (LG) brings global consumers with its newest hybrid smartphone designed especially for a generation of users who are more accustomed to the feel of flip ― also known as folder or clamshell ― phones. Originally announced in the domestic Korean market as LG Gentle, the all-new LG Wine Smart will make its international debut later this month in target countries including France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Kazakhstan, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The Wine Smart combines the familiarity of a folder phone with an easy-to-use touchscreen and the connectivity and power of a smartphone. Thanks to the positive response to the original Wine Smart introduced in Korea last year, LG optimized the latest model with more advanced multimedia features to make the transition from feature phone to smartphone as seamless as possible.

The new LG Wine Smart is powered by Android Lollipop 5.1.1 to run the latest apps without complaint. To truly optimize the new Wine Smart for flip phone fans, LG included a large physical 3x4 numeric keypad for easy and accurate typing and hotkeys that provide instant access to frequently used features such as phone dialer, address book, text messages or camera. Larger-than-normal icons take full advantage of the 3x3 home screen layout on the crisp 3.2-inch HVGA display. The Wine Smart includes LG's Safety Care feature which can be set to automatically transmit emergency alerts and real-time location to pre-selected contacts whenever the user needs immediate assistance.

"Our goal with LG Wine Smart was to create a smartphone that fans of flip phones could embrace," said Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications for LG Mobile Communications Company. "Consumers shouldn't have to miss out on the smartphone revolution because they prefer a particular phone design over another. With LG Wine Smart, they won't have to."

Prices and carrier details will be announced locally at the time of launch.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.