You must admit you feel cool when you pick up a clamshell phone, flip it open, answer the call, and close it with a loud flop. Now, there are some Android phones that mix the best of both worlds: new Android operating system and old clamshell phones.
Clamshell flip-flop Android phonesDale Davies ▼ Saturday May 10, 2014 6:01PM ET
Samsung clamshell mobile phones SM-G9098 was certified in China and there's no doubt it will take a piece of that far east market. The phone has two displays, the first the usual one that becomes visible when you open the device. The second display is on the outside and displays information as any other candy bar phone. Both 3.67-inches displays have a 800×480 resolution. Inside there is a quad-core processor at 2.3GHz and 2GB of memory. The phone is based on Android 4.3. So, specification are very good and we would like to see that device in other countries too.
Samsung's Galaxy Golden is very elegant and in fact it can serve as a status symbol. It has two screens, one on the front, one on the inside, and an old-school physical number pad and five-way navigation pad. It features 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 and 1.5GB of memory, so so don't expect the speed of light but it's fast enough for all usual tasks, from making calls to answering emails. Displays are 800×480 AMOLED touchscreens, which means excellent colors although we would like to see a bit higher resolution.
Philips Xenium W9588 is another clamshell Android phone aimed to take a piece of the Chinese market. A very nicely designed device features a 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, along with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. The company said their phone has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a high-capacity 2400 mAh Li-Ion battery. We don't know on which version of Android W9588 runs. It is a bit expensive, slightly more then $800, but with such technical specifications there's no doubt it will find its customers.
Sharp SH7218U looks like a classic mobile phone designed in Japan. If you don't like Japanese tech you won't like it but we think it looks great. It features an 8.0 MP camera featuring a flash and auto-focus mode, multi-touch operating mode, a 600 MHz processor, and Android operating system. For music lovers and video watchers, there are a 3.5 mm audio jack and USB connectivity, so music or video can be listened to and enjoyed, as well as downloaded onto the phone or uploaded to a computer. There is also 512 MB of memory.
So, are clamshell Android phones a desperate attempt to mix two distinct worlds? No, not at all. For some people it's much easier to type on a physical keyboard (for example, yours truly), you can enjoy best of both worlds, there is a spirit of the past, but also the new operating system. We think this combination is very good. ■