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Galaxy Golden: Samsung’s New Android Clamshell Phone

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Remember the times when the phones actually were different from each other. A time when 5 people in a room could take out 5 phones with 5 different chargers and 5 different looks. One phone might be a candybar, while another one a slider phone. A phone might swivel when being opened while someone might flip his phone open. And of course there was the Nokia communicator which was doing something else altogether. It was a flip phone with two screens!

Then came the new era of smartphones and here we are all of us having candybar smartphones with 1mm thinner the biggest morphological advancement possible.

It is not that companies did not try. There were slider Smartphones (Xperia Mini Pro) and similar attempts but as the need for physical keyboard dwindled so did the need for any other shape of phone. Designs are more synthetically different than being radically different.

Samsung is giving another try to a new format, this time clamshell being the choice of design. The phone is called Samsung Galaxy Golden.

The phone itself will have the following specifications:

  • 3.7” WVGA Super AMOLED display
  • 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Android 4.2
  • Bluetooth, LTE, NFC etc.
  • Physical Keyboard

The phone will be launched in South Korea initially and depending on its response will find its way out.

galaxy_golden

There are a few things of note here. One is the specifications. They are strictly mid-ranged. This obviously means the phone would not cost very much and shows that Samsung is very cautious with this phone.

Unlike the Note series where Samsung gambled in the high end, it has little confidence in this phone. I fear that this might become one of the reasons for its doom. Dell launched the first phablet but because of poor specs it fell flat upon users but now, the phablets are a rage primarily starting from the initial Note.

The second is that the phone is being launched in South Korea only. This shows that it is just a wild experiment by Samsung and if it succeeds then Samsung will seriously consider the clamshell form factor.

The company has grown enough to have more than a few failure phones and it has made them bold in their experiments. And it is good to see that they are taking the risks.

The third is the obvious presence of the physical keyboard. They have taken a beating for the good now and I do not think they will find themselves coming back. And this is the phone’s biggest liability. I maybe having a fanciful thought here but I strongly think that a phone with two screens (maybe one is limited in some ways to make it cost and battery efficient) would make more sense.

For me, clamshells or any other form factors are fine till they open to a new screen and do not hold on to the old idea of physical keyboard. Maybe this should be the next step of innovation after companies are tired of beefing up their phones.

What do you think about the phone? Do you find yourself holding a flip phone if it has all the features of your traditional Android phone?

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