Samsung is considering launching the G9198 flip-phone in India at a sticker price of around Rs 50,000, according to distributor sources. That would imply a market operating price of around Rs 45,000 for the device.
The G9198, with a clamshell design, was unveiled earlier this month (Sep 2015) in the Chinese market and has already won the hearts of many would-be buyers.
The Galaxy class device has two 3.9-inch Super AMOLED displays attached to the ‘top’ cover. The bottom part consists of most of the electronics and the battery.
Each of the displays has 1280 × 768 pixels (just over normal HD) and are protected by Corning Gorilla glass. The phone has 16 GB of storage memory, a MicroSD card slot, and 2 GB of RAM. The main camera is 16 MP, while the selfie-camera is 5 MP.
Battery size is 2.02 Ah and the version of Android running on Samsung’s first Android flip-phone is 5.1.1 out of the box.
Though flip-phones never really caught on in the Indian market, they were as popular as candybar phones in overseas markets — particularly the US and East Asia.
The advantage of a clamshell is the combination of a physical keypad with that of a large display. Moto Razr was the one of the most successful flip-phones ever to be sold in India.
However, with the domination of touch-screens, clamshells became rarer in India as elsewhere.
The launch of the 2015 Samsung phone would add to the trend of physical keypads making a come-back. BlackBerry is planning to launch the ‘Venice‘, its first Android phone — with a 5.8-inch display and a slider keypad — in India soon.
Samsung’s competitor LG has also come up with an Android flip-phone, though the model has been confined to Korea as of now. The device, called LG Wine Smart Jazz, is an entry-level device with a 3.2-inch display.
The G9198 has been reported to have been made with East Asian markets such as China and Japan in mind, with Samsung not planning for a US-debut any time soon. However, the company is exploring the possibility of launching it in India, according to a distributor. The exact name under which the clamshell will be sold in India is not known.