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Samsung's new ultra-premium flip phone launched in China with f/1.5 aperture camera and Bixby

Samsung has unveiled its latest luxury clamshell phone at an event in Xiamen, China, and it’s an absolute monster.

Published onDecember 1, 2017

Samsung has unveiled its latest ultra-premium clamshell phone at an event in Xiamen, China, and it’s an absolute monster. As is usually the case with Samsung’s flagship “flip phones”, the W2018 will only retail in Asia and is expected to cost upwards of $2,000.

The South Korean giant’s new W-series phone is a successor to last year’s W2017, not the Leader 8 which was announced just a few months ago. The W2018’s launch also marks the range’s tenth anniversary, as well as Samsung’s 25th in the Chinese market in general.

As for the phone itself, we’re looking at an unmistakably high-end device built from a combination of metal and glass. It comes in two colors – Elegant Gold and Platinum – and weighs in at 247 g. For some context, that’s significantly heavier than both the Galaxy S8 (155 g) and Galaxy Note 8 (195 g).

The W2018 sports a pair of 4.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen displays, each with a 1080 x 1920 resolution. For those that prefer a more traditional clamshell experience, the phone also features a full keypad and navigational buttons.

Like its recent Galaxy S siblings, the device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset backed by a chunky 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage (expandable up to 256 GB). It also comes with a dual-sim slot, a 2,300 mAh battery, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and Samsung’s Bixby assistant (and yes, it does have a dedicated Bixby button).

As well as becoming the first clamshell phone to feature a digital assistant, the W2018 also claims a much more impressive ‘world first’ thanks to its rear 12 MP camera. While that doesn’t sound too exciting at a glance, the juicy part is the single sensor’s f/1.5 aperture – the lowest we’ve seen to date on a mobile phone, beating out the LG V30’s f/1.6 camera aperture. What’s even more exciting is it has a dual aperture lens, capable of switching between f/1.5 and f/2.4.

On the downside, the luxury phone only runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, although Samsung promised that an update to Oreo (8.0) is on the way in 2018.

What do you make of the Samsung W2018 and its bizarre mix of high-end specs, extravagant design, and old school form factor? Let us know in the comments.

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