Flip phones may not be as popular now as they had been a decade ago. However, this relatively vintage phone model hasn't really disappeared as there are still those who value the nostalgic sound it makes every time it is flipped close. That is especially true on some Asian markets.
For LG, the nostalgia is very much alive as the South Korean device maker has just unveiled LG Gentle, a new flip phone that runs the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop OS out of the box.
What the LG Gentle offers
LG is one of the few companies that are still launching this kind of form factor. Several months ago, it released LG Ice Cream Smart-another flip phone model. While that handset has a distinct playful appearance, the new LG Gentle exhibits a more formal façade.
Unlike other flip phones that offer a smaller screen on the outside, LG's latest offering only sports a single 3.2-inch, 320x480 resolution, LCD display. That results to a modest 181ppi pixel density. Superficially, the LG Gentle may not look like much, but on the inside the device is actually being run by a quad-core, 1.1GHz Snapdragon 210 chipset partnered with an Adreno 304 GPU. It comes with a decent 1GB worth of RAM and a 4GB internal storage which is expandable via microSD.
The new flip phone has a 3-megapixel main camera supported with LED flash and VGA (0.3MP) front shooter. It's packed with a 1,700mAh removable battery, 4G LTE support, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. For those wondering how Gentle will feel on their hands, the phone weighs 143 grams and measures 117.7x58.7x16.6mm.
A "less functional" smartphone
Upon gazing at those details, it's now obvious that the LG Gentle flip phone isn't that revolutionary, specs-wise. Nonetheless, there are still who can swear that they'll choose a flip phone over touchscreen smartphones any day. For instance, many businesspeople or workers in the corporate world prefer them over more sophisticated phones because they are less distracting. Another example is that when users have a flip phone next to their bed, they'll be less likely to tap away on their email or Facebook. Moreover, distractions caused by the screen lighted up by notifications will be minimized.
Having said those, the LG Gentle is indeed powered by Android Lollipop, a smartphone operating system. It means that it is still able of doing lots of things smartphones are capable of. So it's not really the perfect phone for people who long for zero distractions.
LG has only made Gentle available in its native South Korea. It's tagged with a KRW 200,000 price (approximately 170 USD) and comes in Burgundy and Navy color variants. There is no word on whether the new flip phone will ever reach the US, Europe or other Western countries, at least not yet. Nevertheless, it's interesting to know that a major device manufacturer like LG continue to release flip phones and that there's a market thrilled and willing enough to buy them.