All of Samsung’s premium smartphone releases for 2018 have been done, they had a phenomenal lineup this year including the Galaxy S9 series and the Note series. But not a lot of people know about this, Samsung actually has a premium flip-phone lineup exclusively for China.
Samsung released their first premium Android flip-phone named W2017 on December 2016 in China. The W2017 had loaded specs at that time, with the Snapdragon 820, 4GBs of ram and a 4.20 inch 1080p display, but at a very premium price of 3000$ USD. They even released a follow up in December 2017, the Samsung W2018 which had the Snapdragon 835, a similar display but with 6GBs of ram, although at a lower price point of 2000$ USD.
So there’s a strong possibility that we will see the launch of Samsung W2019 for China this December. At this point we only have some rumors reported by XDA
Samsung W2019 is testing.
— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) September 5, 2018
A Chinese leaker on Twitter was the first one to mention anything about the W2019. He also reported that the upcoming Samsung W2019 would be codenamed “Project Lykan” and it would sport dual cameras. SamMobile also mined the firmware build named W2019ZCU0ARI1, which again hints at the 2018 flip-phone from Samsung.
XDA then mined the Kernel Source Code of the Galaxy S9 and found many mentions of Lycan, including mentions in file systems. As I stated above, Lycan is rumored to be the codename for the W2019, so this further cements the possibility of a launch this year.
The flip-phones from Samsung have always used the latest tech available, infact the W2018 was the first phone to use a physical dual aperture camera, which was even before the launch of the S9 plus. So some specific features might carry over to the Samsung S10 next year. Flip-phones are certainly a niche catagory in smartphones now, so the possibility of a global launch is very low.
The W2019 from Samsung, if it launches this year, will definitely be priced at a premium. Although Samsung did slash the retail price of the W2018 compared to it’s predecessor the W2017, making it more accessible. So there’s a small possibility that Samsung reduces the launch price further. Confirmed launch dates, pricing and specs will only be available after Samsung’s official announcement.