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Manufacturers experiment with smartphone form factor

BlackBerry's Q10 Gold

Despite the  touchscreen form factor dominating smartphone design since the launch of Apple’s first iPhone, handset vendors are continuing with attempts to bring innovation back to form factor.

Smartphone market leader Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Golden – a flip-phone dual screen smartphone. The Android 4.2 Jelly Bean device has two 3.7-inch displays. It has a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, an 8 megapixel camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera.

The handset will be launched in South Korea but Samsung has not indicated whether or not it will see a wider release. The device follows the launch of the Samsung Hennessy, a lower end smartphone with a similar design, which will initially only be available in China.

Also looking to retro form factors is LG, which is preparing to launch a QWERTY keyboard device in the US with Verizon. The LG Enact has a landscape keyboard which slides out from under its screen.

The device has a 4-inch screen and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. It has a 5-megapixel rear camera and runs on the Android 4.1 operating system. The device will cost Verizon customers $20 on a contract.

And ailing device maker BlackBerry is launching a gold smartphone for the UAE market. It has teamed up with operator Etisalat to launch the device, which is available for AED3,799 ($1,034).

The device also has a QWERTY keypad and is white with a gold-coloured stainless steel frame. It has all the other features of the Q10, such as a 3.1 inch display, 8-Megapixel camera and a 1.5GHz processor. It runs on the BlackBerry 10 OS.

Handsets deviating from  the most popular flat touchscreen form factor have not proven too successful in recent times with Apple’s iPhone devices and Samsung’s Galaxy S series currently dominating the market.


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