Flip phones are still pretty huge in the Asian market. And I don't mean the standard freebies you can get on contract elsewhere, I'm talking big-screen, full-OS, powerful flip phones that still use the old T9 dialpad layout. Samsung is hoping to get a piece of that pie with the Android-powered Hennessy (SCH-W789), a flip phone with dual 3.3" screens and Android 4.1. It's currently set for a Chinese release, though an exact price or date isn't available.


The configuration is pretty standard, with the added convenience of a full-sized external screen to make the phone easy to use when the clamshell is closed. The screens aren't all that dense at 480x320, but at that size, they don't have to be. On the external screen the standard Samsung capacitive keys are on the bottom, which the internal screen moves to a 2x2 grid around a 4-way directional pad. There's also a dedicated button for the GSM/CDMA dual-SIM function (a popular feature of Chinese phones). Inside the Hennessy gets a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1500mAh battery, and a 5MP rear camera (it looks like there's no front-facing cam) plus a MicroSD card slot.


There's almost no chance that the Hennessy will be released outside Asia, at least at the moment. But it does serve as a perfect illustration of Android's continuing reach into lower-priced markets and exotic form factors. I know there are more than a few Android users who would love to use a T9 pad for old-school text input - would any of you buy this thing, or something similar, if it was available in your country?

P.S. What's up with that name? An Irish surname for a French cognac on a Chinese phone from a Korean manufacturer? Huh?

Source: Samsung via PocketLint

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Anthony Evans

    as stupid as it is I can see it doing well in the US of A if they ever decided to bring it here

    • Zach B.

      It's like giving the finger over the phone.

      • Anthony Evans

        yup my mother in law could actually use this phone!

  • Omar Al Matar

    So it's an N93 with android? :v

  • SublimeKnight

    Hennessy, because you have to be drunk to buy it.

    • Frekko

      dude not any sane person would buy this even when heavily drunk

    • Merri Mogridge

      "Today, the company of Jas Hennessy & Co. sells about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, or more than 40 percent of the world’s Cognac, making it the world's largest Cognac producer."

  • zorak19620

    The only reason I would buy this would be to get the satisfaction of hanging up on someone by closing the phone really fast. You just don't get that satisfaction with smartphones these days...

    • idi

      Now you have to move the phone away from your face, and then spend 20 seconds pressing the hang up button. Just doesn't have the same affect

      • PhoenixPath

        accessibility - Power button ends call

        (Depending opn the placement of the power-button, this may or may not cause issues.)

        • idi

          I've turned this off. I pressed it too many times by accident whilst i was on the phone

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    I would prefer clamshell phone without T9 dialpad - I do not ever need to type any number, everything is in address book. Why don't they put a QWERTY keyboard stacked in 6 rows with 5 keys each? Or a crazy third touchscreen? Samsung is able to release crazy ideas, when it makes a bit of effort.

    • Ryan O’Neill

      I'd like to see what your "QWERTY" keyboard looks like with 5 keys in each row.

    • t-bon3

      You may not remember how well T9 works, 3 key presses will get you straight to most contacts in your address book.
      Try the CM10 dialer and imagine using this on a physical keypad. Plus the fact that people in Asian markets make a LOT more voice calls than westerners.

  • solbin

    Should have had a horizontal hinge instead of vertical, and put a full keyboard there instead of the standard 9 buttons.

  • rootusr

    Hello 90's!

  • Simon Belmont

    What GSM bands does it support? You could technically import one and use it.

    My guess is only EDGE/GPRS would work, though. Just a thought.

    • Joseph Fallon

      Same question !

  • TeeJay1100

    1999- 2001 All over again

  • MrBouche

    This is a smart phone my mother wouldn't mind buying. She's in her 80s and if it doesn't look like a phone, it confuses her. There are buttons with specific functions she'd instantly be able to use and then maybe, maybe she'll get to know "the internet". Of course, if it isn't durable, it won't last very long. So, I agree it wouldn't be a phone I would buy myself... but I'm sure there are other elder folks like my mom who may get some enjoyment out of it.

    Of course, it probably won't come here.

  • ergu

    I'm in the minority, but I'd soooo much rather have this than any of the iclones that are ubiquitous today. I LIKE hardware buttons. Touch-typing means you can do more, eyes free. I feel like for most, a phone is this fetish that they are happy to get lost in, abandoning the world around them, or, perhaps they're just totally comfortable switching between focusing completely on their phones and then focusing on the rest of the world around them. For me, however, I miss being able to pick up a portable device, and, by feel, press various buttons to issue various commands without having to look directly at the device I'm using.

  • James Passmore

    If it did the little Star Trek "blee-beep" when you flipped it open, I would totally buy it.

  • ElfirBFG

    I thought about a Sharp clamshell when I was still looking at what's out there, but I couldn't go back to that resolution so I got a Sharp slab. I like the idea of two screens, but in the style of the Yotaphone or NEC Medias.

  • dunga

    great headline ;D

  • justjk

    So if ANY of you were to not have your ADDRESS BOOK for any reason and had to ACTUALLY call someone, would you know the number???? The US is not as bright as we think.

  • mucinch

    Please No!

  • Matthew Fry

    I like seeing Android in non slab form factors. I don't want it, but I like to see it.

  • Adam Margeson

    Probably. I love phones with physical keyboards, but I can't find anything with decent specs. Not that this one fits that bill, but I like the concept.

  • Joseph Fallon

    I will almost definitely be buying this for my wife - she needs to text quickly for work and doesn't type. Currently we're stuck on old Symbian handsets - can't wait to port her to a decent OS

  • chanman

    "Lower priced markets" lol. Chinese reports are saying this will be 5,000 CNY... or >800USD. and at PPP, it's probably well over $1000. WTH is Samsung thinking

  • MasterGlink

    I would buy a high end version of this in a heartbeat. I hate that the industry has become so bland now. Every phone is the same design and it's not even a good one in my opinion. I am a huge fan of the flip/clamshell design for phones. Hopefully we'll get a manufacturer who tries their hand at a high spec version of this design and brings it overseas.

  • Gemmy Bakshi

    I would love to buy this phone .. I'm based in India.. Anyone willing to ship this phone to India, I'd be happy to buy..
    No phone can beat the advantages of a clamshell phone.. The mouthpiece of a clamshell is directly in front of the mouth - good audio quality...! With other phones people actually take the phone "off" from their ears, shout into the mouthpiece and then put the phone back to theirs ears...!