Flip phones are all the rage again thanks to foldable OLED displays that allow device makers to make modern touchscreen phones that can fold in half. But a few decades ago a flip phone was a phone with a number pad on the bottom a screen on top.

Japanese smartphone company P-Up World’s latest phone brings back that classic design… but with a modern twist. The new Mode 1 Retro Ⅱ smartphone is a flip phone with a number pad. But it’s also an Android smartphone with modern specs including a touchscreen display.

The phone’s 3.5 inch display is small by modern standards, but it’s also pretty sharp with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels and a pixel density of 460 pixels per inch. What makes that screen a little odd is that it’s positioned oppose it a set of physical keys that includes a number pad, navigation and function keys, and Android-specific buttons for back, home, and recents.

Under the hood the phone features a MediaTek Helio G85 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It also has a microSD card reader for up to 1TB of removable storage, dual nano SIM card slots, and a 2,500 mAh battery.

The Mode 1 Retro Ⅱ also has a 48MP primary camera with an LED flash and a 13MP front-facing camera, support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, a USB Type-C port for charging and data, and support for 2G, 3G, and 4G networks in Japan (but there’s no support for 5G).

Other features include a fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, compass, and GPS receiver.

The smartphone ships with Android 13 software and comes with the Google Play Store pre-installed. The Mode 1 Retro Ⅱ measures 112 x 52 x 20mm and weighs 145 grams. It went up for pre-order in Japan last week for about $200 and should be available in that country starting October 20, 2023.

While this model’s unlikely to go on sale in other markets anytime soon, maybe if it proves popular we’ll see other phones with this design on the global market? And if it doesn’t prove popular… then I wouldn’t be all that surprised. But it’s an interesting oddity.

via GizmoChina and PC Watch

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  1. Want to see a no flip version as if the retro half were axed to compete with the Jelly series make small good again

  2. I would buy one of these in a heartbeat. I miss the old flip phones and I don’t want a foldable LCD. For the extra stuff I use a tablet. For a phone all I want is to makes calls and text. Simple.

    1. 100% agree. I’d buy one right now.

      The foldable displays all still end up with a visible “crease” where it bends and that’s ugly.

    2. Depending on how much you mean that, you don’t have to get this. They have a variety of flip phones that are a lot like flip phones used to be. No touch screen, and there may be some apps that they can run, but really all they are intended to do is make calls, send and receive texts, and have a mobile hotspot function should you need that. Usually, a few more basic things are present often including a painful browser, but you’re free to ignore those features. If that’s what you want, the phone in this article is overkill.

  3. Makes perfect sense for the Japanese market since a numpad allows for fast one-handed typing, unlike western char set languages that really need a full keyboard layout. Their touch screen phones emulate the same model of one-hand character input used on the legacy numpads anyways, which is neatly organized by syllables due to limited phonemes (represented by hiragana/katakana) e.g.
    Vowels are a, i, u, e, o. Then for example you hit a key for ‘k-‘ syllables and you cycle through ka, ki, ku, ke ko. That’s it, max 4 cycles each after the first -a. Software then replaces resulting hiragana script with context appropriate kanji characters.

  4. I want this so much! Phone of the year for me, perhaps even for this century unless Blackberry or someone else makes a qwerty-phone with optical trackpad for mouse cursor support.

    I wonder if it would work on mobile networks in Europe?

    1. The product page said
      4G: LTE B1/B3/B8/B11/B19/B20/B26/B28b/B41
      If I remember correctly, common bands in Europe are B1, B7,B20, and B28, among others. But especially B1 and B20 are common, and it has those.

  5. Darn… for about $€£200, if it was available around here… It would be among the ones I’d be interested in now when I have to replace my old broken phone.