Photo: PR Times
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Flipping genius? Japan is getting new flip phone/smartphone hybrid

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

After the advent of smartphones, Japanese consumers were a bit slow to adopt the new technology, and part of the reason was that at the time Japan was already making the most advanced, feature-packed flip phones on the planet, with convenient mobile Internet, camera/video, and messaging functions built in. So even after smartphones captured the majority of the Japanese market, a sizable part of the population put off upgrading until they had to, earning flip phones the nickname gara kei, a shortened version of the Japanese phrase Garapagos keitai denwa, meaning “Galapagos mobile phone” and referring to the Galapagos syndrome of technology that’s evolved in a unique way to fit an individual isolated market.

Nowadays, though, gara kei have all but vanished from Japan as well. But for those feeling flip phone nostalgia for an era that comparatively wasn’t all that long ago, Tokyo telecommunications company P-Up World is releasing a new smartphone that’s also a flip phone.


Called the Mode 1 Retro II, the phone sports a hybrid design. The top half operates like a regular smartphone, with a touchscreen. The bottom half of the phone, though, includes a number pad for dialing and text entry, plus dedicated physical buttons for starting/ending calls as well as other programmable functions.


The 4G SIM-free phone runs on the Android 13 OS, with a 48-megapixel main camera and 13-megapixel secondary one. Despite the throwback design, it supports Bluetooth wireless audio devices, can be used for internet tethering, and has a thumbprint identification sensor on its side, so it can’t simply be used by anyone who flips it open.


There are a few other classic gara kei touches, though, like a spot to attach a strap…


…and an external time display that you can check without flipping the phone open to see the main screen.


The flip/smartphone comes in two different colors, Sheep White…


…and Wolf Black.


The Mode 1 Retro II goes on sale October 20, giving anyone who got misty-eyed watching last year’s flip phone graduation ceremony something to smile about.

Source, images: PR Times

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Out of date… Japan got Samsung as a competition today. This is bad advertising for your technology.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Yeah... No.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No one is going to buy this.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Oh man, this is going to be so popular with the over 60 Japanese crowd! I can't believe no one thought of this before, genius marketing move.

I doubt younger crowd will buy this, but as the over 60 population in Japan continues to increase, stuff like this is going to fly off the shelves.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I and my spouse will never go back to Flip-phones even if we are over 60.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Doesn't look built for my fingers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At least the Sheep White model comes with a dotted red line, better to reduce the chances of it being reported to the police as a knife by people not used to see flip phones.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

There will be many low temperament oyajis using this phone as their work phone so they can scream to their venders and clients for no reason and hang up their phones with a satisfying slam.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan just can't let flip phones go, can they?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why? It is totally unnecessary.

It's like releasing a new computer with a paper notebook embedded into the monitor.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If I were to buy a “flip phone” I’d go all out for the Samsung version. It’s pretty cool and looks like any normal smartphone, except for the crease in the center. But I can’t stand anything android and I’m happy with my iPhone 13.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )


I actually was interested, not as a daily driver but as a backup unit, might as well go for some novelty ... until I saw the price tag the article conveniently left out. If kakaku is to be believed, they will be asking ¥29,800.

3man is not expensive for a smartphone with these specs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


It's like releasing a new computer with a paper notebook embedded into the monitor.

That would be so cool!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Does it come with a built in fax machine too?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Many people will but this but maybe not that many.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I looked at the main photo and actually thought it was an X-shaped phone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More of a flop than a flip.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I like it. I'm definitely getting one of these to replace my 2nd phone. Much nicer than carrying a 2nd smart phone around and I mainly use it for voice anyway. SIM free is great. Better if it had 2 SIM's.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It supports Bluetooth audio but does it have a headphone jack socket? If a smartphone is too difficult for users, I suspect bluetooth device might be, too. What about the keyboard? Do you remember what a pain those keyboards were? They were horrible. You had to press the key so many times, for example six times for a capital I.

The only good feature seems to be the ability to add a strap as it is not necessary to add a case to protect the screen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It supports Bluetooth audio but does it have a headphone jack socket? If a smartphone is too difficult for users, I suspect bluetooth device might be, too.

You're not realizing that the market for these is not only people for whom smartphones are too technical, but that there is also a quickly growing market of people who do not want 24/7 connectivity and social media, and just want a very basic phone that allows them to make calls.

Another reason why people might be purchasing flip phones is to do a digital detox and cut down on screen time. A digital detox refers to a period of time when a person refrains from using their electronic devices, like smartphones, to focus on social connections in the physical world and reduce stress.

In 2022, people in the U.S. spent more than 4.5 hours daily on their mobile devices. In Canada, adults self-reported spending about 3.2 hours per day in front of screens in 2022. Children and youth had about three hours of screen time per day in 2016 and 2017.

Excessive smartphone usage can result in a number of harmful side effects, such as sleep disruption. Just over 50 percent of Canadians check their smartphones before they go to sleep.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wish it had 5g support, I had 2 LTE flip phones but all the American companies I use have really bad LTE in my area for some weird reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@N. Knight - It can use two sim cards. There are videos on YT showing this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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