Surprise new Samsung Galaxy phone is an Android blast from the past

Flip phones are back in a big way lately thanks to folding screen tech that has resurrected the old school mobile phone form factor, and Samsung is leading the charge with its Z Flip 5 that we at called “the ultimate flip phone” in our review.

If you buy into the retro vibe of having a phone that flips again then you might like the story behind the new limited edition Galaxy Z Flip 5 Retro, a new version of the phone that has gone on sale today in the UK.

Samsung has designed the phone in an indigo blue and silver colourway that is inspired by the Samsung SGH-E700, a flip phone from 20 long years ago launched in 2003. It was the first Samsung phone to have a built-in antenna – so no protruding antenna on the outside of the casing like most phones of the era until then.

It joined the Nokia 3310 in being a very popular mobile at the time for the lack of stick out antenna, and of course also coming in a slick dark blue colour.

The brand new Z Flip 5 Retro costs a cool £1,199 and is available today from Samsung. That’s pricier than the regular model that goes for £1,049.

The Retro Flip comes in a special presentation box with a transparent case with cards you can insert with different logos from several Samsung eras, plus a collector’s card that is engraved with a unique serial number that identifies the limited availability of the phone.

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If you pine for the simpler days of 2000s flip phones, this retro flipper could be the nostalgia trip you’re after for your next smartphone. We certainly miss the tiny size and weight of basic flip phones with just calls, text, and irritating ringtones. It was also a time when we only had to charge our phones about once a week – hard to remember in 2023 when smartphones can barely last a day on a single charge.

The Z Flip 5 is the best flip-style foldable yet from Samsung. It’s got a large inner screen that folds horizontally in the middle to close into a much smaller, more pocketable size, with a decent size outer display to still access notifications and even whole apps.

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Sammy also sells a larger foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but don’t expect a retro version of that any time soon – it’s a whole new category of folding phone entirely, with a large tablet-sized inner folding screen.

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