It seems like China is the place to be if you’re a fan of foldables. While the flexible smartphone trend hasn’t really caught fire globally, it looks like the Asians have an affinity for bending electronics. Samsung just announced two foldables that will be exclusive to their Chinese audience. Dubbed the W23 and the W23 Flip, the smartphones are ‘high-end’ versions of the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4. Priced at 9,999 yuan (US$1,386) and 15,999 yuan (US$2,217), respectively, the models have higher specs than their global counterparts and come with a modified design that showcases golden accents, a China-specific theme, and even a redesigned S-Pen with black and gold highlights.
The Samsung W23 and W23 Flip are the results of a collaboration with China Telecom, offering unique premium versions of Samsung’s flagship foldables. Both phones sport rose-gold-tinted metal frames, with ceramic backs instead of the traditional glass ones. There’s also a “Heart of the World” logo emblazoned on the back of each phone, and themes and wallpapers that celebrate the porcelain work of the Song Dynasty in China.
In their new avatar, the W23 and W23 Flip have a few distinct visual and hardware differences. While the phones are essentially the same as far as dimensions go, Samsung gave the upgraded models a few design tweaks, including textured spines with a diamond pattern, and ceramic backs instead of glass panels. The Samsung W23 and W23 Flip both sport 16GB of RAM (an upgrade over the 12Gb in the Z Fold4 and 8GB in the Z Flip4), along with 512GB of internal storage.
It isn’t new for smartphones to create high-end luxury models of their popular smartphones. While most phone companies go down the themed limited edition route (like the Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition), companies like Huawei have also doubled down on the luxury aesthetic with their P50 Pocket foldable.