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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip5 Retro Channels the Slick Style of a Ruthless ’80s Executive


As hard as some might find it to believe, 20 years have passed since Samsung brought the landmark SGH-E700 flip phone into the world. To mark this anniversary (and the incredible technological leaps we’ve seen since), the Korean firm is now launching the Galaxy Z Flip5 Retro, a special edition of its latest Flip smartphone that draws inspiration and a whole lot of cool styling from its decades-old forebear.

At the risk of showing my age, I distinctly remember the Samsung SGH-E700. It was one of the most popular flip phones available when it launched in 2003, boasting hero features like a 640 x 480 camera, dual colour screens, polyphonic ringtones, and the satisfying snap of that clamshell design. How far we’ve come, and yet—as evidenced by the popularity of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip line—the sound of a phone snapping closed has lost none of its appeal. Recognising this, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip5 Retro is a perfect marriage between the very latest technology and the classic styling of yesteryear.

More:Everything Samsung Announced at Unpacked 2023

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The iconic SGH-E700. | Image: Samsung

The Galaxy Z Flip5 Retro harnesses a number of the SGH-E700’s most distinctive features, including its signature combination of indigo blue and silver colours, a UX design reinterpretation of 2000s pixel graphics, and an exclusive animation that appears on its Flex Window (the phone’s exterior display) portraying a cityscape that’s sure to get the nostalgia-fuelled dopamine flowing. This all adds up to an incredibly sleek device that looks just the way the kid version of me hoped future technology might eventually look. 

In fact, while I confess that I’ve always found the Galaxy Z Fold range slightly more appealing than the Flip, the Galaxy Z Flip5 Retro’s unique styling has me thinking twice. To my eyes it actually appears more reminiscent of the ‘80s than it does the SGH-E700’s noughties heyday. And I mean that in the best way. At the risk of making a very niche reference, I’m going to paraphrase the Boneitis guy from Futurama and say that the Z Flip5 Retro has the sleek, dazzling veneer of the 1980s.

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Image: Samsung

The Galaxy Z Flip5 Retro will be made available in just six countries, including Australia (huzzah!), Korea, the UK, France, Germany, and Spain. Aussies hoping to get their hands on one will have the opportunity to do so from November 1, when the phone goes on sale exclusively via the Samsung website for AUD$1,949. Sure, that’s a premium of AUD$300 over the standard Flip5’s AUD$1,649 RRP, but who are we to put a price on such a perfect example of retro-futuristic style?