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Hot girl summer who? It's Barbie flip phone summer now

A pink, sparkly, Barbie-themed flip phone will hit the market soon, and here's why I want it.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
woman using pink flip phone

This is not the actual Barbie phone or the author.

Glowimages/Getty Images

Last summer, the Barbie movie crushed the box office and revived interest in the iconic doll. This summer, Mattel is hoping for another surprise smash hit with a Barbie flip phone. 

At Mobile World Congress (MWC), Human Mobile Devices, a European smartphone manufacturer, announced that it was partnering with Mattel to create the Barbie flip phone, which is planned to launch in the summer of 2024. 

Also: The most jaw-dropping demo at MWC was from a brand I wasn't expecting to see

HMD hasn't released images of the device but it did tease that the flip phone will "embody the vintage chic of the original girl empowerment brand with a dash of pink and of course, sparkle."

HMD and Mattel flip phone collab

What really makes the flip phone stand out is that, unlike newer takes on flip phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Flip 5, or the Motorola Razr Plus, this flip phone will stay true to the flip phone's roots, shedding the bells and whistles of modern-day smartphones, and bringing back the simplicity of a phone that performs the most basic functions. 

The phone is designed to meet the growing demand for digital detox, with four in ten 16-24-year-olds worrying about spending too much time on their smartphones, and a third of Gen Zers in the US trying to limit time on social media, according to the release.

We have also seen a GenZ movement to embrace flip phones on social media, with many advocates sharing that the traditional flip phone allows them to be more in the moment without being distracted by all of the notifications and feeds on their phones. 

Also: I wore Motorola's bendable smartphone-watch hybrid, and it left me all kinds of confused

As a GenZer, I can confirm that the target audience has been reached. I can totally see myself and my girls going out with just our cute, pocketable, pink flip phones, embracing the 90s nostalgia that permeates our generation. Beyond aesthetics, flip phones facilitate enjoying a good wholesome time with your friends free from smartphone distractions.

As seen in the trending TikToks of GenZ bringing back the flip phone, all you really need for nights out is a working phone line to contact friends, cabs, and emergency contacts and a simple camera to capture moments you want to remember later. 

However, for everyday life, a smartphone is still necessary. 

As a working professional, I need to be able to check my email inbox for important messages, Slack for pings from my colleagues, social media, and the news to stay on top of the latest current events and trends. Therefore, the Barbie Flip Phone would likely function as my second phone, reserved for weekends and going out with friends.

Also: The best foldable phones (and how they compare)

This means that for the Barbie Flip Phone to be a success, it needs to have a low enough price point that people, like me, who are interested in being unplugged on the weekends or during certain events can justify purchasing a second phone. Many flip phone users use their flip phones as their second phone, which is easily doable because they cost as low as $20 each. 

As much as I love the idea of enjoying an unplugged, distraction-free, Barbie flip phone summer, whether I purchase it will depend entirely on the price point, which has yet to be revealed. 

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