We're expecting the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 next year, but the rumor is that Samsung might also bring out a more affordable foldable phone – and now we have a better idea of just how affordable it might be.
According to well-known tipster @Tech_Reve (via Notebookcheck), Samsung has a "target" of $400-$500 for the cheaper foldable, which is well into the mid-range and close to a budget price – it is indeed "a very aggressive goal", as @Tech_Reve says.
Look up our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review or our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review, and you'll see that the starting prices for those phones are $1,799.99 / £1,749 / AU$2,599 and $999.99 / £1,049 / AU$1,649 respectively.
If Samsung wants to put out something less than half (or less than a third) of the price, it's going to have to make some serious compromises along the way, in terms of both the materials and the components that it's using.
Foldable phones don't come cheap, obviously – the OnePlus Open will set you back $1,699 / £1,599, while the Google Pixel Fold starts at $1,799 / £1,749. Both of those foldables launched in 2023, which gives you an idea of the going rate.
Right now the cheapest foldable phone is the Oppo Find N2 Flip. It's not available in the US but costs £849 in the UK and AU$1,499 in Australia. That's roughly $1,040 with a straight currency conversion, still a long way above $400-$500.
We first heard that Samsung is planning a cheaper foldable for 2024 earlier this week, and we've been thinking hard about exactly which compromises might be made to bring down the cost. Some pretty serious corners are going to have to be cut.
That said, Samsung knows how to make its products more affordable without making the trade-offs too drastic. If it can pull off this cheaper foldable feat, it might mean these folding phones can finally break into the mainstream.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.