Samsung has treated us to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 this year, but they don't come cheap, and the latest rumor is that we'll be getting a more affordable foldable phone from Samsung in 2024, to expand the series.
This comes from the well-respected analysts at TrendForce, who say Android manufacturers are looking to foldables as a growth area in a smartphone market where sales are declining overall.
"Samsung is planning to bring foldable phones to the mid-range market next year, further reducing price barriers and making foldable phones more accessible to a broader range of consumers," write the team at TrendForce, based on supply chain sources. As yet there's no indication of whether this cheaper handset will be a book-style or flip-style foldable.
You can find out what we think of Samsung's latest foldables by reading our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review. The Z Flip 5 starts at $999.99 / £1,049 / AU$1,649, and the Z Fold 5 will set you back $1,799.99 / £1,749 / AU$2,599 and above, so we're hoping for a price point that's significantly lower.
What we want to see
There's only really one thing we want to see from an affordable Samsung Galaxy foldable: value for money. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE shows that the company understands how to make cut-price versions of its flagship products, and it's all about choosing the right trade-offs and compromises to make to hit a lower price point.
Slightly older components are likely to appear: the phone could use this year's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset rather than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset tipped to show up in the Samsung Galaxy S24. It will probably be a similar story with the cameras – we could get two rear cameras rather than the three that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has.
Larger, less bright, lower-resolution screens are often used on more affordable phones, and that's okay with us if it means a cheaper price – as long as the display isn't too inferior. Looking at the Z Fold 5 spec sheet, we'd like to see water resistance, wireless charging, and stylus support kept as well.
As flip foldables are cheaper to produce, Samsung may well take this route with the form factor, and offer up a less pricey Galaxy Z Flip 6. As long as the price is right, we're prepared to put up with a few compromises – but we hope that a large, useful cover screen will be retained, as it's so important for using the phone.
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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.