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In brief: Foldable phones are, most of the time, pretty awesome technical marvels, but the best of the bunch come with the caveat of a high price tag. We recently heard rumors that Samsung was working on a “budget” folding device that would launch next year for $500 to $600. Sadly, and somewhat unsurprisingly, the company has now confirmed this simply isn’t true.
Claims that Samsung was preparing a $500 or cheaper folding phone originated from a TrendForce report and a leaker on X, highlighting the fact that stories from these sources should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Given that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a $1,800 MSRP and even the smaller, clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip 5 is $999, a budget foldable from Samsung sounded unlikely.
Now, the South Korean giant has refuted the reports. In a statement to Korea JoongAng Daily that cites a Samsung Electronics spokesperson, the company said, “We don’t plan to manufacture foldable smartphones that are priced in the midrange, and the latest rumors are groundless.”
There was one potential piece of good news for those who want a Samsung foldable at a cheaper price: the possibility of a fan edition (FE) version of its foldables. FE variants of Samsung phones usually remove some features and downgrade the specs slightly in order to sell them at a lower cost. When asked if there could be a Galaxy Z Fold 5 FE or Z Flip 5 FE, the spokesperson said, “There’s nothing decided on the matter,” which isn’t ruling them out.
Samsung dominates the global premium foldables market, which is one segment where the company doesn’t compete with Apple. But the story is different in the massive Chinese market, where excellent foldable devices from local brands such as Oppo, Huawei, Honor, and Vivo are more popular.
If you would like a cheaper, if not quite budget, foldable phone, the Motorola Razr+ (40 Ultra) flip phone could be a good option. This clamshell has several excellent reviews yet costs a comparatively cheap $699, though it can be found as low as $499 in sales. Expect to see some deals for the Razr and other foldables this Black Friday.
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