We should see the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 arrive this month, and one of the overarching questions we'll be thinking about until the Galaxy Unpacked event is how much Samsung could charge for the new Z Fold. And how much we'd be willing to pay for it.
For context, the current Galaxy Z Fold 4 goes for $1,800/£1,600. That's been the price of a new Z Fold since the Galaxy Z Fold 2, with the the original Galaxy Fold from the year before that costing $2,000. Three years on, it feels like time for Samsung to change the price, but with competition hotting up, few alleged upgrades and specific rumors of a Galaxy Z Fold 5 price drop, there are more signs of this happening than just our hunch.
So considering all these factors, how much cheaper could Samsung price its new most expensive smartphone? We'll explore the possible reasons below, before taking a crack at figuring out what Samsung could/should price the Galaxy Z Fold 5 at.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 possible price drop
One strong reason we think the Galaxy Z Fold 5's price could drop is because leakers have suggested as much. We already heard that it could be cheaper, though not by precisely how much, and with the proviso that this wasn't a confirmed thing at the time the leak was posted.
Dropping foldable phone prices, even by a few hundred dollars, has proven to work for Samsung in the past, as we saw when the Galaxy Z Flip 3 dropped from $1,400 to $999 a couple years back.
Moreover, Samsung's been talking about making foldable phones mainstream with its Galaxy Z models. However, Samsung's own Galaxy S23 series currently sits at around the $800 to 1,200 mark. If Samsung's serious about getting more foldables into users' hands, it needs to close the price gap between normal phones and foldable phones.
More foldable competition
The clearest possible cause of a Galaxy Z Fold 5 price drop is the fact that competition in the foldables segment of the phones market has exploded this year. And the biggest competitor right now for the Z Fold family is the Google Pixel Fold.
The Pixel Fold costs the same as the Z Fold 4, but has quickly established itself as the new best foldable phone based on our testing. As the new kid on the block, and offering superior hardware and software in key areas, the Pixel Fold could be a key factor in a Z Fold price drop, as we've explored before.
Further pressure could be put on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 by the OnePlus V Fold, confirmed to be coming this year but without any specs or pricing given. Looking at OnePlus' usual pricing strategy, we'd imagine it'll have a lower price compared to existing competition, including the Z Fold series. It's possibly not as direct a competitor as the Pixel Fold, but it could still steal some potential Z Fold buyers when it eventually arrives.
There's also region-specific foldables like the Oppo Find N2 and the Honor Magic Vs to consider. The Honor sells in the U.K. for £1,400, which undercuts the £1,600 U.K. pricing of the Z Fold 4. Honor doesn't sell its phones in the U.S., but it's trying to be a big player in Europe and beyond, and while the Oppo Find N2 is China-exclusive, China is one of the world's biggest markets for foldable phones. Samsung will have to consider these markets when pricing the Galaxy Z Fold 5, even if it could in theory rely on its existing dominance in the U.S. and at home in Korea.
A possible lack of Galaxy Z Fold 5 upgrades
With only minimal changes tipped for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, it would make sense for Samsung to cut the price a little in order to enhance the new foldable's attractiveness.
A new chipset in the form of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is a good upgrade, but is hardly a groundbreaking one. We've heard several tips about a new hinge design too, although we've also been hearing that this hinge won't improve the big crease in the inner display, or add dust resistance as some sources have claimed. And who can forget the alleged comment from Samsung's own employees that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 barely deserves to be called the Galaxy Z Fold 4S due to its lack of updates?
None of the rumors have covered software features that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 could add, and perhaps this is where the core of the Z Fold 5's could be. But as things stand, Samsung would be doing its customers a disservice by charging the same high price for a foldable that's mostly the same as the previous year's model.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 price: how much could it cost?
Taking all this into account, it feels like a price drop for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is inevitable. It's unlikely to be huge, but we predict Samsung may end up dropping the Z Fold 5 to $1,600 from $1,800. It's still a lot of money, especially compared to typical flagship phones, but could help Samsung fend off the competition while it works on the more substantial upgrades tipped for the Galaxy Z Fold 6.
However, there could still be a significant chance that Samsung won't change the price at all. This wouldn't detract from the Z Fold 5's overall quality too much, but it would mean that Samsung could lose its spot at the top of the foldables world. Unless there are more upgrades coming than expected, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 would be a disappointment if it stuck with Samsung's established Z Fold price.
We won't get an answer about the Galaxy Z Fold 5's price until the end of Galaxy Unpacked. But fingers crossed for a real price cut!