Foldable phones are infamously expensive, even by premium phone standards, and it sounds as if the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 will be continuing that trend.
According to Twitter leaker FrontTron (opens in new tab), the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will start at $1,249 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. While that’s cheaper than the Galaxy Z Flip 5G’s original price of $1,449, it’s far from affordable.
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Obviously there’s no guarantee that FrontTron’s information is correct. We know that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is coming, but it could wind up with a totally different price tag once launch day (rumored to be August 11) actually arrives.
It’s also yet to be revealed whether there will be a more expensive Z Flip 3 model; it’s conceivable that there could be a version with more RAM, storage, or both on the way, and that would naturally have a still higher cost.
Z Flip 3 5G 8/256 $1249 I hear.... 🧂July 4, 2021
Either way, if true this rumor suggests that the price of foldable phones is not going to drop significantly any time soon. Obviously, that’s a major barrier to entry for most people, even those that do split the cost of their phones over a two- or three-year plan.
Plus, even the best and most expensive non-folding devices cost less than this rumored price. Why spend close to $1,300 on a foldable Samsung Galaxy when you can get a 256GB iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1,200 or a 256GB Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for the same $1,249? The 128GB S21 Ultra is $1,199.
Both phones are top of their respective classes, and have proven themselves to work exactly as people would hope.
As interesting as foldable displays are, and as handy as it may be to be able to store a phone screen in half the normal size, they’re still not at that stage yet. It definitely doesn’t help that Samsung is one of only two phone makers that sells foldable phones in the U.S.; most people have yet to use one and plenty won't even have seen one in the flesh. Unfamiliarity breeds caution, in this case, and foldables aren't yet at the stage where people necessarily trust them.
This news also suggests that the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which has a lot more to offer than the Z Flip 3, will be even more expensive than this. How much more expensive isn’t clear right now, but hopefully it won’t be more than the $1,800 it cost to buy a Galaxy Z Fold 2 when it was new.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is rumored to be coming with an upgraded 120Hz interior display, a dual-lens 12MP camera, an enlarged cover display on the outside, a 10MP selfie camera that may or may not be under the display, and the more powerful Snapdragon 88 processor.
These are pretty hefty upgrades, and we should give credit to Samsung for supposedly including it all while also reportedly lowering the price. But that doesn’t change the fact that foldable phones are too expensive, and if Samsung wants people to start buying them in greater numbers, it’s going to have to do something about it.
Maybe this latest rumor will prove to be unfounded and the Z Flip 3 will arrive with a far more palatable price tag. But if that's not the case, foldables are unlikely to become truly mainstream devices just yet.
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