We may see a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Lite launch next year, which sounds like the first foldable phone the average user might be able to buy.
Display analyst Ross Young revealed the existence of this model on Twitter, following up by saying it'll be made with UTG (Ultra-Thin Glass) and with a comment that this phone will likely be a big seller.
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UTG is Samsung's plastic/glass composite display mayerial that it debuted with the first Galaxy Z Flip. It's not as tough as something like Gorilla Glass, the toughened glass found on the majority of modern premium smartphones, but it's the best material anyone's used on a foldable phone so far. It won't protect the Z Flip Lite from major scratches, but it will keep the screen mostly blemish-free, and more importantly still allow it to bend.
We don't hear about Z Fold Lite anymore but we are hearing about Z Flip Lite with UTG...November 18, 2020
Young's tweet also mentions the Galaxy Fold Lite, a previously rumored Samsung phone that was believed to be the company's first cheaper foldable. He says that he's no longer hearing news about it, so it looks as if while the Z Flip will get an entry-level edition, Samsung's flagship Galaxy Z Fold 2 or the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 3 will not.
A different leak from Max Weinbach mentions a Z Fold FE, which seemingly contradicts what Young says here. Unless Samsung is going to mix up its names, or does still plan to release a cheaper Z Fold alongside a cheaper Z Flip, then these leaks don't fit together. We'll have to wait for more leaks to appear before we figure out which one is accurate.
Even though Young calls this a "Lite" phone, this device will still likely be very expensive. The cheapest foldable Samsung currently sells is the $1,400 Galaxy Z Flip, so the Lite version will still likely cost around $1,000. Since that's around the price of a normal flagship phone like the Galaxy S21, it might be enough to tempt some users to try out the new form factor.
We have heard previously that the Galaxy Z Flip 2 is coming next year, likely alongside the Galaxy S21 in January, or possibly later in the year with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. These would be ideal times for Samsung to reveal a Z Flip Lite too, but since it held a standalone launch for the Galaxy S20 FE a few months ago, perhaps it'll deem its first affordable foldable worthy of a headlining debut too.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.