Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 could have a cheaper version — here's what we know

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in hand
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 may finally be joined by a cheaper model when it launches this year, according to The Elec, citing industry sources.

The current Galaxy Z Fold 5 costs $1,800 like previous Z Folds, which is roughly the going rate for a foldable phone but is still a lot of money for the vast majority of smartphone buyers. But in reaction to toughening competition, The Elec backs up previous rumors that Samsung is working on an "entry-level" foldable, aimed in particular at China, a huge market for foldable phones.

No specific pricing for the cheaper Z Fold is mentioned in the report. If you ask us though, we'd be hoping for a price tag lowered to at least the $1,300 you'd spend to get the new Galaxy S24 Ultra. That may be enough to start tempting users over to a foldable, or from similarly-priced folding phones from rival manufacturers.

Samsung has made unique "W"-branded foldables for Chinese customers in the past, although these were based on familiar Galaxy Z Fold models. Even if Samsung is targeting China with this new foldable, as The Elec claims, hopefully it still gets offered globally to give us a chance to try and buy it too.

The Elec also claims that this budget foldable approach won’t apply to the Galaxy Z Flip, at least not right now. The Z Flip line is doing well enough compared to rivals, thanks to its compact form factor and more accessible pricing, the report says.

A much needed shot in the arm

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold line is in need of a big refresh to stay competitive, so introducing a more affordable foldable would be more timely than ever. The revival of FE-branded phones like the Galaxy S23 FE show Samsung's trying to plug price gaps across its phone portfolio, plus Samsung has itself said that cheaper foldables are inevitable.

Rivals like the OnePlus Open or Google Pixel Fold have shown the limitations in Samsung's designs, so we hope that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 does get the thinner and wider design with a built-in stylus that have been rumored. But we wouldn't mind the older style of Samsung foldable sticking around if it cost less.

We still expect the Galaxy Z Fold 6, and the Galaxy Z Flip 6, to arrive in July or August this year. That gives us plenty of time to keep an ear out for more rumors, both for upcoming features and design changes, and if there will indeed be a third phone joining them this year.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

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.