Samsung's first cheaper foldable phone could arrive next year

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 half folded
(Image credit: Future)

Following the excitement of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5's arrival at Galaxy Unpacked last month, it seems foldable phones may soon become affordable for even more consumers if rumors surrounding the next round of Samsung devices are true. 

Noted leaker @Tech_Reve has tipped Samsung's plans for a cheaper Galaxy Z foldable phone called the Galaxy Z FE. Details remain scarce, so we don't even know if we'd get a book-style Galaxy Z Fold FE or a clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip FE.

Other rumors have suggested that a foldable FE device could cost around $800, which would make foldable tech much more affordable compared to the $1799 Galaxy Z Fold 5, or the Galaxy Z Flip 5 for $999. Bringing prices down is something Samsung wants to do according to its mobile product marketing VP Drew Blackard, who spoke to Tom's Guide earlier this year

The leaker says we may see Samsung unveil the Galaxy Z FE after the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 models, pointing to a mid-2024 release.

Keeping the Fan Edition train running

The same leaker also hinted that Samsung plans to consistently roll out "FE" models as cheaper versions of flagship devices every year. 

The FE series has become Samsung's irregularly-launched line of affordable flagships. The last model, 2021's Galaxy S21 FE, earned strong reviews for bringing flagship-level features to a $699 price point, but we've not seen another one arrive since.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE missed Unpacked, but it could be arriving soon, especially after benchmarks and key specs were leaked earlier this year. As premium phone prices continue rising, FE variants give cost-conscious buyers a more wallet-friendly option while still offering a decent number of premium features.

While details are still unknown, especially around key features like display specs, battery size, and charging speeds which all await confirmation. However, with a decent camera and display, a new FE device would likely rocket up the best cheap phone and best Samsung phone leaderboards.

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Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne
Phones Writer

Elliot MulleyGoodbarne is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide covering news, reviews, buying guides with wit and charm. He has had a keen interest in mobile, tablets, laptops, and everything in between since his first phone, the Samsung U600. Starting at Mobile News, Elliot has been writing about mobile and the business of technology since 2016, and has edited four trade magazines in that time, attending award shows for three of them. He has attended a range of industry events including 5G launches, device announcements, and trade events, where he developed a nose for picking up on trends, interviewing executives, and networking with the tech community. In his spare time, Elliot can usually be found watching, playing, or attending sporting events. With season tickets to West Ham United and Surrey County Cricket Club he often spends weekends in winter in a foul mood and evenings in the summer with a smile on his face. Outside of sport Elliot enjoys cooking, pubs next to rivers, and chilling out with a G&T, Whiskey, or Port after a solid week of excellence.