Cheaper Samsung Galaxy Z Fold FE could become a reality with the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chip

Galaxy Z Fold 5 gaming
(Image credit: Future)

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the best foldable phones is the price. Take for instance the $1,800 cost of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which is almost enough to buy two of many other non-foldable flagship phones.

Samsung could be working on a solution in the form of a Galaxy Z Fold FE (Fan Edition), according to noted Samsung leaker Kro_roe on X. The FE versions of the Galaxy phones have always grabbed some of the best features of the main model while making some smart cuts to get the price down.

According to the leak, the Galaxy Z Fold FE could feature a Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 and an Exynos 2000-series processor under the hood. This would be a much less powerful chip than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 found in the regular Z Fold 5, but it's still a respectable chip. So far, the rumors hint at the this Fan Edition turning out to be a Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE, but the naming convention would make more sense with a Galaxy Z Fold 5 FE based on past releases of Samsung's FE line of phones.

Because the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is built around multitasking, Samsung can only cut down on the processor and RAM by a small amount; otherwise, the entire purpose of the phone would be negated. As such, the rumor suggests the company will offer 12GB and 16GB RAM options, which would be necessary to handle the intensive multitasking on foldables. It could also provide the phone with 256GB and 512GB of storage, which would be a sensible amount based on what's currently offered in the more expensive versions.

Interestingly, the phone is reportedly thicker than the regular Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 at 14.2mm unfolded and 6.3mm folder. The existing Z Fold 5 is 13.4mm and 6.1mm.

The rumor also suggests that Samsung was working on a Galaxy Z Flip FE but that it would never actually make it to market. That could be because the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is already vastly more affordable than the Fold, leaving Samsung less room to make the cuts required to separate the main phone from the FE version. Although, the Motorola Razr (2023) proves that it's feasible to make cheaper flip style foldable phones.

As always, you need to take rumors like this with a grain of salt. While Kro has a reasonable track record of success, there's always a chance that these rumors could be inaccurate. It would absolutely make sense for Samsung to release a more affordable version of its foldable smartphone; it doesn't mean it'll happen this year, nor does it mean it'll definitely come with the specs outlined above.

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Dave LeClair
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Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.