The Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra now looks dead — and this is the replacement

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in front of pool
(Image credit: Future)

We're likely to see Samsung unveil its latest foldables, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6, this summer at its Galaxy Unpacked event. But while previous rumors suggested we'd get both a mainline and an improved Ultra version of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, a new leak suggests the opposite. Instead of a Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra, Samsung reportedly has a more affordable version in the works, presumably named the Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE to keep with the company's naming conventions for its best Android phones

That's according to ET News, which originally speculated that the Z Fold 6 would release a cheaper model back in February. Its latest report this week doubles down on the idea that the South Korean company plans to bring its Fan Edition (or FE) moniker to its line of foldable smartphones. To cut costs, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE (or whatever Samsung ends up calling it) is tipped to remove the digitizer, the display layer needed to track a stylus’ position, and thus lose S Pen Support. 

It remains unclear what other potential cost-saving measures Samsung could implement. However, we can make an educated guess based on what we've seen of the Galaxy A series and Galaxy S23 FE, which cut back on certain pieces of hardware and are constructed with cheaper materials to lower the overall price tag. For the Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE, Samsung may opt to hold the camera and RAM back to the previous generation’s hardware or reduce storage options to cut costs. 

Given the high price of foldable phones, a cheaper FE variant could entice more customers to see what all the buzz is about. It'd get one of the most cutting-edge phone technologies into the hands of a wider audience and enable Samsung to capture more of the market — a smart move given that Hauwei's quickly threatening to become the world’s number one foldable manufacturer.

There's still no word on how much Samsung aims to charge customers for either of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 models. However, prior cost estimations for the base model are somewhere between $1,699 and $1,799, and the cheaper version would have to cost substantially less to remain competitive. We expect Samsung to release the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Galaxy Z Flip 6 sometime in August 2024. That being said, there are rumors that Samsung could try and beat the Olympics by releasing both phones in July.

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.