After struggling to release its first-ever foldable smartphone last year in limited numbers, Samsung caught us off guard a little this February by making the surprisingly refined (albeit far from perfect) Galaxy Z Flip available for sale earlier than the conventional Galaxy S20 flagship lineup.
The company is now preparing to unveil not one but two additional foldable devices in early August, and believe it or not, several trustworthy tipsters and insiders claimed at one point a third model could also see daylight by the end of the year. For those keeping count, that would have been the third new
foldable phone, bringing the overall tally up to five by joining the original Galaxy Fold
and 4G LTE-only Z Flip.
Unfortunately for foldable fans on relatively tight budgets, the so-called Galaxy Fold Lite
is no longer expected to break cover in 2020.
There can only be one Lite flagship this year
According to a freshly published Korean media report
), the “debut of the entry-level foldable phone” has been postponed until next year. The reasons for that delay are not entirely clear, but they may have something to do with the so-called Galaxy S20 FE, aka Fan Edition.
None of these names are etched in stone, mind you, but the existence of both a watered-down Galaxy Fold device of sorts and a sequel to the early 2020-released Galaxy S10 Lite
seems pretty much guaranteed.
The Galaxy S10 Lite is expected to get a sequel before the Fold Lite comes out
Because Samsung is almost definitely planning to unveil two Galaxy Note 20 variants alongside the Galaxy Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip
5G at a virtual Unpacked event on August 5
, there might simply not be enough room for the Galaxy S20 FE and Fold Lite to also come out at that point. If the company needs to choose between the two to avoid overcrowding the market and putting too much pressure on the supply chain, you can probably understand why the S20 Fan Edition
(or S20 Lite) would be selected over the Galaxy Fold Lite.
For one thing, a foldable handset (even an “entry-level” model) is trickier and costlier to manufacture than a conventional smartphone with “Lite” specs in tow. More importantly, Samsung needs something to boost the mass appeal of the Galaxy S20 series, which has proven largely unsuccessful
due to far more reasons than just the coronavirus pandemic.
How low can Samsung go?
Perhaps the most interesting part of today’s report is the newly rumored 1 million Korean won price of the Galaxy Fold Lite, which roughly equates to $835 right now, considerably undercutting a previously speculated $1,100 tag.
If that magical number ultimately pans out in Samsung’s homeland, the overall mysterious device could make its US debut at $900 or less, which would be positively dreamy for a foldable smartphone arriving on the heels of the $1,980 Galaxy Fold, $1,380 Galaxy Z Flip, and a Fold 2 and Z Flip 5G expected to fetch around $2,000 and $1,500 respectively.
Obviously, the question on everyone’s minds is what will Samsung give up in order to keep the price point so incredibly low. And the answer is almost certainly a lot of things. First and foremost, the Galaxy Fold Lite is unlikely to adopt the ultra-thin glass protection of the Galaxy Z Flip, instead going back to the original Fold’s plastic screen.
The Galaxy Fold Lite could end up looking a little something like this
Said screen may also end up being smaller than 7.3 inches in diagonal, and the same could go for the cover display. In fact, those recent renders of the “Galaxy Fold 2”
are likely to prove more reliable than they initially seemed, revealing the possible design of this Fold Lite variant, with a long strip of sorts replacing the external 4.6-inch screen of the first-gen Fold, two rear-facing cameras, no hole punch or notch for the primary display, and a new alert slider mounted on one side of the device.
Of course, a lot can still change between now and 2021 if the Galaxy Fold Lite is indeed scheduled to be released next year, and it’s probably useless to even start speculating about things like camera specifications, processor details, memory, storage, or battery size.