Samsung has largely dominated the conversation when it comes to foldable smartphones to date, though not always for the right reasons. But we are expecting quite a bit more competition in the market in 2021 and it sounds like Samsung is ready for it.
Previous reports had indicated Samsung would be releasing three foldables in 2021, but a new report from Korean news site ET News indicates that there will, in fact, be four with two variants of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and two Galaxy Z Flip 2 models as well (via Android Authority).
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The previous reports had pointed to a Galaxy Z Fold 3, a Galaxy Z Flip 2 and a Galaxy Z Fold FE. ET News specifically claims that the Galaxy Z Flip 2 "will be available in high-end and general models." It's hard not to interpret that as meaning a Galaxy Z Flip 2 FE.
All four will support 5G, but the performance and features will differ. Unfortunately, we don't have answers to the most pressing questions regarding these devices, which would be the spec differences and what does affordable mean when it comes to a foldable.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 started at $1,999 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G at $1,450. Both were actually slightly more expensive than their predecessors, although admittedly the Galaxy Z Flip was only released six months prior to the Z Flip 5G and with considerably worse specs, so a price bump wasn't much of a shock there. The Galaxy Z Fold 2, on the other hand, is $19 more and dropped the included wireless headphones, which were roughly a $130 value.
According to the report, none of these devices will be arriving until the second half of 2021, so we'll certainly have more to go on as the release dates approach. In the meantime, we'll be keeping a careful eye on the price of the forthcoming Galaxy S21 lineup as some rumors have suggested a price drop, which could signal a similar cost decrease for the foldable. If Samsung could get the Galaxy Z Flip 2 FE down to around $1,000, that would be a huge milestone for foldables in the mainstream, but that remains a big if.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.