The most exciting Samsung foldable this year might not be the clamshell Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 or the flagship Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, but instead be a third phone: the rumored Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE.

This would be a cheaper alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, so while it might lack some of that phone’s specs and features, it could be the first genuinely affordable book-style foldable.

We’re starting to hear various things about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE, so you’ll find all of that below, followed by a list of things we want from it.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The first affordable Z Fold
  • When is it out? Possibly July 10, or September or October
  • How much will it cost? Reportedly under $800 (around £625 / AU$1,210)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE: rumored release date and price

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While the standard Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 is expected to land in July, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE reportedly won’t launch until either September or October. That follows a less specific leak that said the Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE would land after the Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6, so you might be waiting a while longer for Samsung’s affordable foldable.

However, it’s always possible that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE will launch alongside the rest of the line, so we could still see it as soon as July. In which case, July 10 is the likely date, as that’s when Samsung’s next Galaxy Unpacked event is apparently happening.

It’s also possible that it won’t launch at all, as it’s only a rumor for now, and there has also been some talk of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra. So there’s a chance that will launch instead.

As for what it might cost, one leak claims that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE will cost less than $800 (around £625 / AU$1,210). Now, while that’s not cheap it’s massively more affordable than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which starts at $1,799.99 / £1,749 / AU$2,599.

This would also make it cheaper than the $999.99 / £1,049 / AU$1,649 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. But that also makes us skeptical of this price leak, as Samsung would presumably have to make some serious cuts to the specs and features to achieve such a low cost.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE: news and leaks

We first heard talk of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold FE back in August, when a leaker claimed a cheaper Samsung foldable was in testing, though at that stage it wasn’t clear whether this would be a Z Fold 6 FE or a Z Flip 6 FE.

Since then though, we heard that the Z Fold 6 apparently has the codename ‘Q6’, while this rumored cheaper model supposedly has the codename ‘Q6A’, suggesting that it will be a variant of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 rather than the Galaxy Z Flip 6, since the codenames are so similar.

At the same time, we also heard that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE would achieve a lower price in part through not having a digitizer, meaning that it wouldn’t work with an S Pen stylus.

We’ve since heard again that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE won’t support the S Pen, so this seems likely.

Interestingly though, the lack of a digitizer could make the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE slimmer according to leaker Ross Young, posting on X.

As for the other cuts Samsung might make to keep the price down, one report suggests that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE will have a worse chipset, screen, and battery than “flagship products”, but that apparently the cameras will still be “flagship level.”

So that might mean the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE will have the same cameras as the Galaxy Z Fold 5 or Galaxy Z Fold 6 (the latter of which is currently rumored to also have the same cameras as the Z Fold 5). That would mean a 50MP main camera, a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, a 12MP ultra-wide, a 10MP camera on the cover screen, and a 4MP under-display camera.

However, if this leak is right then the battery might be smaller than the 4,400mAh one in the Z Fold 5, and it probably won’t have the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset – and maybe not even last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE: what we want to see

While we’re still uncertain what specs and pricing the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE will have, we know what we want from it, with the following things topping our list.

1. A sub-$1000 price

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review front angled half open other foldables

Hopefully the Z Fold 6 FE won’t cost more than a Z Flip 5 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Right now, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold line is too expensive for most people, and that’s probably why these phones don’t sell as well as the Galaxy Z Flip line. So we’d like to see Samsung bring the price of the Z Fold 6 FE more in line with a Z Flip.

That would ideally mean a price of no more than around $1000 / £1000 / AU$1,500. While still far from cheap, that would see it undercut the priciest non-foldable phones, and some of those – like the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra – are enormously popular.

2. A good foldable screen

Inevitably Samsung will have to make some compromises to deliver an affordable Galaxy Z Fold, but one thing we really don’t want to see compromised is the main foldable display.

This after all is the main feature of the phone, so we want it to still be big, crisp, and smooth on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE.

3. No reduction in battery capacity

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 hands on

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (Image credit: Future)

Another compromise that we don’t want Samsung to make is in reducing the battery capacity. One leak suggests the battery might be compromised, so this is a real concern, as foldable phones already don’t have particularly large batteries.

Hopefully either that leak is wrong, or it’s referring instead to charging speeds or the absence of wireless charging, as we want the Z Fold 6 FE to at least offer all-day life.

4. Cut costs through a mid-range chipset

While a flagship chipset would be nice, it’s not particularly necessary for most day-to-day phone uses, so rather than compromising the foldable screen or the battery capacity, a lesser chipset could be a good way for Samsung to cut costs on the Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE.

That, perhaps along with no wireless charging, no S Pen support, and middling cameras, might be enough to really bring the price down, without sacrificing what we see as the most vital elements of a foldable phone.

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