It’s official: Samsung is making its third foldable phone, as well as the next Galaxy Note.
Industry watchers expect this to be the Galaxy Fold 2, the successor device to the original Galaxy Fold rather than a rushed update to the smaller, cheaper Galaxy Z Flip, which is barely three months old. The news wasn’t so much announced as slyly revealed in an earnings report earlier this month that otherwise spelled out doom and gloom for Samsung’s business as a result of coronavirus-related slowdowns.
In Samsung’s own words: “The Company will continue to offer differentiated products in the premium segment with the launch of new foldable and Note models.” But will the world’s largest phonemaker also release a cheaper version in the Galaxy Fold E and how much might it cost? (More details below.)
Samsung’s confirmation comes as phone sales plunged by 38% in February compared to 2019, and a major recession looms. The very extravagance of another pricy foldable phone could raise eyebrows at a time when companies, including Samsung, seem to be falling back on cheaper devices, like the new $400 Galaxy A51 on sale now, an excellent value.
But apart from folding, what do we know about the speculated Galaxy Fold 2? We’ll update these this frequently with the most important rumors.
Galaxy Fold 2 design: Same form, but better
It’s likely that the Galaxy Fold 2 would work off the original mold, nipping, tucking and refining along the way. Common logic would expect the same design that puts the larger folding screen on the inside of a device that opens like a book, and the sturdier, smaller screen on the outside “cover,” a shape that protects the inner screen from extra damage.
Some of the earliest Galaxy Fold 2 rumors suggested that the phone could take on a new form with the larger screen on the outside, however, most rumors point to the Fold 2 looking more like the first Fold, with specs and cosmetic features that line up with the Galaxy S20. More on that below.
The Galaxy Fold 2 could have a stylus. The original couldn’t
Nearly a year ago I proposed that the Galaxy Fold’s killer accessory would be a stylus, just like on the Galaxy Note family. The S Pen would make the Fold much more like a tablet and multitasking tool, and help distinguish Samsung’s foldable phone from the rest.
There was just one problem with that. The original Fold’s plastic screen was too soft and infamously damage-prone to sustain the pressure from a fingernail, much less a stylus. But with enough structural support and a flexible glass screen (ultrathin glass, or UTG) — which was first used with the Z Flip — the rumors of a Fold 2 with a stylus are possible.
Other rumors have at times suggested that Samsung would abandon its plans to include the S Pen. We’ll see how it all comes together.
Is there a cheaper Galaxy Fold E or Fold Lite in the works?
What if there isn’t just one new Galaxy Fold headed our way, but two or even three? Prolific mobile leaker Max Weinbach, who also writes for XDA Developers, tweeted a rumor that Samsung could be making a Galaxy Fold E or Galaxy Fold Lite in addition to the more premium Galaxy Fold 2.
Weinbach’s tweet even named a potential price: $1,100 for the cheaper model — or models — which could use a plastic screen compared to the Galaxy Fold 2’s ultrathin glass, or UTG. Weinbach’s uncertainty (“and keep in mind this is a rumor,” he wrote) leaves room for doubt, but it does suggest that Samsung’s experiment with cheaper models won’t stop with the $1,380 Galaxy Z Flip. More