T3: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Lite is the affordable folding phone of our dreams

Leak indicates Samsung is working on a Galaxy Z Flip Lite device, which will have a folding screen but not cost a fortune

Galaxy Z Flip Lite
Galaxy Z Flip Lite

Foldable phones have a lot of good points, but affordability certainly isn’t one of them.

By ALAN MARTIN https://www.t3.com/

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, for example,  will set you back $2,000, while the Galaxy Z Flip is only a bit more competitive at $1,380. Hardly chump change.

Samsung knows that this limits the chances of mass adoption, and while the price will inevitably come down over time, it has reportedly been trying to push things along. A Galaxy Z Fold 2 Lite has long been rumored, with a plastic screen like seen on the original Galaxy Fold.

But now a new rumor says that Samsung may not be planning on giving the Galaxy Z Fold the Lite treatment after all. Instead, the company is looking at its other foldable.

Founder of DSCC and reliable leaker Ross Young tweeted the good and bad news in response to another user, saying “we don’t hear about Z Fold Lite anymore but we are hearing about Z Flip Lite with UTG.”

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is already cheaper than the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which is a good start for making things cost effective. While the Z Fold can open up into a 7.6-inch tablet, the Z Flip models itself on the flip phones of old, opening up from a small form factor to resemble a regular smartphone. 

But the key to Young’s tweet is “UTG” which stands for “ultra thin glass”. While the Z Fold 2 Lite was rumored to be returning to plastic to keep costs down, it appears that the rumored Z Flip Lite will keep the premium material.

That’s good news, although it does raise the question of what exactly will make the Z Flip Lite, ‘lite’. One obvious shortcut would be to launch the phone with middling internals – something Motorola did with the Snapdragon 710-powered Razr –  but that doesn’t feel like a very Samsung approach. 

Normally, we’d imagine similar cost saving measures as those seen between the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra: a lower resolution screen and no microSD expansion. But the Galaxy Z Flip already sports an HD screen, and doesn’t allow for expandable storage as it is.

All eyes are on Samsung for how it intends to make the Galaxy Z Flip Lite lighter, then, but we may be in for a long wait. There’s no indication of a release date at this point, though optimists may like to reflect on the fact that the original Z Flip launched in February this year and that Samsung is already planning on launching the Galaxy S21 in early 2021. Maybe the company will have something foldable to show, too. More

By ALAN MARTIN