Samsung's imminent Motorola Razr rival might be a lot cheaper than you expect
Samsung's answer to the reborn Motorola Razr could look a little bit like this
The foldable category of a mobile industry in dire need of a major new breakthrough was always expected to get off to a rocky start due to the complexity of Samsung and Huawei's reimagined form factors and exorbitant prices. But the two tech giants are naturally set to keep on trying to perfect their revolutionary new smartphone designs, and after Motorola, many other companies could join them in making foldables mainstream.
Of course, we'll probably have to wait several more years to see the masses casually and routinely use mobile devices capable of bending, curling, and flipping their screens, although a growing number of analysts are anticipating a pretty significant expansion of the fledgling market as early as 2020.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung should lead the way in this second big stage of foldable development, with not one but two new releases tipped for next year, as well as a truly global expansion of first-gen Galaxy Fold sales projected to take place in just a few months.
The first affordable foldable could be right around the corner
The Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, and revived Motorola Razr may seem like three radically different products at first glance, each tackling the foldable concept in a unique way, but at the end of the day, these bad boys also have one very important thing in common. All three are wildly expensive, at least by conventional 2019 flagship standards, costing anywhere between $1,500 (the Verizon-exclusive Razr) and the rough equivalent of an absolutely insane $2,400 (China's Mate X).
If the newest rumor relayed by The Korea Herald pans out, though, Samsung's second foldable phone will be released at a starting price of less than a thousand bucks. Specifically, "around 1 million won" in Korea, equating to $840 or so, which would even undercut the likes of the Galaxy S10 and Note 10. That sounds highly implausible, but assuming it does turn out to be true, it almost certainly means we're looking at a mid-range device here.
The spec sheet could be even humbler than the objectively unimpressive list of features of Motorola's 2019 Razr, which includes a Snapdragon 710 processor, 6GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage. In contrast, this year's Galaxy Fold comes packing a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 855 SoC, as well as a whopping 12 gigs of memory and 512 gigs of local digital hoarding room.
Interestingly, the "industry sources" quoted by the aforementioned Korean publication as the origin of today's report have no concrete info to share on specifications, even though this unnamed budget-friendly foldable could see daylight as early as February 2020, alongside the "11th edition of the Galaxy S series." The reason we're not referring to this as the Galaxy Fold 2, by the way, is that insiders are expecting a radically different form factor.
Instead of a horizontal fold, a vertical fold is anticipated, giving birth to a "clamshell" model similar to the Motorola Razr rather than the original Galaxy Fold. Speaking of the OG, Samsung is expected to bring that to a grand total of 60 countries "by February", from Vietnam to New Zealand and from Brazil to Italy, which is yet another sign that what's coming in a few months shouldn't be considered a true sequel.
The Galaxy Fold 2 and a surprise rival are also in the pipeline
Okay, perhaps "surprise" is a bit of an exaggeration, but this is the first time we're hearing from a reputable source about concrete plans for a foldable LG smartphone release. The company previously insisted on downplaying the advantages of and demand for these type of products, approaching things differently with the Dual Screen-compatible V50 ThinQ and G8X ThinQ.
Unfortunately, LG's mystery first "true" foldable is completely shrouded in secrecy, not unlike the "second edition of the Galaxy Fold." We "know" about the latter that Samsung is gunning for an August announcement, but naturally, that's pretty much it in terms of "certainties." For its part, the company essentially confirmed a little over a month ago the imminence of a reimagined clamshell product to take on the Razr, as well as its goal of releasing more than one foldable next year.
Then again, Samsung also planned to commercially roll out the first-gen Galaxy Fold all the way back in April, and that didn't work out so well.