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ZTE’s New Flip Phone Is Cheaper Than the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S24

 ZTE’s New Flip Phone Is Cheaper Than the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S24

Foldable phones have one big problem: They’re expensive. Chinese tech giant ZTE is the latest company trying to change that, with its Nubia Flip 5G, a clamshell-style phone that costs just $600. 

That not only makes it cheaper than competing premium flip phones from Samsung and Motorola, but some standard smartphones as well. However, it won’t be available in the US. ZTE says the new products it announced at Mobile World Congress — which include new gaming and music-oriented phones in addition to the Nubia Flip 5G — will be launching in Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

ZTE is billing the Nubia Flip 5G as a flip phone “for young people.” That comes after Motorola similarly aimed its $700 2023 Razr at younger generations looking to disconnect from technology. ZTE’s phone has a circular cover screen, along with an internal display that measures 6.9 inches. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor — an older chip, but the same one that powers Motorola’s rival device. 

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At $600, the Nubia Flip 5G is several hundred dollars cheaper than the $1,000 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. It’s also $100 less than Motorola’s $700 2023 Razr, which grabbed headlines because of its relatively low cost when it launched last year. But perhaps what’s even more interesting is that the Nubia Flip 5G is cheaper than standard nonfolding phones. That includes Apple’s iPhone 15 and Samsung’s Galaxy S24, both of which start at $800, as well as Google’s $700 Pixel 8. 

ZTE’s new flip phone can be seen as another effort to make foldable phones more appealing to a broader audience by bringing down their prices. International Data Corporation estimated that 20.4 million foldable devices were expected to be shipped in 2023, which pales in comparison to the more than 1 billion smartphones that shipped last year. 

That lower price also comes with some trade-offs, though. Aside from the older chip, the Nubia Flip 5G’s outer screen looks like it may not be as large as the one on Samsung’s pricier Galaxy Z Flip 5 or the $1,000 Motorola Razr Plus. 

You also won’t get as many cameras as you’d find on a nonfolding phone, since part of the handset’s exterior is taken up by the screen. ZTE says the Nubia Flip 5G has a 50-megapixel main camera and a 16-megapixel front camera. The external screen is circular in shape, which makes it somewhat unique, although Tecno’s Phantom V Flip also has a round cover screen.

Still, it’s a promising sign, suggesting that foldable phones may become more accessible to shoppers on a budget. But ZTE likely isn’t the only company looking to make foldable phones more affordable. Korean news outlet ETNews reports that Samsung plans to launch a cheaper version of its book-shaped Galaxy Z Fold later this year.

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