Samsung has released a handful of foldable smartphones with great fanfare, but actually selling those phones can be more challenging. Foldables are currently about twice as expensive as non-foldable phones, but Samsung hopes its new “Buy and Try” program will get people to take a chance on an expensive foldable. Starting now, you’ve got 100 days to try a new Samsung foldable, and if you decide it’s not for you, Samsung will take it back.
2020 saw the release of Samsung’s second-gen foldables, the Z Flip and Z Fold2. Both phones started at more than $1,000, with the Fold2 topping out at a whopping two grand. Naturally, it’s hard to convince phone buyers who have been irked by the high cost of regular phones to spend twice as much as “regular” phones.
I will say, though, that using a foldable like the ZFold2 is a very different experience — you don’t know how you’re going to use it until it’s in your hands. The ability to launch multiple apps side-by-side on a device that fits in your pocket is potentially transformative, at least for people like me. I’ve written and published entire articles on the Fold2, and it wasn’t nearly as annoying as doing the same on a regular phone can be.
The problem remains: how do you get people to try a foldable? Samsung’s Buy and Try program might push a few fence-sitters to give it a shot. You still have to purchase the phone, but prices have come down a bit. The Z Fold2 is $1,450 and the Flip is $1,200 currently. After you buy one between now and April 1st, Samsung will give you 100 days to decide if you want to keep it. This is essentially a very, very long return window rather than the 15 days you get with other Samsung devices.
Here’s the thing about foldables, though — they aren’t ready. Don’t get me wrong. I love foldable phones and believe they are the future, but the future comes later. The current raft of foldables (from Samsung and others) is too fragile and expensive for your average smartphone buyer. It’s too easy to damage these devices, and you can bet Samsung isn’t going to take a busted foldable back for a full refund after 99 days.
Samsung’s current foldables are around the middle of their release cycle, so it’s about the time you’d expect to see more promotions. We expect Samsung to release new foldables in both clamshell and book-style form factors later this year.
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