It's no secret that foldable phones have massively grown in popularity. Despite figures showing a drop in sales recently, the sub-segment has continually grown over the last few years, even when sales in the wider market were struggling.
That popularity has spawned lots of additional competition in the market. Recently, models like the Oppo Find N2 Flip have done wonders for the foldable phone market, reducing the cost of entry and allowing users who would previously have been priced out the chance to get their hands on one.
Now, it looks like there could be an even more affordable foldable phone before long. In a recent tweet, Realme Vice President, Madhav Sheth (opens in new tab), asked the question, "What do you want next… realmeFlip or realmeFold?"
That's a great sign for fans of foldable devices. Being picked up by more affordable phone manufacturers means that prices should continue to fall, putting them into the hands of more people.
Realme are an excellent candidate for that, too. Through handsets like the Realme GT Neo 3, the brand have proved they can fuse a strong feature set with a fair price. Their handsets are good enough for the vast majority of users, without being chock full of power that goes to waste – if you only use your phone to scroll through social media, and your camera gets more use as a QR code scanner than anything else, that Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra may well be overkill.
For me, a Realme Flip would be a day-one purchase. The form factor of flip phones is undeniably convenient, and being able to access one at a more mid-range price point would be a real no brainer. I can see a lot of mileage in a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 style device, too. That book-style fold seems to be associated with more premium handsets, so getting one at a lower price would appeal to many users.
Of course, the key question here is price. Currently, the most premium model Realme offer in the UK is the GT Neo 3, which retails at £599. If a flip phone could achieve parity with that, with the book-style fold available for around £850, I think Realme would have a chance to tap into a huge market.