ZTE Libero Flip looks like the first truly affordable clamshell foldable

What you need to know

  • ZTE Libero Flip only costs $420 and is even cheaper if pre-ordered in Japan.
  • The cheapest clamshell phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 SoC and runs on Android 13.
  • It has a larger foldable screen measuring 6.9 inches, bigger than the Galaxy Z Flip 5.
  • The device also puts it in a nifty sub-display in the camera visor for essential tasks.

While we were anticipating Samsung would bring the first cheaper foldable phone, ZTE brought one to the Japanese market this week. It is dubbed ZTE Liberi Flip — a clamshell phone priced at $420 and even cheaper if pre-ordered, making it only $265 (via The Verge).

According to its listing, the Libero Flip will be released on February 29, and users can pre-order for YEN 39,800 (~$265). The clamshell phone will come in white, gold, and blue colorways. Despite being a mid-range foldable phone, it still features design as seen on conventional clamshell phones like the Oppo Find N2 Flip and the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

(Image credit: ZTE)

The clamshell phone packs a 6.9-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution. There is another display, which the company calls a sub-display, in the camera visor that measures 1.43 inches. 

The sub-display allows users to check notifications and weather and set custom widgets. The housing is quite similar to what we have seen on the recent TECNO Phantom V Flip, which is, in fact, smaller than the one on the Libero Flip. 

Similarly, the sizeable foldable display on the Libero Flip is slightly bigger than the one featured on the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which measures 6.7-inches. The large display can be bent to 90 degrees, which brings additional functionality like the ability to take photos, making it a viewfinder, eliminating the need for a separate tripod (again, quite similar to what we have seen on the Galaxy Z Flip 5).; it also supports gesture shooting for selfies.

The primary cameras include a 50MP primary sensor aided by another 2MP depth sensor. The punch hole on the foldable display packs in another 16MP selfie shooter.

Underneath, the Libero Flip is packing a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 accompanied by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. It runs on Android 13 out of the box and is powered by a 4310mAh battery with 33W fast charging support. The device is featuring in IPX2 for water and IP4X for dust resistance. 

The Libero Flip manages to look as good as the traditional clamshell phones when it comes to design and displays. However, the clamshell phone does not aim for the premium segment but rather the market for the mid-range foldable phone.

Henceforth, the cost-cutting measurements like opting for a Snapdragon 7 series chipset, toned-down cameras, and restrictions in IP rating are seen on the Liberio Flip and appear to be considerable bypasses to make the foldable flip phone accessible to a larger audience. 

We can expect a similar, if not better, approach when Samsung ventures into the mid-range foldable segment in the near future. While several rumors have pointed at Samsung already in the works to bring in an affordable book style and clamshell foldable phones, nothing concrete about it is available yet. Until then, the Libero Flip from ZTE might be the only clamshell phone users can buy in Japan.

Via: Androidcentral

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