Last year a company inspired by late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobarthat was meant to deliver the new technology at an impressibly affordable $350 price tag. Nearly two months later the company is back with its second device, the $399 Escobar Fold 2.
Touted on its website as the “real Samsung killer phone” the new foldable looks a lot like the Galaxy Fold, which Samsung is currently shipping. It has a remarkably similar design, including a nearly identical 4.6-inch outer display that opens to reveal a similarly sized 7.3-inch tablet screen with the same type of cutout in the right corner for cameras.
There are five total cameras on the Escobar Fold 2: three rear cameras (12-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel telephoto and 16-megapixel ultra-wide), one 8-megapixel camera on the front display and one 10-megapixel camera on the unfolded tablet display.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, by comparison, has six total cameras: three on the rear, two on the tablet display and one on the front phone display.
Like the Galaxy Fold, the Escobar Fold 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, has USB-C and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. It has a 4,380-mAh battery, runs Android 10 and ships unlocked and worldwide.
The main difference is the price. Unlike Samsung’s nearly $2,000 foldable, the Escobar Fold 2 starts at $399 for a version that will come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. A $549 version bumps the specs to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
The phone is available to order now, with the company announcing that it will keep the initial production run to 200,000 units. CEO Olof Gustafsson tells CNET in an email that his company plans to ship the Fold 2 in March, with the company expecting to “sell at least 100,000 units by next week.”
“We take on the course that there is no need to re-invent the wheel,” writes Gustafsson when asked about the similarities between his device and Samsung’s. “We are using similar assembly factories as Samsung and other big guys are using in Shenzen, Mainland China and Hong Kong. Anybody can go there and buy a Galaxy Fold replica for less than $300.”
As for where the phone comes from, a company press release says it was designed in the United States and assembled in Hong Kong.
“My goal is to become the overstock kingpin of electronical devices this year,” Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, Pablo Escobar’s brother and Founder of Escobar Inc. says in a press release announcing the Fold 2. “All these factories simply have too much technology laying around, nobody is buying anything in China from secondary factories. We cut the prices and give clients direct discounts under the Escobar brand umbrella.”
“We are bringing that market to the people, under our brand. Not everyone can afford the flights etc. to China just to buy one phone,” writes Gustafsson. “Our goal is to become what Roberto has mentioned as the “Overstock Kings” of electronics, there is nobody like that at this time.”
CNET’s Sean Keane contributed to this report.