If you spend a lot of money on research and development, you’re going to want a return on that investment. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Samsung is reportedly exploring the possibility of another folding smartphone to sit alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip 5G.
The rumor comes from YouTuber Fold Universe who tweeted that the new device — dubbed the Galaxy Z Fold S — would model itself less on Samsung’s existing foldables and more on Microsoft’s imminent Surface Duo. In other words, it’s a closable tablet with a 360-degree hinge.
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The big difference – according to the rumor’s source – is that Samsung’s alternative will have a single flexible OLED screen, rather than the two panels used on the Microsoft handset.
While pocketing the phone, just fold the phone with the glass surface facing outside, not with the flexible OLED screen facing outside.Tbh I don't see good use cases other than Tent Mode like the Surface Duo which isn't that intriguing.Maybe they do it just to show they can.September 5, 2020
Apparently, the source of the leak isn’t too impressed. “I don't see good use cases other than Tent Mode like the Surface Duo which isn't that intriguing,” Fold Universe tweeted. “Maybe they do it just to show they can.”
The main appeal to a Galaxy Z Fold S would be the thinness of the design. The device would presumably not feature an external display, which would allow Samsung to create a sleeker and more pocket-friendly device. The Galaxy Z Fold 2, for example, is 0.66 inches thick when closed, compared to just 0.38 inches for the Surface Duo.
In addition, a Galaxy Z Fold S would likely pack much better specs than the the $,1400 Duo. Samsung's foldable is powered by last year's Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip rather than this year’s Snapdragon 865. We'd expect a Galaxy Z Fold S to feature Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 875 chip, which is rumored to use the same 5nm manufacturing process as the iPhone 12's A14 Bionic.
The leaker says the device will be with us in 2021, and we’ll have to see if that happens, but it’s far from guaranteed. For starters, this is a relatively new leaker without a long track record to cross check against. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fiction, but does mean that it’s harder to take at face value.
Samsung’s foldables may cost an arm and a leg, but the company does insist on top-notch internals to justify the price, so we could potentially see a sleeker and more powerful alternative to the Surface Duo next year.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.