Galaxy Z Fold S rumored to fold both ways, have budget price

Although they are fundamentally different from each other, many have been comparing the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Microsoft Surface Duo in their approach to the foldable phone dream. Technically not really foldable in the sense of having a foldable screen, the Surface Duo offers some benefits that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 can only dream of, particularly in using a single screen for both "tablet" and "phone" modes. Samsung, however, may give Microsoft a run for its money if this Galaxy Z Fold S rumor is actually real.

The Surface Duo has a 360-degree hinge that lets the device fold into more forms than the Galaxy Z Fold 2 at the expense of having an unavoidable break in the middle. In contrast, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a single, unbroken display but can only fold from about zero to 180-degrees because of the limitations of flexible OLED displays.

A new rumor would have us believe and hope for a new foldable Samsung phone that finally overcomes that limitation. Tentatively called the Galaxy Z Flip 2, the device would supposedly be able to fold inwards like a regular Galaxy Z Fold 2 as well as outwards like a Surface Duo or, perhaps more appropriate, a Huawei Mate Xs pictured above. This means the device could have only one screen, with the same large screen being used in a phone form factor.

If that alone didn't sound unbelievable already, the speculation that it will be a budget foldable phone may make it sound too good to be true. Samsung has long been expected to have a more affordable version of the Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Z Fold 2 but that has yet to materialize. This Galaxy Z Fold S, however, might not be that.

Despite having just a single display and potentially a reduced number of cameras, the R&D and manufacturing that will be required to pull off such a 360-degree flexible screen might still offset those cost savings. Given how the single folding direction of the current Galaxy Z Fold 2 still has room for improvement, it's difficult to see how Samsung will be able to make such a device in time next year, not to mention one that will have an accessible price tag.