Harley Maranan / Android Authority
Magic V, Fold 3, Find N
It’s taken a long time to get foldable phones into the hands of consumers. The idea of a smartphone that folded out to a larger display has been something of a dream product for both users and phone makers. Now, phones with actual flexible and foldable displays are a reality. The big problem is that, at the moment, most are prohibitively expensive. This article will look at the current foldable phones on the market, plus a quick preview of what we might see in the future.
Related: The best Android phones around
The pros and cons of foldable phones
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Foldable phones are all the hype these days. Are they worth the higher price tag, though? The truth is we don’t believe they’ve quite evolved enough yet. And while foldable devices come with significant advantages, there are also plenty of downsides to look out for. Let’s help you decide by pointing out the pros and cons.
- Larger displays: This is an obvious advantage that comes with foldable phones. The inner displays can be so large that they start getting into tablet territory. This makes them much more functional and entertaining. Not to mention the larger foldables have a serious advantage when it comes to multitasking. And let’s not even get started with editing and gaming.
- Smaller bodies: Regardless of the type of foldable you get, the body can be made much smaller and more portable. Flip phone foldables can often fit comfortably in a shirt pocket!
- The fun factor: Foldable phones are still novelty items, and they are downright the coolest gadgets mobile tech has to offer. Any foldable phone owner is at the forefront of mobile technology and is bound to turn some heads when using his device.
- Better front-facing photos: We can all agree that rear-facing cameras are pretty much always better than front-facing ones. This is what makes foldable phones so enticing for selfie aficionados. You can use the rear-facing cameras to shoot selfies most of the time, and the external display can serve as a viewfinder.
- Water resistance is rare: While IP ratings are standard in most other high-end devices, they are still relatively rare in the world of foldable handsets. So far, only a couple (Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4) have water protection. This makes sense, as these phones have more moving parts. It’s also important to note that dust resistance is even harder to achieve, and even the mentioned devices don’t have that.
- General durability is lacking: Furthermore, mechanical moving parts are yet another thing that can malfunction. Many of these devices are tested for about 200,000 folds, which is arguably more than enough. Still, having very reliable moving parts is always worse than having no moving parts.
- The crease!: Talking about moving parts, that typical crease that forms in the fold section is a serious eyesore. Manufacturers continue to improve this using advanced hinge mechanics, but only the Oppo Find N has accomplished an invisible crease.
- Thicker bodies: While foldable phones can be reduced in general size, all that material has to go somewhere. This is why foldables are much thicker than other phones. As an example, a Samsung Galaxy S22 is only 7.6mm thin. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is 14.2-15.8 mm when folded shut. There’s also the matter of uneven folds. Sometimes the hinge makes it impossible to create a uniform fold, leaving annoying spacing between the flaps.
- Foldable screens are still worse: Foldable smartphone screens can’t be made with glass, which is arguably much better than plastic. Glass isn’t truly flexible, a requirement when you have a screen that needs to be folded in half. Plastic screens have less clarity, don’t look as nice, and are more often to scratches and general damage.
- They are expensive: Foldable smartphones are still costly. The most affordable handset is the Moto Razr 5G, which can currently be had for about $800. That’s because it’s getting older, though. At launch, it was $1,400. The foldable with the lowest MSRP at launch is the Galaxy Z Flip 4 at $999.
The best foldable phones
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
- Motorola Razr 5G
- Microsoft Surface Duo 2
- Oppo Find N2
Editor’s note: We will update this foldable phone list as more devices hit the market.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is now the latest and greatest foldable from Samsung and is a minor upgrade over its predecessor. It packs a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, 12GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and a 4,400mAh dual battery. While the battery life still isn’t elite, it’s a solid cell to keep you moving throughout your day.
There are still three cameras at the back, a 10MP front-facing camera on the external display, and an under-display selfie shooter that packs just 4MP. The phone sports a side-mounted fingerprint reader and S Pen support in an attempt to capture some of that Galaxy Note glory.
The main display is quite big when unfolded at 7.6 inches, while the smaller one comes in at 6.2 inches. You also get an IPX8 rating, Android 12L, and wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 specs:
- Display: 7.6-inch QXGA+ and 6.2-inch HD+
- SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
- RAM: 12GB
- Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
- Cameras: 50, 12 and 10MP
- Front camera: 10MP, 4MP UDC
- Battery: 4,400mAh
- Software: Android 12
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung’s other premium foldable takes on the clamshell market in the form of the Galaxy Z Flip 4. While the Fold 4 might take a lot of the headlines, this is the one to buy if you’re ready to test out a relatively affordable foldable phone.
The Flip 4 offers excellent build quality, with a premium exterior finish and a 6.7-inch internal display. The external display comes in at 1.9 inches to make managing your notifications that much easier. On the inside, you’ll find a powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor leading the charge, with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage backing it up.
There are two 12MP rear cameras and a 10MP front-facing camera. The handset also comes with a 3,700mAh battery and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the most affordable folding option from Samsung, so it might just be the springboard the company needs to reach the masses.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 specs:
- Display: 6.7-inch and 1.9-inch
- SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128/256/512GB
- Cameras: 12 and 12MP
- Front camera: 10MP
- Battery: 3,700mAh
- Software: Android 12
Motorola Razr 5G
Motorola announced its foldable Razr smartphone with a familiar name and design in late 2019, launching it in early 2020. It then followed up the Razr with a significant improvement later in 2020 that fixed many design and spec problems.
The design is a throwback to the classic Razr V3 mobile flip phone, first released in 2004. Motorola’s Razr not only looks like that traditional flip phone but is about as thin as the original at 14mm. However, when it unfolds from its retro clamshell body, it exposes a large 6.2-inch 21:9 display. When folded, you can still use a square 2.7-inch display on the outside to check notifications, control media, and more. You can even take selfies while using the small display since the 48MP rear camera turns into a front-facing camera when the phone is folded.
The new Motorola Razr foldable phone specs are also better: it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip inside, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. There’s also a small 2,800mAh battery, but at least that’s a bump up. Actually, all specs are a bump up.
This is an interesting phone, but since it’s older, we recommend getting one of the Samsung foldable listed above to most people.
It’s worth noting that Motorola has recently launched a 2022 version of the Razr — learn more here — but it’s very hard to find outside of China and very few other markets.
Motorola Razr 5G specs:
- Display: 6.2-inch and 2.7-inch
- SoC: Snapdragon 765G
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 256GB
- Camera: 48MP
- Front camera: 20MP
- Battery: 2,800mAh
- Software: Android 10
Microsoft Surface Duo 2
Microsoft’s first attempt at an Android phone came in the form of the Surface Duo. The phone was really cool, with a super thin and elegant design. It had its downsides, though; the device was costly for the specs, and it came with a fair share of bugs and software issues. The newest iteration, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2, is much improved, even if it still has some problems and continues to be very expensive. A foldable from Samsung may offer a more refined experience.
All that said, most of the best foldable phones are pricey, and the Microsoft Surface Duo is a fantastic option for the right user. One thing to note is that while this is one of the best foldable phones, it doesn’t have a foldable display. The device has two 5.8-inch screens attached by a hinge. This makes it easy to multitask, turn one screen into a keyboard, or read books more naturally.
The hinge also includes a thin screen that can display basic information without unfolding the device. This can consist of notifications, the time, battery status, and more. The device includes both rear and front-facing cameras, which wasn’t the case with its predecessor.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 specs:
- Display: 5.8-inch and 5.8-inch, 1,344 x 1,892 each
- SoC: Snapdragon 888
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128/256/512GB
- Cameras: 16, 12, and 12MP
- Front camera: 12MP
- Battery: 4,449mAh
- Software: Android 11
Oppo Find N2
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
While much less popular than the other devices on this list of the best foldable phones, the Oppo Find N2 is one of the best of its kind. For starters, the design is gorgeous, while keeping a smaller profile that will help with portability. Additionally, it has no noticeable crease where the display folds. The hinge also feels much more robust, and looks much more seamlessly designed than others. Not to mention the design and materials, which are nothing short of premium. Oppo sure knows how to make good hardware!
The Oppo Find N2 is not cheap, but you’ll get plenty for your money. Specs are plenty powerful, offering a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, as much as 512GB of storage, and a 4,520mAh battery. Both the outer and inner displays are excellent, offering AMOLED technology with 120Hz refresh rates.
All in all, we would highly recommend the Oppo Find N2 to foldable enthusiasts. The only real issue is that it can’t be had officially in the USA, but it’s easy to get it imported.
Oppo Find N2 specs:
- Display: 7.1-inch and 5.54-inch (folded)
- SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
- RAM: 12/16GB
- Storage: 256/512GB
- Cameras: 50, 48, and 32MP
- Front cameras: 32 and 32MP
- Battery: 4,520mAh
- Software: Android 13
Are there any other options?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
There aren’t that many foldable phones on the market right now, although the ones listed above aren’t the only ones you can choose from. A few other manufacturers have also released their own foldable phones, some of which you can check out below. However, remember that most of these are only available in China for now, and the possibility of them making their way over to the US or Europe is slim to none.
- Vivo X Fold (buy here): This foldable is similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, featuring a smartphone screen on the outside and a tablet-sized folding display on the inside. It also offers two ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors (one for each screen), the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Soc, and four rear cameras. The starting price in China is around $1,400.
- Honor Magic V (buy here): This is basically a bigger, thinner Galaxy Z Fold 4. The inside panel measures 7.9 inches and doesn’t have a crease — well, at least not as noticeable as the ones on most other foldable. You also get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and a 4,750mAh battery with 66W charging that gets the cell to 100% in around 40 minutes. It starts at about $1,570 in China.
- Huawei Mate XS 2 (buy here): Unlike the two foldable listed above, Huawei’s device is coming to Western markets. It is available in some European countries for around €2,000. It’s not a device we’d recommend since it doesn’t have access to the Play Store and costs more than The Fold 4.
The future of foldable phones
What does the future of foldable phones with flexible displays look like? TCL gave us a look at two possible new designs back in 2020. One is called the Tri-Fold foldable concept device. The phone itself is thick as three phones piled on top of each other. Its two hinges cause it to fold out like an accordion, resulting in a big 10-inch tablet-sized screen.
The other TCL concept is not a foldable phone; it’s a rollable phone. It looks like a standard smartphone, but you can roll out the flexible design inside from left to right.
TCL has a pretty intelligent strategy of showing off prototypes and designs without releasing anything at the consumer level, so don’t hold your breath. However, it is an idea of where things may be going.
Furthermore, Oppo has previously demonstrated the Oppo X 2021 rollable phone. Again, this isn’t a foldable phone, but it does seem like a very intriguing alternative to foldables.
More recently, we’ve seen Samsung playing with the idea of a dual-folding device, which also has a unique way to store the S Pen.
Most manufacturers make their devices to handle at least 200,000 folds. That would be enough to fold and unfold a handset about 100 times daily for nearly 5.5 years. Of course, your mileage will vary, and you might get a defective handset, but phone makers swear by their technology.
Foldable devices aren’t cheap. Expect to pay $1,000 at the very least for a modern foldable. And this is for flip versions. Fold-out devices will cost significantly more. These are mostly considered high-end handsets, though. At least you’re getting a powerful device for all that cash.
Not necessarily! Many of these come with an external display that offers at least some level of functionality. Flip foldables like the Razr 5G have tiny screens in the front, which can be used to glance at notifications, change songs, and more, quickly. Fold-out phones have an external display that is more similar to a traditional phone in size. Technically, you could use it without opening the phone at all.
While there are a few options to choose from, we’d recommend getting a Samsung foldable to most people.
It’s too soon to tell, but at the moment, foldable are still niche devices. Despite being innovative, they still face many problems that prevent them from going mainstream.
What phones are worth buying 2022? ›
- Winner: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max.
- Runner up: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4.
- Special mention: Vivo X80 Pro, Pixel 7 Pro.
- Runner up: Xiaomi 12 Pro.
- Special mention: Realme GT 2 Pro.
- Winner: Nothing phone (1)
- Runner up: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G.
- Special mention: OnePlus 10R.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: The best smartphone of 2022. ...
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 11: The best budget buy. ...
- Google Pixel 7: Pixel perfect. ...
- OnePlus 10 Pro: The best-value smartphone. ...
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: The best folding phone. ...
- Nokia C21 Plus: The best smartphone for £100.
With the Z Fold 4's larger size (and higher price), comes a corresponding set of features. There are three rear cameras including a telephoto lens, compared with just two on the Z Flip 2. The Z Fold 4 also manages to cram in a larger battery. Their front displays are different, too.What is the #1 best phone? ›
- #1 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3.
- #1 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3.
- #3 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- #3 Apple iPhone 13.
- #5 Google Pixel 5a.
- #5 OnePlus 10 Pro.
- #7 Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.
- #7 Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus.
The undisputed king of the smartphone world is Samsung- unquestionably, it is world no 1 mobile company 2023. It manufactures all kinds of mobile phones including basic feature phones along with high-end smartphones. The company was founded in the year 1938 in South Korea.Which phone brand is the best? ›
- SAMSUNG. Samsung is a big name in phone companies and has emerged as one of the top mobile brands in the world. ...
- APPLE. It is one of the most premium mobile brands in the world. ...
- HUAWEI. It's one of the wide-ranging smartphone brands in the world. ...
- XIAOMI. ...
- OPPO. ...
- LENOVO. ...
- LG. ...
Generally speaking, the S22 Ultra was arguably the most complete, do-it-all smartphone of 2022, with an ample amount of storage, RAM, and battery capacity to power it through. That's on top of the immersive 6.8-inch OLED panel that proves once again that Samsung is the king of displays.Which is no 1 smartphone brand in world? ›
Samsung remains the best-selling smartphone brand in the world, even if its year-on-year sales have taken a massive hit. According to analyst firm International Data Corporation, IDC, the worldwide shipments of all smartphones in Q3 2022 totalled 301.9 million – a 9.7% year-over-year decline.Why Android is better than iPhone? ›
You Want More Freedom, Control, and Customizations. Since Android is an open-source platform, it offers more freedom and customization options than iOS. You can customize almost anything on your Android device, from how your home screen looks to how you interact with your phone.Which one is better Samsung or iPhone? ›
If you are looking for a phone that is easy to use, has a good camera, and lasts a long time on a charge, an iPhone may be the right choice for you. If you are looking for more customization options and features with your smartphone, or want a bigger screen, then a Samsung smartphone may be better suited for you.
Is there a flip phone that works on 5G? ›
SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G Cell Phone, Factory Unlocked Android Smartphone, 128GB, Flex Mode, Super Steady Camera, Ultra Compact, US Version, Cream. Samsung's modern Galaxy Z Flip 3 proves that powerful and versatile things can come in small packages.Is there such a thing as a 5G flip phone? ›
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G.Is the Galaxy Flip worth buying? ›
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is really special, and it's the first Samsung foldable that I've started recommending to anyone who asks if it's worth it. Again, it's not a phone for anyone who wants a full-featured flagship camera experience, but for anyone else, it's excellent.Does the Galaxy Z flip break easily? ›
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Bend Test
However, the inner (folding) panel does not hold stongs against the scratch test. The display scratches at level 2 with deeper cuts at level 3. In fact, even fingernails can damage the screen. This is because Samsung flaunts a fragile ultra-thin glass at the inner (folding) panel.
Three of the review units that broke were due to the removal of a protective polymer layer that Samsung never intended for people to remove, as captured by Marques Brownlee. PSA: There's a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's display. It's NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.Which Android phone is the best one? ›
Best Android phone overall: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
And while Samsung did bring back mostly the same display, camera system, and internal components except for the newere Qualcomm chip, it did give the phone a new body and identity — one that merges the Galaxy S with the Galaxy Note.
- iPhone 14 Pro Max. It does not come as a surprise that the latest release from Apple finds itself on the top of our list. ...
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. ...
- Google Pixel 7 Pro. ...
- OnePlus 10 Pro. ...
- Oppo Find X5 Pro.
Sammy is now the big kahuna of cell phones. Today's Juniper Research and comScore reports indicated that Samsung kicked Apple from the top spot in regards to smartphones.What are the Top 10 best phones? ›
- Apple iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
- Google Pixel 7 Pro.
- Apple iPhone 13.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- Apple iPhone 13 Mini.
- Google Pixel 6A.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
- iPhone 14 Pro Max. Best phone overall. View now.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Best Android phone. View now.
- Google Pixel 7 Pro. Best camera phone. View now.
- Google Pixel 6a. Best budget phone. View now.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. Best folding phone. View now.
Are fold phones worth it? ›
Right now, the perks of owning a foldable phone don't really outweigh the drawbacks, given the high price we need to pay for one. But that's not going to be the case in just a few years. The proper utilisation of foldable technology is just getting started, and there are many reasons to be excited about its future.Is the new fold phone worth it? ›
Bottom line. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a stellar foldable phone that offers great multitasking capabilities, fantastic cameras and a large display. At $1,799, it's not going to be a phone for everyone. Instead, it's still priced for early adopters or those who can find a good use for everything the Z Fold 4 has to offer.Is Galaxy fold the best phone? ›
Samsung's latest edition of its flagship foldable – the Z Fold 4 – is the finest one we've reviewed to date. It matches the Galaxy S22 Plus for camera skills, packs a smattering of smart software tweaks to make it a far more productive device than the S22 Ultra.Why did galaxy fold fail? ›
Three of the review units that broke were due to the removal of a protective polymer layer that Samsung never intended for people to remove, as captured by Marques Brownlee. PSA: There's a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's display. It's NOT a screen protector.Do Samsung folds break? ›
While that number is far from an official report, it can give potential buyers an idea of what to expect when unboxing their Galaxy Z Fold 4 for the first time. Five percent is certainly a small fraction of users experiencing the issue, but it does mean that opening a new device only to find it broken isn't impossible.Which is better S22 Ultra or Fold 3? ›
In terms of display resolution, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G has better resolution of 3080 x 1440 than Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 which has resolution of 2208 x 1768. Both have the same amount of internal memory.
As you use your foldable, you'll open and close it countless times a day. How will the folding mechanism hold up over time? Galaxy Z Fold3 withstood intense hinge durability tests by Bureau Veritas, which certified the device could be unfolded and refolded more than 200,000 times with no sign of damage.How many times can you fold the Z Fold 4? ›
A screen that folds
The folding mechanism feels strong and built to last. In fact, Samsung promises the device will survive a minimum of 200,000 folds. While it is very much a two-handed activity to open the phone, it is easy to do and closes again with a satisfying click thanks to inbuilt magnets.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Verdict
Despite the modest price increase, then, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the best foldable you can buy right now. An ideal blend of price, form factor and performance, there's a lot to like with this updated model, and if you've got the money you really can't do much better.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is best foldable phone yet, with a more durable design and S Pen support, and the multitasking features are even better. You need a case to store the stylus and the cameras are not upgraded, but overall the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a great choice for power users.
Which is better Samsung Z fold or Samsung Z flip? ›
If you're all about multitasking and working on-the-go, the Galaxy Z Fold series is the best choice for you. With the ability to operate and interact with multiple apps on the screen at the same time, the latest in the Samsung Z Fold series is a powerhouse smartphone.Does Apple make a folding phone? ›
The expected launch of Apple's much awaited iPhone Fold has been getting pushed for a while now. In September last year, tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had said that Apple's foldable smartphone might not arrive until 2024.What is the problem with Samsung fold? ›
Users reported experiencing several issues, including cracked screens and noticeable creases, shortly after purchasing new Galaxy Z Flip 3 or Fold 3 devices last year.How many times can you fold Samsung fold a day? ›
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 should be able to survive at least 200,000 folds, a number the company estimates to be around five years of use. This rounds to about 110 folds per day.What is the problem with Samsung fold 3? ›
Issue: Screen protector problems
Some users of the Z Fold 3 have encountered a variety of issues with the phone's pre-installed screen protectors. These problems aren't always exactly the same, with some reporting bubbles and others reporting inconsistencies in the protector's adherence to the screen.