Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

Foldables are aiming to be the next big thing in smartphone technology by putting a modern spin on the flip phones of the past. These new phones are on the bleeding edge of technology, letting you have a bigger phone screen than ever before, while being more compact.

UPDATE: 08/22/2023

We’ve updated our buying guide with the latest and greatest foldable phones. Take a look!

Should I Buy a Folding Phone?

A cell phone that can fold and unfold isn’t a new concept. It wasn’t all that long ago that nearly everyone had a flip phone where the top half of the phone flipped up to reveal the keys underneath. This design was nearly ubiquitous across the mobile phone world, with BlackBerry being the most notable exception.

Then, after the iPhone ushered in the era of smartphones, the standard look of the phones changed to a rectangular slab of glass and plastic or metal. While revolutionary for the time, as we’ve gotten busier and nearly every aspect of our lives has moved into the digital space, this form factor has become limiting.

That’s why foldables are an intriguing proposition for many. With the portability of a phone and the functionality of a tablet all in one device, a foldable phone can be a productivity powerhouse. There’s also a lot to be said for having a large-screen phone that lets you do all the typical smartphone tasks you’re used to while folding up to half its size.

But foldable phones aren’t for everyone. They are still extremely pricey, and the extra functionality may be overkill for some people. But if you could benefit from being more productive no matter where you are, they are worth a look.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5



Cover screen is better and more useful than ever

App support is limited for cover screen

New hinge makes for zero gap when closed

Camera isn’t much better than the previous model

IPX8 water resistance

Decent battery life

When foldable phones first began to appear on the market, they were larger, dual-screen devices that seemed aimed at power users, but not necessarily everyone. A flip-style phone like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, on the other hand, combines the power of a modern smartphone with the ease of use of an older-style flip phone.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 uses a foldable screen inside, with a smaller screen on the outside that Samsung calls the “cover screen” for notifications and other information. With this form factor, not only do you get a phone that fits better in your pocket, but some of those classic flip phone behaviors like closing the phone to end a call are present here. One of the bigger upgrades in the Z Flip 5 is the hinge, which now allows the screen to close completely when you shut it.

At the heart of the Z Flip 5 lies an octa-core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with 8GB RAM. The phone is IPX8 water resistant, so you don’t need to worry about splashes, but there isn’t any dust protection, so you’ll need to be careful where you bring it.

The camera setup hasn’t seen too much of an upgrade, but you still get a pair of cameras on the back: a 12 MP, f/1.8 wide lens and a 12 MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide shooter. On the front, there is a 10 MP, f/2.2 selfie camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes in both 256GB and 512GB configurations. Regardless of how much storage you’re looking for, the phone is available in Graphite, Cream, Lavender, and Mint finishes.

flip 5-1

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Best Foldable Phone Overall

The Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 is a great folding phone that packs powerful specs at an affordable price. Its vertical folding style makes it easy to use and offers a bit of nostalgia too

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5



Thinner and lighter than previous models

Charges slower than it should

Hinge is stronger than ever and leaves no gap

No dust resistance

IPX8 water resistance

More battery life than the previous model

Strong multitasking performance

If you’re someone who spends the vast majority of time on your phone, it makes sense to have the most powerful phone possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean processing power but what you can do with the phone. A design like the Samsung Z Fold 5 lets you do things with your phone that you simply can’t on other designs.

The large internal screen of the Z Fold 5 is more like a tablet than a phone, and this lets you get more done. If you’re used to a traditional-style phone, the extra screen real estate can take some getting used to, but once you’re accustomed to it, you’ll likely find it hard to go back.

Despite having a pair of screens, they’re not the same size. The external display is 6.2 inches diagonal, like a standard smartphone, while the unfolded internal display is 7.6 inches to provide a tablet experience. Samsung’s One UI lets you run up to three apps in a split screen at the same time, as well as floating windows on top of these, letting you get a whole lot done.

Like the previous Z Fold model, the Z Fold 5 features a total of five cameras, with three on the back, a selfie camera, and a hidden camera for video calls. The rear cameras are especially good, even if they haven’t moved too far on from the cameras in the previous model.

Similar to the Z Flip 5, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is available in 256GB and 512GB storage configurations. For color options, regardless of storage, you can choose between Phantom Black, Cream, and Icy Blue.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Best Foldable Phone Experience

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the best premium all-around foldable experience you can buy today. It’s got great hardware and top-of-the-line cameras backed by one of the best software update guarantees in the industry.

A Classic Line from Motorola: Motorola Razr+

Motorola Razr+



Large and useful external screen

Front screen is a fingerprint magnet

Great battery life

Excellent photography features

Motorola’s Razr line of phones predates smartphones as we know them now, but they were still iconic for the time. The company’s decision to resurrect the brand for foldables makes perfect sense, as the Motorola Razr+ feels like a direct continuation of that line, only brought into the modern era.

None of Motorola’s reborn Razr models has been bad, but the Razr+ is a massive step above the models that have come before it. For example, take the outer screen: not only is it larger than any other foldable on the market, but at 3.6 inches, it’s larger than the main screen on many early smartphones, and that’s completely discounting the 6.9-inch main AMOLED display.

You can get a surprising amount done on the outer screen without ever having to flip the phone open at all. Of course, you can see your notifications, but the screen is also great for text messaging, controlling music apps, and using widgets from other Android apps.

Powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset with 8GB DDR5 RAM, the Razr+ has plenty of performance on offer. It also features a 12MP wide camera and a 13MP macro camera on the back, as well as a 32MP selfie camera on the front. Battery life is fairly good, thanks to the 3,800mAh battery.

The Razr+ is only available with 256GB of storage. That said, there are plenty of color options, including Infinite Black, Glacier Blue, and Viva Magenta.

Motorola Razr+

Motorola Razr+ (2023)

A Classic Line from Motorola

$900 $1000 Save $100

The Motorola Razr+ might hearken back to the brand’s earlier phones, but it’s far more modern. While the flip phone aesthetic remains, the Razr+ has plenty of power and flexibility, regardless of what you may be using it for.

Google Pixel Fold



Good app support for outer and inner displays

Bezels are on the larger side

Google’s Pixel cameras are always excellent

Some software issues

Solid battery life

Sleek build and design

While manufacturers like Samsung have been catching up, there is still no better phone than a Google phone if you’re looking for the purest Android experience and the most frequent updates. If you’re looking for a foldable but still want a steady stream of updates, the Google Pixel Fold may be the best choice for you.

The Google Pixel Fold works as a normal 5.8-inch phone when it’s folded. Sure, it’s a little thicker than some phones, but not by much. Unfold it, and it turns into a 7.6-inch quasi-tablet, giving you access to all sorts of productivity options that simply wouldn’t be possible on a traditional smartphone design.

Another advantage of buying a Google phone these days is that the company uses its own chips. The Google Tensor G2 chip in the Pixel Fold makes for smooth multitasking, even with heavy workloads. It also powers Google AI features like Live Translate, making the Pixel Fold a great option for travelers.

Google describes the Pixel Fold’s camera as the “best camera on a foldable phone,” and while other manufacturers would surely beg to differ, Google phones have had fantastic cameras for years now. You get a 48MP main rear lens, joined by a 10.8MP ultra-wide lens and a telephoto lens.

The Google Pixel Fold comes in both 256GB and 512GB configurations, and it is available in Obsidian and Porcelain color options, though the latter is exclusive to the Google Store.

google pixel fold-1

Google Pixel Fold (256 GB)

Google’s First Foldable

The Google Pixel Fold combines everything that is great about Google phones, like the fantastic camera and frequent updates, with a foldable form factor that makes it one of the best in the game.

Another Great Foldable Experience: Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3



Very thin and light build

Hard to actually buy in many countries

Fantastic looking design

Excellent performance

Xiaomi has been making fantastic phones for years now, as well as some other great accessories like headphones. The issue is that it’s been hard to actually purchase anything from the company in countries like the United States. While that hasn’t changed, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 looks good enough that you may find yourself scrambling to find a way to acquire one.

On the outside of the phone, you get a 6.56-inch AMOLED display, big enough that others may assume this isn’t a foldable, at least until you open it up. Once you do open it up, you get a 2K+, 8.03-inch display, slightly larger than most of its competition.

Powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and Adreno 740 GPU, the Mix Fold 3 doesn’t flinch when it comes to showing off as much power as its flagship competition. Compared to some other foldable, the 4800mAh battery is absolutely massive, with quick charging to quickly get you back in the game.

The Mix Fold 3 features three rear cameras, with the star of the show being the 50-megapixel Sony IMX800 camera, which features optical image stabilization. You also get 10MP telephoto, 12MP super wide angle, and 20MP front camera lenses.

The Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 is available with either 12GB or 16GB of RAM. You’re limited to 256GB of storage with the 12GB model, while the 16GB model lets you choose between 256GB and 512GB of storage. The Mix Fold 3 is available in Black, Gold, and Black Fiber color varieties.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

Best Foldable Design

The Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 is a fantastic foldable phone with features that make it superior, at least on paper, to the foldable offerings from Samsung, Motorola, or Google. The only issue is that it can be hard to find in certain countries, but if you look hard enough, you can definitely get one for yourself.

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By John P.

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