The best foldable phones you can buy right now

Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and Flip 3 sitting open

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

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 true flexible and foldable displays are finally a reality. The big problem is that at the moment, they are prohibitively expensive. In this article, we will look at the current foldable phones on the market, plus a quick preview of what we might see in the future.

Best foldable phones:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
  2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
  3. Motorola Razr 5G
  4. Huawei Mate Xs/Mate X2
  5. Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Editor’s note: We will update this foldable phone list as more devices hit the market.

1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 angled screen open couch

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s latest foldable phone is the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and it shows just how much Samsung has in store for the line. One of the biggest changes is the OEM’s first-ever under-display selfie camera, tucked away in the huge 7.6-inch internal display. Both the internal and external displays now offer 120Hz refresh rates to boot.

On the specs front, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 now packs a Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB 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 12MP rear cameras, a 10MP front-facing camera on the external display, and the previously mentioned under-display selfie shooter packs just 4MP. Samsung also kept the side-mounted fingerprint reader and added brand-new S Pen support in an attempt to capture some of that Galaxy Note glory. At $1,800, it’s $200 less than the Fold 2, but it finally takes steps towards becoming a mainstream foldable phone. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 specs:

  • Display: 7.6-inch QXGA+ and 6.2-inch HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256 or 512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP, 4MP UDC
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 closed on park bench

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s other brand-new foldable takes on the clamshell market in the form of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. While the Fold 3 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.

It offers excellent build quality, with a premium exterior finish and a much-improved 6.7-inch internal display. Samsung finally showed some love to the external display, too, jumping to 1.9-inches to make managing your notifications that much easier. On the inside, you’ll find a powerful Snapdragon 888 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 3,300mAh battery and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is its most affordable folding option yet at just around $1,000, so it just might be the springboard that the company needs to reach the masses.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 1.9-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128 or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Motorola Razr 5G (2020)

Moto Razr foldable unfolded screen in hand 1

Motorola finally 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 big improvement later in 2020 that fixed up many design and spec problems.

See also: Motorola Razr 5G buyer’s guide

The design is a throwback to the classic Razr V3 mobile flip phone, first released in 2004. Motorola’s new Razr not only looks like that classic flip phone, but it’s 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 better, too: it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip inside along with 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.

The new Motorola Razr is available as an unlocked smartphone directly from Motorola, at the link below. It’s still pretty expensive, but it is far more impressive this time around.

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

4. Huawei Mate XS and Mate X2

Huawei Mate Xs review open mode standing

At Mobile World Congress 2019, Huawei officially unveiled its first foldable phone: the Huawei Mate X. It took a different approach than the Galaxy Fold in terms of its design. Its display wrapped around the phone’s body, and when folded out, it turned into a large tablet. After several months of delays, the Huawei Mate X went on sale in November 2019, but just in China. It did not ship with Google Mobile Services due to the trade ban on Huawei by the US.

Huawei wasted no time launching a follow-up device called the Mate XS. Like many sequels, it looks very much like the original Mate X in terms of design. When folded in, it has a 6.6-inch display, but it converts to a big 8-inch tablet when folded out. The screen has two layers of polymer on top to better protect it from scratches. Inside, the Mate XS uses Huawei’s Kirin 990 chipset instead of the older Kirin 980. It also supports 5G networks, and its two batteries can be charged up to 85% in just 30 minutes, thanks to the company’s 55W SuperCharge tech.

Huawei Mate X2 review half open internal screen

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

In February 2021, Huawei launched the Mate X2. This foldable phone’s 8-inch display folds inward like a book, like the Galaxy Z Fold 2. However, once folded, you can still use a secondary display on the outside so you can use it more like a standard smartphone. Inside, there is a Kirin 9000 processor and 8GB of RAM. You also can get either 256GB or 512GB of internal expandable storage.

In the rear of the phone, there are four camera sensors. There’s a main 50MP lens, a 16MP ultra-wide sensor, a 12MP 3x telephoto camera, and an 8MP 10x periscope zoom camera. You also get a 16MP camera on the outside secondary screen. There’s also a 4,500mAh battery with 55W wired charging. It uses Huawei’s EMUI 11 skin on top of Android 10 but lacks Google apps or support.

At the moment, the phone is nearly impossible to find. If you live in China, you will have to spend 17,999 yuan (~$2,785) for the 256GB model, while the 512GB variant costs 18,999 yuan ($2,940). 

Huawei Mate XS specs:

  • Display: 8-inch and 6.6-inch (folded)
  • SoC: Kirin 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 40, 16, and 8MP
  • Front camera: N/A
  • Battery: Two totaling 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Huawei Mate X2 specs:

  • Display: 8-inch and 6.45-inch (folded)
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 16, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 16
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold real world image

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Xiaomi is the latest of these OEMs to enter the folding phone game with its Mi Mix Fold. It’s styled as the Mi family’s largest member, right down to the camera unit on the back panel. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Fold is a horizontal in-folding device like the Mate X2 and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3.

On the inside, you’ll find a speedy Snapdragon 888 SoC as well as top-notch 67W charging. Xiaomi has even packed the largest battery we’ve seen in a folding phone, weighing in at a massive 5,020mAh capacity. The battery itself is split into two cells to make the most of its space.

When you open this brand-new folder, you’ll be greeted with a huge 8.01-inch OLED display as well as a 6.52-inch external display. Xiaomi chose a 60Hz refresh rate for the internal display (so no high refresh rate on this panel), but it also boasts that you can fold the phone one million times. The Mi Mix Fold also stars a 108MP main shooter and an 8MP liquid lens, the first of its kind on a smartphone.

It’s not the easiest or most affordable phone to hunt down, at least not outside of China. Details of a global launch have been hard to come by, but you can grab your own Mi Mix Fold on Giztop right now.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold specs:

  • Display: 8.01-inch and 6.52-inch (folded)
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,020mAh
  • Software: Android 10

What about the Microsoft Surface Duo?

Microsoft Surface Duo general UI 1

David Imel / Android Authority

The Microsoft Surface Duo is not only a foldable phone, but it is also the first-ever Android-based hardware device from the home of the Windows OS. It’s also a foldable phone without a truly foldable display. It has a clever hinge to create a dual-screen device but without a truly flexible AMOLED display.

The foldable is a dual-screen device, with two 5.6-inch 1,800 x 1,350 displays giving you a combined 2,700 x 1,800 8.1-inch screen. You can use one app on both screens or two apps simultaneously on each display or split the bottom screen to be a keyboard.

Inside, the specs are not that impressive for the $1,399 launch price of the phone. There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. There are two batteries inside that combine to form one 3,577mAh cell. There’s just one 11MP camera sensor that is placed on top of the interior right panel. You can rotate the panel, so it serves as both a selfie and a standard rear camera. There’s also no NFC support.

In our review of the Surface Duo, we not only mentioned the lackluster hardware specs, but at launch, the software had lots of major bugs that, frankly, should not have been in the handset. While we admire the phone design, the price, the average specs, and the software bugs all combine to keep this phone off our best foldable phones list. Hopefully, Microsoft will have better luck with its next-generation Android foldable phone if it decides to make one. 

The alternatives to foldable phones

LG G8X ThinQ dual screen on table 2

LG spent a good long time working on foldable phones. However, the fact that its smartphone division has shut down means that we may never see the fruits of that labor. Instead, LG went in a different direction by launching phones which had an optional case containing a secondary display. The first phone to come with this feature was the LG V50, which was announced in 2019. However, the secondary display add-on was only available in South Korea.

The company then launched the LG G8X. The phone has a 6.4-inch display, but you can slap on the included secondary 6.4-inch screen to get more screen real estate. The display allows for new capabilities such as gaming controls and interesting camera tricks using the secondary display as your preview panel. Best of all, the LG G8X with the secondary display included is available unlocked on Amazon for far less than what you have to pay for one of the foldable phones listed above.

LG V60 ThinQ 5G standing dual dusplay

More recently, the LG V60 launched in 2020. It has a big 6.8-inch Full HD+ display, and you can get it with an equally big secondary display accessory. You can get it from AT&T or Verizon. It’s not a cheap phone by any means, but it does come in cheaper than foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr 5G, or its much more similar distant cousin, the Microsoft Surface Duo.

The future of foldable phones

TCL Ti Fold concept phone screen 1

What does the future of foldable phones with flexible displays look like? Well, 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.

TCL rollable concept phone open in hand

The other TCL concept is not a foldable phone, exactly. 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 canny 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. And it certainly looks like the brand is closer to a commercial release than TCL.

There you have it — these are the best foldable phones you can currently buy. We’ll make sure to update this post with new models once they hit the market.

You May Like Also

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip
  • Mobile World Congress 2019
  • our review of the Surface Duo
  • a look at two possible new designs