If Samsung's advertising budget hasn't been suggested to you already, many tech companies now believe that the future of mobile computing lies within shape-shifting form factors. Notably, devices that can fold, bend, and flex in varying angles to both extend themselves for wider usage and shrink for greater pocketability.
Foldable phones, for one, have blossomed over the past three years, with Samsung's Z Fold and Z Flip series leading the pack to mainstream acceptance. But while many consumers remain skeptical of the ambitious design of these foldables, reasonably worried about their durability, learning curve, and price of entry, there are now more market-ready offerings than ever before. And the options will only expand going into next year.
ZDNET's team of mobile experts has rounded up the very best foldable phones on the market today, including our best entry-level pick and the best overall.
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Pros & Cons
- First foldable with Android 12L software
- Reliable flagship cameras
- Brilliantly bright display with up to 1,000 nits
- Pricey at $1,799
- Form factor takes some getting used to
Tech specs:Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 |Main Display:7.6 inches, 2176x1812 pixels |Cover Display:6.2 inches, 2316x904 pixels |RAM/Storage:12GB RAM with 256GB/512GB/1TB internal options |Cameras:12MP ultra-wide, 50MP wide-angle, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP cover screen, 4MP under main display |Battery:4,400mAh
We've tested a lot of foldables phones at ZDNET, but none come close to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4, which offers a unique tablet experience while being able to fit snuggly in your jean and pants pockets. The Z Fold 4 represents the fourth generation of Samsung's industry-leading foldable, meaning you can expect incremental updates that add up to a well-rounded and polished foldable experience.
On the technical side, the Z Fold 4 finally comes with what we consider to be a flagship-level camera system, with its 50MP wide lens at the helm -- the same one that delivers sharp and vibrant imagery on the Galaxy S22 Plus-- putting it toe to toe with the industry best. Samsung has also trimmed down the framework from the inside out to make the newer Z Fold lighter and easier to handle.
Read the review:Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4
Pros & Cons
- Less expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold 4
- IPX8 water resistance
- S Pen support
- Improved software that's optimized for foldables
- S Pen is sold separately
- Still a chunky handset
- Insurance should be a priority
Tech specs:Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 |Main Display:7.6 inches, 2208x1768 pixels |Cover Display:6.2 inches, 2268x832 pixels |RAM/Storage:12GB RAM with 256GB/512GB internal options |Cameras:12MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide-angle, 12MP 2x telephoto, 10MP cover screen, 4MP under main display|Battery:4,400mAh
The new Galaxy Z Fold 4 may be the foldable champion, but last year's Galaxy Z Fold 3 is no less worthy of your consideration. Like the Fold 4, the predecessor can expand from a narrow 6.2-inch outer screen into a wider 7.6-inch main screen. It's quite a magical experience if you've never used a phone-to-tablet foldable.
In addition to the innovative form factor, Samsung packs a series of features like a triple-camera array for you to flex across different shooting modes, OneUI software to enhance your productivity and split-screen interactions, and a decent-sized 4,400mAh battery to keep the lights on. The Z Fold 3 is also the first foldable to support Samsung's infamous S Pen stylus for precision input.
Read the review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Pros & Cons
- Compact, portable form factor
- 3,700mAh battery is greatly appreciated
- Bespoke Edition color options
- Fairly priced at $899
- Lack of dust resistance
- Cameras are still a step below flagships
Tech specs:Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 |Main Display:6.7 inches, 2640x1080 pixels|Cover Display:1.9 inches, 512x260 pixels |RAM/Storage:8GB RAM with 128GB/256GB/512GB internal options |Cameras:Two rear 12MP, 10MP selfie |Battery:3,700mAh
Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 may represent the pinnacle of folding phones but it's the Z Flip 4 that will appeal to a wider range of users. Not only does it hold remnants of the old-school, clamshell, flip phone, but Samsung offers the latest foldable with a variety of colors -- including a Bespoke Edition that lets you customize the finish of the top and bottom plates and the hinge.
At a starting price of $999, the Z Flip 4 is an easier pill to swallow than the Z Fold 4 and there's no shortage of useful and practical features, too. For example, ZDNET's Jason Hiner put the flip phone to the test and found its compact shape beneficial for staying put in bags and pockets, as well as for being a portable hotspot hub.
Read the review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Pros & Cons
- Folding design makes this the most compact phone
- Least expensive foldable that's not discontinued
- Powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor
- Lack of telephoto camera lens
- Middling battery life
- A year less of software support than the Z Flip 4
Tech specs:Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 |Main Display:6.7 inches, 2640x1080 pixels |Cover Display:1.9 inches, 512x260 pixels |RAM/Storage:8GB RAM with 128GB/256GB internal options |Cameras:Two rear 12MP, 10MP selfie |Battery:3,300mAh
While this year's Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 has stolen all the thunder from the Z Flip 3, the latter is still a formidable pick-up if you're in search of a less-expensive foldable. In fact, the Z Flip 4 only sees minor improvements to its predecessor, which explains Samsung's strategy of pricing it the same as last year.
In turn, the Z Flip 3 can now be had for as low as $500, while still offering its durably-built, water-resistant design, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 prowess, and whimsically addictive, clamshell form factor. It also has the same 1.9-inch Cover Screen on the outside of the device for quick access to toggles, widgets, and camera tools.
Read the review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Pros & Cons
- Unique, outward-folding design
- 4,880mAh battery
- Ultra-light at 255 grams
- Nearly invisible crease at the center
- Not sold in the US
- Lack of Google services
- Expensive at $2,499 (US estimate)
- Highly susceptible to scratches
Tech specs:Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 |Main Display:7.8 inches, 2200x2480 pixels |RAM/Storage:8GB/12GB RAM with 256GB/512GB internal options |Cameras:13MP ultra-wide, 50MP wide-angle, 8MP 3x telephoto, 10.7MP front|Battery:4,880mAh
Huawei's first big foldables, the Mate X and XS, were interesting in that they incorporated a foldable form factor with displays opposite of what Samsung tried with the Z Fold. Instead of folding inward, the displays expanded outward (like a 2-in-1 laptop) and were always exposed, but looked amazing. Fast forward to today, the latest Huawei Mate Xs 2 builds on that premise with a new Falcon Wing design.
The Mate Xs 2 is clearly a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and it certainly edges out the Galaxy in a few areas. For one, the main, large screen spans 7.8-inches diagonally, with a PPI of 424. It's a high-resolution panel that, get this, has no noticeable crease,a problem that has plagued Galaxy foldables since the very beginning. The Mate Xs 2 also sees a larger 4,880mAh battery for better endurance.
Read also: Huawei Mate X2 hands-on
What is the best foldable phone?
The best foldable phone is Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4. Samsung's latest Z Fold is an engineering marvel, with a new and powerful processor, brighter display, and suite of Android 12L features for productivity.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
6.1-inch and 7.6-inch
50MP wide, 12MP ultra wide, 10MP telephoto, 10MP front
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
6.1-inch and 7.6-inch
12MP wide, 12MP ultra wide, 12MP telephoto, 10MP front
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
1.1-inch and 6.7-inch
12MP wide, 12MP ultra wide, 10MP front
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
1.1-inch and 6.7-inch
12MP wide, 12MP ultra wide, 10MP front
Huawei Mate XS 2
50MP wide, 13MP ultra wide, 8MP telephoto, 10.7MP front
Which foldable phone is best for you?
As shown in the list above, a couple of foldable phones offer a phone and mini-tablet experience while the others offer a big phone-small phone experience. The first decision you must make is what else you want and a standard phone form factor.
After figuring out your intention for the foldable, we can look at your use case. If you want water resistance, then you're in luck because all four Samsung foldables are IPX8-rated. If you love using a stylus with your device, then the Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 are the clear choices.
Price is also a key factor, but with how many new entries we see from manufacturers each year, there will surely be a foldable -- new or old -- that fits in your budget.
Choose this foldable phone…
If you want…
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
The best overall option for work and play
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
A cheaper alternative to the Z Fold 4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
A foldable that's easy to use and ideal for content creation
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
The least expensive entry into foldables
Huawei Mate XS 2
The direct competitor to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 outside of the US
How did we choose these foldable phones?
ZDNET's team of mobile experts continues to test and review all the latest foldable phones on the market, better understanding where each one sits in the hierarchy of foldables along the way. By year-end, we're able to make the best recommendations for which devices you should buy, as well as which ones you should generally avoid.
How does insurance and warranty work for foldable phones?
Believe it or not, insurance and warranty policies for foldables are very much the same as that for traditional smartphones. That means manufacturer-owned services like Samsung Care, for example, can still be applied to a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Z Fold 4. The only catch really is that should you want to fix a foldable out-of-pocket, the cost for parts and components will be significantly more expensive than usual.
If you can, keep your foldable protected with a reliable case.
How much does a foldable phone cost?
Due to the advanced technology required to develop a foldable phone, they are generally more expensive than traditional smartphones. However, as more and more options hit the open market, we're seeing foldables span from the $400 mark up to $2,500.
Does Apple make a foldable phone?
Apple has yet to reveal any plans for a foldable handset, despite any rumors. However, there could be plans for Apple diving into the foldable smartphone world in the future, which will only bring greater competition to the market and, arguably, greater accessibility.
Also: The future for foldable smartphones is looking bright
Why would I want a foldable phone?
Foldable phones are a blast from the past when we all carried around flip phones in the 90s and early 2000s. You may want one for nostalgia, or you may want something different than the average touchscreen smartphone that every device has looked like since 2013.
Are there alternative foldables worth considering?
The foldable phones in this article are centered on folding display technology. With that in mind, there are a few alternatives that are also worth your consideration.
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- 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.
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4||$1,799||6.1-inch and 7.6-inch|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3||$1,199||6.1-inch and 7.6-inch|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4||$899||1.1-inch and 6.7-inch|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3||$749||1.1-inch and 6.7-inch|
- Motorola Razr (2020) The cheapest folding phone.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. Samsung's smaller foldable, now cheaper. ...
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. Best compact folding phone. $1,060 at Samsung.
- Galaxy Z Fold 4. Best all-round foldable phone. $1,519 at Samsung.
Samsung and OnePlus will be among the first to release new devices. Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S23 on Feb. 1, while the OnePlus 11 5G will launch globally on Feb. 7.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.
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.Is the new Samsung fold worth buying? ›
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.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.Which is the No 1 phone in the world? ›
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 is the best Android phone in the world? ›
Best Android phone overall
We're just weeks away from Samsung unveiling the new Galaxy S23 Series, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra is still one of the best overall smartphones today -- and the best that Samsung has to offer for camera performance.
|Best Camera Mobiles||Price|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||₹1.10 lakhs|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra||₹98,000|
|Xiaomi Mi 10||₹55,000|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra||₹92,000|
AGM X3: The Most Sleek of the Durable Phones
The AGM X3 is one of the toughest, yet most premium, smartphones on the market. It can able to survive a 1.21-meter drop test, a 5% salt fog test and the ability to handle 500 Hz vibration for two hours. It also has MIL-STD-810G military certification.
- ₹ 79,999. Samsung Galaxy Fold. Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Processor. ...
- ₹ 89,990. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. ...
- ₹ 91,699. ₹91,699 ❯ ...
- ₹ 81,990. Samsung Galaxy Fold Lite. ...
- ₹ 44,999. ₹44,999 ❯ ...
- ₹ 111,790. Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold. ...
- ₹ 185,290. Huawei Mate X. ...
- ₹ 201,790. Huawei Mate X2.
The upcoming generation of phones
Google Pixel Fold. Huawei Mate X3. OnePlus 11 Pro. Oppo Find X6 Pro.
As we wait for official confirmation on the Galaxy S23 from Samsung itself, which could arrive as soon as February 2023, here's a quick roundup of everything we know so far.What cell phones will not work next year? ›
AT&T announced that it phased out its 3G network beginning in February 2022. Verizon announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by December 31, 2022. T-Mobile announced that it finished shutting down Sprint's 3G CDMA network as of March 31, 2022 and Sprint's 4G LTE network as of June 30, 2022.What is better Apple or Samsung? ›
It all comes down to what you want out of your software. Android is more customizable and has more features and complex options, while iOS is more straightforward, easy to use and has a higher level of security. Most apps are available on either operating system, but more Android apps are available than iOS apps.Are Androids better than iphones? ›
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.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.
Samsung claims the Galaxy Z Flip 4 can survive “200,000 folds before failing,” which translates to 100 sessions of folding each day for approximately five years.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.How long should the fold 3 last? ›
Lasting 200,000 folds in testing means the hinge can withstand 100 folds a day for 5 years. The lifespan has been measured according to Samsung's quality standards.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.Which is better Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4? ›
The Galaxy Z Fold 4, however, packs more RAM to help with multitasking. It comes with 12GB of RAM whereas the Galaxy Z Flip 4 tops out at 8GB. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 also has double the maximum storage. It can be purchased with up to 1TB of storage whereas the Galaxy Z Flip 4 only comes with a maximum of 512GB storage.Which Z fold is the best? ›
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. The best foldable phone you can buy. Specifications. ...
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. Making big improvements over last year. Specifications. ...
- Oppo Find N. The best foldable phone outside of Samsung's models. Specifications. ...
- Microsoft Surface Duo 2. Best dual-screen phone. Specifications.
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.
- 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.
Global market leader Samsung does have something in common with Chinese smartphones companies in the way it produces low-to-mid-range models at competitive prices. Samsung has also pushed innovations, including foldable handsets, one of the latest trends in the smartphones market.Which phone is very popular? ›
|Mobile Phone||Price||Available From|
|Samsung Galaxy F23 5G (6GB RAM + 128GB)||₹16,999||Mar, 2022|
|Motorola Moto G62 5G||₹14,999||Aug, 2022|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus||₹29,999||Jan, 2023|
|Realme 10 Pro Plus||₹24,999||Dec, 2022|
- Our pick. OnePlus Nord N20 5G. Great performance and support. ...
- Runner-up. Samsung Galaxy A13 5G. Lots of performance (and support) for a low price. ...
- Upgrade pick. Google Pixel 6a. Flagship features, budget price. ...
- Budget pick. Samsung Galaxy A03s. The cheapest acceptable option.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is the best Android phone for most people. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus can do just about anything. It has more than enough power under the hood, sports a terrific camera system, offers great battery life, and also looks great. The fantastic software support is worth a mention as well.Which Android phone has the best camera in the world? ›
One of the best camera phones in the world of 2023 has been the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, largely because of it's second-generation Hasselblad Camera. Three cameras are used in total, with the primary lens being 48-megapixels and the telephoto lens being 8-megapixels.What phones are free for seniors? ›
Assurance Wireless is part of the federal Lifeline phone assistance program. Qualifying households receive a free smartphone and accompanying benefits each month. Assurance Wireless is part of the T-Mobile network, covering 99 percent of Americans.What cell phone plan does AARP recommend for seniors? ›
Two Lines of Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for $55/Month
Members get two lines of unlimited talk, text and data for $55 per month. No contract is required. Includes free activation and an extended risk-free guarantee. You'll leave AARP.org and go to the website of a trusted provider.
- Emporia Smart5. The Smart5 has a clever folio case with four physical buttons for answering calls, and an emergency call button on the back. ...
- Apple iPhone SE 2022. The iPhone SE with a simplified home screen. ...
- Google Pixel 6a. ...
- Samsung Galaxy A33.
Comparing the two top sellers—Apple and Samsung smartphones—Bellhouse found that Apple iPhones were the more reliable devices.Which phone is not hack? ›
2. K-iPhone – One of the most secure Phones.What is the most durable phone ever? ›
- Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro - big specs for a hard shell.
- AGM Glory G1S - best smartphone thermal camera.
- Nokia XR20 - The most recent entry. ...
- Motorola Defy - Motorola experience in a rubberized housing.
- Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro - the most well-known.
Now, as per a report by AppleInsider, Apple's first-ever foldable smartphone is expected to be launched in 2025. The report also revealed its name, which is expected to be "iPhone Fold". The leaks also suggest that Apple Fold might have an OLED display, and come with a range of new features such as a USB-C port.
And in May of 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said, as reported by MacRumors, that "Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD Plus flexible OLED display in 2023." He revised his prediction, in a tweet this past April, to say that it might be 2025 before there's a foldable screen device from Apple.Which is the No 1 phone in World 2022? ›
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the best in its class, but only because there are no other serious contenders.What will be the price of iPhone in 2023? ›
The Apple Iphone 12 is set to available in India in 2023 with a staggering price tag of Rs. 48,999 This phone is sure to impress with its unique design and features.What is the iPhone in 2023? ›
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 15 series in 2023.Are Androids better than iPhones? ›
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 phone is fastest? ›
According to the AnTuTu scores discovered, the iQOO 11 is the world's fastest Android smartphone. The launch of the smartphone is confirmed for January 10, 2023. The smartphone would be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC and would likely be the first smartphone in India to sport that chip.Which iPhone is best to buy in 2023? ›
- Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max. Best iPhone overall. View now.
- Apple iPhone 14. Best iPhone for most people. View now.
- Apple iPhone 13 Mini. Best mini iPhone. View now.
- Apple iPhone SE (2022) Best cheap iPhone. View now.
- Apple iPhone 13. Best old-generation iPhone.
For most users, this represents approximately two years of use, which is why most people believe that the lifespan of a phone is two years. However when it comes to iPhones, you can expect between three to five years (maybe more) with proper care. What does sustainability actually mean for smart devices?What iPhone will come out in 2024? ›
Multiple rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a new version of the iPhone SE, with the device set to launch in 2024.Will there be iPhones in 10 years? ›
Top analyst and long-time industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple expects to replace the iPhone in just 10 years – by 2032. In its place would be an AR device – that's augmented reality. AR is when computer-generated images are overlaid on the world around you. Right now, you can see AR in apps like Pokemon Go.