Best foldable phone 2023on September 12, 2023 at 11:13 Tech Advisor


Just five years ago, the idea of the smartphone in your pocket having a foldable screen was a futuristic dream.

But in 2023 it’s very much a reality. They might cost more than their flat glass screen counterparts, but if you want a gadget that’s on the cutting edge of modern consumer technology, you can’t go wrong with a folding phone.

Or can you? Given the technology is so new, we’ve found that some foldable smartphones are better than others.

We’ve reviewed several different models to find out which is best. All the phones on our list take one of two basic form factors – either book or flip. The former open with a vertical hinge like a book, while the latter flip open on a horizontal hinge and recall the flip phones popular in the 1990s and 2000s.

Samsung has dominated the foldable market in the West for the last few years, but competition is heating up from Motorola and Google, while Chinese brands like Oppo and Honor are also beginning to launch more affordable foldable models in Europe, giving buyers there even more options to choose from.

There are even more foldables on sale in China, but we’ve restricted our list to handsets that are on sale in the US and/or Europe.

Best foldable phones 2023

1. Motorola Razr 40 Ultra/Razr+ – The best flip-style foldable


Large outer display

Dust and water-resistant

Good battery life (for a flip phone)


Cameras are good, but not great

Outer screen software needs some fine-tuning

Price When Reviewed:


The Razr 40 Ultra – also known as the Razr+ in the US – is the best foldable phone in the world right now.

That’s in large part down to the expansive cover display, by far the largest on any flip foldable, which extends down and around the two exterior cameras. You can use this for notifications, widgets, and selfies, but also to play games and even run full Android apps – though the squished interface definitely works better for some than others.

Battery life is good for a flip phone, as is the main camera, though the other lenses definitely disappoint. But for now, this sets the benchmark for the next flip phone to meet.

Read our full

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 – A solid second best


Truly compact

Premium build quality

It’s fun to have a flip phone

Clever software features


Outer screen a solution to a created problem

Middling battery life

Cameras solid but same as Z Flip 4

Slow charging

Price When Reviewed:


Best Prices Today:

£1,049.00 at Amazon

The Razr manages to pip Samsung to the top of this chart with sheer fun vibes, but the Z Flip 5 is the safer buy in many respects. It’ll get four years of Android updates and five years of security updates that will likely outstrip the Motorola.

The design is plainer but quite elegant on an product that closes to the size of a small coaster. It’s tough too, with Samsung’s amour aluminium sides and Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review

3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 – The best book-style foldable


Premium build

Great performance

Long battery life

Useful software


Prohibitively expensive

Huge crease in main screen

Awkward, heavy shape

Cameras are bad for the price

Price When Reviewed:


It’s still too expensive at $1,799.99/£1,749, but the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the best book style foldable on the market. It’s not the thinnest and slimmest, but Samsung’s superior foldable software means it’s still the best to use, with advanced multitasking options and thoughtful new additions.

Software support in general means the high price is more justifiable, with four OS updates promised alongside five years of software updates.

The outer display is thin so a little hard to type on, but it does mean the Fold is usable one-handed, unlike the wider Google Pixel Fold. The inner screen is of a great quality despite the visible crease down the middle, and really does present anything you’re doing with clarity and vibrancy. It’s more durable than previous generations, and is compatible with Samsung’s S Pen, which is now slimmer and comes in an optional, useful case.

Battery life is decent considering that large screen is a power drain, and you also get Samsung’s DeX mode for plugging into a monitor and using a desktop setup. The cameras aren’t the best, but they are solid, and this is altogether a cutting edge, kitchen sink of a phone.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review

4. Oppo Find N2 Flip – The more affordable flip


Sturdy, gapless hinge design

Excellent main camera

Big cover display

Good battery


No water-resistance

No wireless charging

Unreliable Bluetooth

Price When Reviewed:


Samsung and Motorola may have the brand clout, but Oppo is right on their tail – the Find N2 Flip is massively impressive and has a better outer display than the Z Flip 4. It’s bigger, allowing you to reply to messages, take photos, and more, though still looks small by the latest Razr’s standards.

Like the Razr 40 Ultra the phone also closely completely flat. In either the matt black or gloss purple finish, the Find N2 Flip is a luxurious object.

It packs in dual cameras with a particularly excellent main sensor that anyone would be pleased with. Battery life is solid, and performance is excellent too with the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ under the hood.

Drawbacks are the lack of waterproofing and wireless charging and also, in our testing slightly dodgy Bluetooth connectivity. But those aside, this is an excellent flip phone. With Oppo promising a Samsung-matching five years of software support, you can’t go wrong.

Read our full

Oppo Find N2 Flip review

5. Google Pixel Fold – Best foldable software


Excellent cameras

Great screens

Google apps optimised for big screen

Gap-free design



Chunky and heavy

No stylus support

Price When Reviewed:

£1749 (256GB), £1869 (512GB)

Best Prices Today:

£1749 at Google

It’s no real surprise that Google’s first foldable delivers more on the software side than the hardware.

The company has worked to optimise many of its own apps for the foldable format, and combined with the Pixel OS experience the user experience here is arguably the best around right now.

Unsurprisingly the cameras are excellent too, with a triple rear camera including a 5x telephoto lens. Good display quality and a gapless hinge help to round out the package.

Still, there are downside. Battery life seemed a little unreliable in our review, and it’s hard to deny that the thick and chunky Pixel Fold looks a little clunky compared to other big-screen foldables. It also lacks the stylus support of its main Samsung rivals.

Regardless, if you’re a fan of Google’s usual software prowess and can afford the steep asking price, this is an excellent option.

6. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – The minimalist flip


Fast performance

Impressive battery life

Great main camera

Fun design


Durability still a doubt

25W charging is sluggish

No telephoto

Price When Reviewed:

From £999

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 was our favourite foldable for almost a year before the Razr and newer Z Flip 5 unseated it, but we still think it’s a great buy – especially since it’s cheaper than both those newer phones.

Its strengths are great build quality, full waterproofing, and superior five years of software support. Samsung stores in the UK and US also offer more accessible repair services to customers compared to Motorola and Oppo.

The inner display of the Z Flip 4 is great, with a glass composite material that isn’t easily scratched or dented, but you’ll have to make do with a much smaller outer display, only really useful for notifications and basic controls.

This is a lovely premium phone no matter which colour you buy. Battery life is also much improved over previous models, even if its 25W charging speed is slow. It’s also got wireless charging. Add to that its very capable cameras and it’s still an easy phone to recommend.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

7. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – Still great for less


Large 7.6in display is great for multitasking

Hugely improved rear camera setup

All-day battery life

New software enhancements


Still a gap between displays when folded

Under display camera is bad

App support is hit-and-miss

25W charging is slow

Price When Reviewed:

From £1,649

This is still a top book-style folding phone thanks to its wide availability, sturdy build, stellar software features, and long software support. Hopefully you can find it cheaper now the Z Fold 5 is out.

Samsung’s One UI Android skin on the Fold comes into its own, offering S-Pen support (though the pen isn’t included), great multi-windowing, and a larger inner screen that you might find useful for productivity and work apps.

Both displays are very good quality with sharp resolution and 120Hz refresh rates, but be aware neither is a regular smartphone size, so typing can be a bit tricky. Otherwise this is a multimedia dream, and the best folding phone to pick if you don’t want a tablet but would like your phone to be a bit bigger when you fancy it.

It’s an expensive device, but it has wireless charging and is fully waterproof, and Samsung’s after sales care in most countries is excellent. It offers a free screen protector replacement for every customer should there be a manufacturing fault within warranty.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

8. Honor Magic Vs – Great design


Cheaper than Samsung’s foldable

Closes fully flat

Comfortable to use when closed

Great main camera


No water-resistance

No wireless charging

Unpolished software

Disappointing ultrawide camera

Price When Reviewed:


Best Prices Today:

£1399 at Honor

If you’d like a book style foldable but don’t like Samsung’s offering, then you should consider the Honor Magic Vs. Honor was once Huawei’s sub-brand but it’s now a company in its own right, making excellent smartphones with full access to Google apps and services.

The Magic Vs (that’s ‘vee ess’, not versus) is a well built phone that costs less than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and folds completely flat, unlike that Samsung device.

It has a comfortable weight and dimensions, making the outer and inner displays feel good to use while a great main camera means you aren’t sacrificing image quality by opting for a foldable phone.

There’s no wireless charging or water resistance, but pleasingly Honor is promising three years of Android version updates and five years of security patches, meaning this hi-tech piece of tech will stay up to date until 2028.

Read our full

Honor Magic Vs review

9. Huawei Mate X3 – Futuristic looks


Stunningly light and slim

Excellent OLED displays

Impressive telephoto camera


No 5G

No Google support

Lacklustre battery life

Too expensive

Price When Reviewed:


Ever since Huawei devices could no longer natively run the Google Play Store or support Google services, the company’s phones have been frustrating to most western buyers: beautiful, highly capable hardware but with software that annoys and disappoints.

It’s the same story with the Mate X3, which has arguably the best hardware of any foldable on this list: it’s thin, light, powerful, and packs an astonishing camera system by foldable standards.

The lack of 5G is a small frustration, but the bigger annoyance is only having easy access to apps from Huawei’s AppGallery app store – which doesn’t have a lot of popular western apps. If you want other Android apps you have to sideload them, which is legal and (mostly) safe, it’s just a bit of a faff.

Read our full

Huawei Mate X3 review

10. Microsoft Surface Duo 2 – Two screens, who dis?


Excellent performance 

Impressive displays 

Above-average cameras 

Great for multitasking


Some software inconsistencies remain 

Slow charging

Can’t replace most people’s smartphone

Price When Reviewed:

From £849

Best Prices Today:

£860 at Microsoft

This is the phone on the list that folds but doesn’t have a folding screen. Instead, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 has two separate inner displays that are connected down the middle with a hinge. There’s no outer display, meaning this is the most book-like device you can buy.

Like every other folding phone on this list the Duo runs Android, and is designed so you can run two separate apps side by side. The usefulness of this isn’t immediately apparent perhaps, but having two apps open such as a notes and calendar can help you quickly cross reference things.

With an internal camera you can also take video calls on one screen while taking notes on the other – both displays are compatible with versions of the (not included) Surface Pen.

That camera and the rear facing triple cameras aren’t great, and the squat size of the displays isn’t the best for typing. But if you like the idea of a modern digital pocket notebook you will be in tech heaven – plus a few apps have been tweaked specifically for Duo, such as the Kindle app that displays two pages full screen to resemble an actual book.

Read our full

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 review



Are foldable phones fragile?

Yes! They have screens that are a flexible composite of glass and plastic, and the tecnhnology is quite new. We’ve seen creases in screens crack and break, and have had the factory-applied screen protectors peel away at the crease.

Samsung in particular is wary of this. If you live in Europe or the US, the company offers very good customer service, and offers a screen protector replacement within warranty. Repairs outside of warranty are also reasonably priced and you can either send away your phone or go in store to book an appointment for a repair.

Other brands have less support out there, so check before you buy if you are worried.


Are folding phones waterproof?

Some are, and some aren’t. Samsung’s newer foldables, the latest Motorola Razr models, and a few select others are fully waterproof – but you won’t want to take an Oppo or Honor folding phone out in the pouring rain. Check the tech specs before you buy.

So far only the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra and Razr 40 include any dust protection, so any other folding phone should be kept away from the beach!


Is there a foldable iPhone?

There probably will be. We’ve rounded up all the latest rumours about a potential Apple foldable but for now it’s just speculation. Apple has a track record of adopting new technologies a little later than market rivals, but then tends to do a better job, or at least release a product that is fully realised rather than feeling like a prototype.

Samsung may have matured its foldable line up now, but the original Galaxy Fold in 2019 was so flawed the company had to recall it initially.


Which foldables are available in the US?

At the time of writing, only Samsung, Motorola, and Google sell foldable phones in the United States. This means North American customers can only choose from the Z Fold, Z Flip, Razr, and Pixel Fold lines if they want to buy one.

Foldables from Oppo, Honor, Huawei, Vivo, and Xiaomi are not available in the US, and likely never will be – though the heavily teased OnePlus foldable could well launch in the US later in 2023.


Should I import a foldable phone?

Because a lot of foldable phones haven’t had global releases you might be tempted to import them. For example, the Oppo Find N2 and Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold 2 have incredible looking hardware but are China-only releases for now. If you import a phone like that, be aware that it will likely have Chinese-oriented software and won’t come with the Google Play Store installed.

You’ll be able to get Google apps on there, but it will be a bit of a faff. Importing a foldable also means you will lose out on in-country support for warranty claims or repairs.

If you are desperate for a folding phone but it’s not out in your country, it’d be better to import a phone with Google services. If you’re in the US, it’s not an awful idea to import, say, the Oppo Find N2 Flip from the UK, as it will have Western software and likely work on 4G and 5G bands in the States. Always check the specs first though, and buy from a reputable source.


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