UPDATE: 2022/08/29 09:10 EST BY ROLAND UDVARLAKI
This story was updated to include the new HUAWEI Mate Xs 2.
It feels like foldable flagships are being announced left and right. After the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 were announced, Xiaomi also released the Mix Fold 2 shortly after. Motorola also recently announced the new Moto RAZR 2022 clamshell flagship, although the device hasn’t received much attention, and it appears to be a China-only model so far.
In this guide, we collected some of the best foldable smartphones that were announced this year and last year. To help you pick your next best foldable flagship, we made a short list of a few best-known and popular devices.
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 was announced on August 10 at the Samsung Unpacked Event. The new foldable flagship features minor refinements compared to the Fold 3, and it features a brand new and lighter design and hinge mechanism, with a less prominent crease in the middle.
The device is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, coupled with 12GB of RAM and 256/512GB and 1TB storage sizes. The phone also features a 6.2-inch 23.1:9 Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz cover display and a 7.6-inch 21.6:18 Dynamic AMOLED 2X 1-120Hz inner display. The phone is slightly shorter and wider than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and has a more user-friendly cover display. The crease is still there but is less prominent and harder to notice.
The camera also received a significant upgrade and features a similar setup to the Galaxy S22 Plus smartphone. It has a 50MP primary, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP telephoto sensor, capable of 3x optical zoom. The selfie shooter on the cover display is a 10MP unit, while the inner display packs a less noticeable 4MP under-display sensor.
Most of the other specifications are similar to the Fold 3, and the latest SoC brings Bluetooth 5.2, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and more. It still features the IPX8 water resistance certificate, and while it has the same 4,400 mAh battery and 25W fast wired charging, Samsung claims that the phone can go from 0-50% in just 30 minutes.
The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes with the most powerful Qualcomm SoC, a wider display, a better hinge mechanism, and many significant upgrades over its predecessor. You can pre-order it now and receive the Standing Cover with S Pen, up to $1,000 off with eligible trade-in, and up to $100 Samsung Credit.
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is still an excellent foldable smartphone in 2022. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset with 12GB of RAM. The device will likely receive a lot of Android 12L features that can be found on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but it’s worth noting that Samsung hasn’t announced the update schedule for Android 12L or Android 13 at the time of writing this.
The Fold 3 features a narrow 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz display, which is excellent for browsing the internet, texting, and just about anything you can think of. However, you’ll likely want to unfold the 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz display for wanting to do multitasking and other tasks.
The Fold 3 is equipped with a 12MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 12MP telephoto, capable of 2x optical zoom. It’s a capable setup and can capture excellent images day and night, but if you want better and breathtaking images, it’s probably best to look at the new Z Fold 4.
The battery performance is also where the Fold 3 could be better, but given that it’s expected to come down in price as Samsung is expected to get rid of any remaining stock, it may be a good buy. It has a 4,400 mAh battery, and while it supports 25W fast wired charging, a full charge takes a long time. The phone can last about a good day on a single charge, but you’ll likely have to top up if you plan on gaming.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is the latest foldable flagship from Samsung. It has an IPX8 certificate, supports the S Pen, and comes with the powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset.
Best Alternative: Xiaomi Mix Fold 2
The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 is another excellent choice. It was announced shortly after the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and the company fixed most of the issues we had with the previous generation. The new foldable comes with a large 6.56-inch AMOLED cover display, and an 8.02-inch LTPO 2.0 OLED display with 1-120Hz. The cover display features a more traditional 21:9 aspect ratio, and it’s slightly wider than the Fold 4, making it feel more like a traditional smartphone.
Speaking of traditional smartphones, the device isn’t as bulky as the Fold 4, measuring just 11.2mm when folded, and 5.4mm when unfolded. It comes with MIUI Fold 13, based on Android 12, and it’s powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. There’s also 12GB of RAM, 256/512GB, and 1TB storage combos.
When it comes to the camera department, the Mix Fold 2 features a 50MP primary, a 13MP ultrawide, and an 8MP telephoto, capable of 2x optical zoom. The selfie camera on the cover display is a 20MP unit. As for the battery packs a 4,500 mAh cell inside, but the phone supports 67W fast-wired charging. Sadly, it lacks wireless charging and doesn’t have an IP rating against dust or water. The fingerprint sensor is also located under the display, while most other foldables have it placed on the side, embedded in the power button.
The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 is currently only available in China, and we don’t know when Xiaomi will release it in different markets.
The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 is an excellent option if you’re looking for a book-like form factor, large, usable displays, and quick charging speeds. It has an excellent camera setup, and while it lacks water resistance and wireless charging, it’s cheaper than the other competing smartphones in the same segment.
Other Devices worth considering:
OPPO Find N
The OPPO Find N was unveiled on December 15, 2021. It’s equipped with a comfortably wide 5.5-inch AMOLED cover display and a 7.1-inch LTPO AMOLED, 120Hz inner screen. If you hate the crease on the Galaxy Z Fold series, then you’ll find that the crease on the OPPO Find N is barely noticeable, and it’s hard to feel when using the device.
The Find N is powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset, with 8/12GB of RAM and 256/512GB of storage. Despite the SoC, it’s still a very capable device, just like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and it can multitask and run graphics-intensive games without an issue.
On the back, there’s a 50MP primary, a 16MP ultrawide, and a 13MP telephoto, capable of 2x optical zoom. The phone has a selfie camera on the cover display which is a 32MP sensor. There’s an additional selfie shooter on the inner side, which is also a 32MP sensor with the same f/2.4 aperture.
Like the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, it comes with a 4,500 mAh battery, but it only supports 33W fast wired charging. That being said, OPPO says that it can go from 0-55% in 30 minutes, and a full charge should only take 70 minutes. The speeds aren’t the fastest, but at least it supports 15W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging.
The OPPO Find N is only available in China, and there are only a few places where you can buy it outside of the country. We don’t have any information on whether another foldable will make it to the global market anytime soon. Still, the company is rumored to be working on at least two foldable devices.
The OPPO Find N is one of the best foldable flagships on the market today. It features a large and comfortable cover display, and a massive inner screen. It’s powered by a powerful and efficient chip, but it’s only available in China.
HONOR Magic V
HONOR also announced its first foldable flagship earlier this year. The HONOR Magic V arrived in January with a 6.45-inch OLED, 120Hz cover display, and a 7.9-inch OLED, 90Hz inner display. It follows the same form factor and similar design to the Galaxy Z Fold series, and it runs Magic UI 6, based on Android 12. The foldable is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, and it has 12GB of RAM and 256/512GB of storage tiers.
The HONOR Magic V has a 50MP primary, a 50MP ultrawide, and a 50MP secondary sensor. On the cover screen, there’s a single punch hole cutout for the 42MP selfie shooter. The device has all the hardware and specifications you’d expect, including support for NFC, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and Bluetooth 5.2. The Magic V has a 4,750 mAh battery and supports 66W fast-wired charging, enabling you to go from 0-50% in just 15 minutes. Unfortunately, this device also lacks support for wireless charging, and it’s not widely available outside of China.
The HONOR Magic V is the company’s first foldable flagship. It features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and it has plenty of memory and a large display to multitask and game on-the-go. If you’re looking for a solid option, this should be considered.
HUAWEI Mate Xs 2
HUAWEI unveiled the Mate Xs 2 back in April. The company is a pioneer in foldable smartphones, and it’s one of the rare companies to produce a device with displays that fold out and wrap around the device. On the front, it sports a large 6.5-inch OLED display that can fold out to 7.8-inch inches. It uses a 120Hz refresh rate panel, and it has a resolution of 2,200 x 2,480.
The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 888 4G chipset, and it has 8/12GB of RAM and 256/512GB storage, as well as a Nano Memory slot option to expand the storage. The device is powered by Harmony OS 2.0 and lacks Google Play Services.
The phone packs a 50MP primary sensor, a 13MP ultrawide, and an 8MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. HUAWEI is known to have one of the best camera setup and optimization on the market, and the Mate Xs 2 doesn’t disappoint. It’s capable of shooting excellent images both day and night.
Regarding the battery, the device packs a 4,600 mAh cell inside. Fortunately, the phone supports 66W fast wired charging. As for price and availability, the company has announced that it’ll be up for pre-orders from 31 August in the UK. The HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 will be available from 12 September for £1,699.99. Customers who pre-order will receive a free HUAWEI Watch GT 3 Pro smartwatch.
Huawei Mate Xs 2
Mate Xs 2 is the latest foldable from HUAWEI. It builds on the legacy that Mate X2 left, and comes with a big 7.8-inch outward-folding OLED display. Other features include a 4,600 mAh battery, 66W charging, 50MP camera sensor, and Android 12. Check out all the deals on the device using the links given below.
Best Clamshell: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Our number one pick for the clamshell category is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. The Flip 4 was an obvious pick, given that it’s the latest foldable from Samsung, and it has an excellent track record for providing timely updates in a small form factor that can also meet your expectations and wallet.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 features a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz display, and a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. It also has a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display, which lets you use widgets, see incoming notifications, take or reject calls, and so much more. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and it has 8GB of RAM and 128/256/512GB of storage tiers.
On the back, it houses a 12MP primary and a 12MP ultrawide camera, and there’s also a 10MP selfie shooter in a punch hole in the center top of the display. It’s worth noting that when the device is folded, you can use the display to preview yourself, while taking a selfie using the primary or the ultrawide sensor.
The phone is powered by a 3,700 mAh battery, which is slightly larger than the one found in the Flip 3. The device also supports 25W fast wired charging, and Samsung claims it can go from 0-50% in just 30 minutes. The Flip 4 also supports 15W fast wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging.
Samsung is expected to sell even more Flip 4 devices this year. The Flip 3 was already a compelling device, since it launched at just $999 in the US. We expect the Flip 4 to do just as well, if not even better, this year, and it’s our go-to recommendation for most people looking to get started with a foldable flagship.
The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with the most powerful Qualcomm SoC, a better hinge mechanism, and a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display. You can pre-order it now and receive a Samsung silicone Ring Case or a Strap case and up to $900 off with eligible trade-in
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 might be a year old at this point, but it held up exceptionally well. It’s the most popular foldable to this date, although the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is projected to beat it this year. It was a lot of people’s first foldable device, and while the crease and battery were most people’s number one problem, it appears that the crease didn’t get any worse, and the battery could last a day for most people on a single charge.
The device packs a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz, and a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display. The cover display – like on the Flip 4 – can be used to check notifications, see who’s calling, use widgets, and use the display as a preview when taking selfies, using the rear cameras.
The phone is powered by the still capable Snapdragon 888 SoC, and it has 8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of storage. It also houses a 12MP primary, and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. There’s also a 10MP selfie shooter in a centered punch hole on the top of the display.
Circling back to the battery, the biggest and most popular complaint was that the Flip 3 couldn’t survive a day under regular use. Some people managed to get more out of it, while others stated that they had to plug in during the day to survive the rest. The phone has a 3,300 mAh battery, which is small, considering that most smartphones have between 4,000-4,800 mAh. The phone also supports 15W fast wired charging, and 10W wireless charging.
If you’re looking for an affordable foldable this year, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a solid option. Still, if the battery is a major concern, we’d recommend the Galaxy Z Flip 4 – although we’re yet to review the device and post our results, so stay tuned.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the phone to get if you’ve been itching to try out the folding form factor without breaking the bank.
Best Alternative: HUAWEI P50 Pocket
The HUAWEI P50 Pocket was announced back in December, 2021. It’s the first flip phone from HUAWEI, and the device is only available in Asia and some parts of Europe. It costs £1,099 (~$1,340) in the UK, and it costs £100 more than the newly unveiled Galaxy Z Flip 4 (the standard, non-Bespoke Edition)
The P50 Pocket features a 6.9-inch OLED display with a 120Hz panel. The cover display is small at 1.04-inches, but luckily it’s an OLED panel that’s excellent for managing quick tasks. The small display can be used to preview selfies while taking them, show widgets, incoming notifications, and more. Due to the small size, it’s not as useful as the one that can be found on the Galaxy Z series of devices, but it’s nice to have, and could come in handy.
The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, but it’s worth pointing out that it only supports 4G. The device has 8/12GB of RAM and 256/512GB storage options, and a Nano Memory expandable slot. The P50 Pocket features a 40MP primary camera, a 13MP ultrawide, and a 32MP sensor. It also has a 10.7MP selfie shooter.
Unfortunately, the device lacks an IP certificate, which means it can’t withstand water and dust. Powering the P50 Pocket is a relatively large 4,000 mAh battery, which supports 40W fast charging. The phone runs Harmony OS 2.0, and it lacks Google Play Services, which means that if you end up going for this device, you’ll have to use HUAWEI’s app store and services to download apps.
The HUAWEI P50 Pocket is one of the best and most compelling devices on the market that feature the clamshell flip phone form factor. It looks elegant and stylish, and it’s powered by the Snapdragon 888 chip. It has an excellent camera setup on the back, and it has a large battery.
Other Devices worth considering:
Motorola RAZR 2022
The Motorola RAZR 2022 was announced on August 11, and it’s the latest clamshell flagship from the company. It refines the previous generation with narrower bezels, and, overall, a much sleeker and modern approach to the design. Unfortunately, Motorola hasn’t shared much information about the device, and it appears to be only available in China, for now, at least.
The RAZR features a 6.7-inch P OLED, 144Hz display panel, and OLED 2.7-inch cover screen. It weighs 200 grams and is powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset; it has 8/12GB of RAM and 128/256/512GB of storage. The phone has a 50MP primary sensor, and a 13MP ultrawide on the back. There’s also a 32MP selfie shooter on the front, ideal for video calls and capturing moments.
The Moto RAZR 2022 features an under-display optical fingerprint sensor with a 3,500 mAh battery. It supports 33W fast wired charging but lacks wireless charging and an IP certificate. It costs 7,299 CNY, or about $1,075. It remains to be seen if we’ll ever see the device come to other markets.
It looks like Motorola listened to the feedback and released the RAZR 2022 with the refinements that we asked for. It has the latest and most powerful chip inside, a large cover screen, and all the features we wanted to see. Unfortunately, the phone is only available in China, at least for now.