Samsung Galaxy Z Flip triangle folded on bench 1

It’s been a huge wait 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 costly. 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 2
  2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
  3. Motorola Razr 5G
  4. Huawei Mate Xs/Mate X2
  5. Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list of foldable phones as more devices hit the market.

1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 display open
David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung’s latest foldable phone is the Galaxy Z Fold 2, and it packs the right mix of changes to be a true competitor. One of the biggest changes is a much bigger 6.2-inch external display, while the display on the inside now has no notch, more glass protection, less plastic, and a nice big 7.2-inch display.

On the specs front, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 now features a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, and 5G support.

There are now three 12MP rear cameras, a 10MP front-facing camera on the external display, and the same on the inside of the larger internal display. The handset also comes with a 4,500mAh battery and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. At $2,000, it’s $200 more than the original Fold but takes the design much, much further. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 6.2-inch HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip unfolded sitting up

A surprisingly strong foldable phone on the market is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, which quietly keeps impressing with a spec bump in the last months. Like the Motorola Razr and Razr 5G, it has a clamshell design. There’s a main 6.7-inch display, but there’s only a smaller 1.1-inch secondary display when it’s folded. However, the specs of the Galaxy Z Flip are way better than those of the Razr. There’s a Snapdragon 865 Plus, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.

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. As with most other foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Flip is quite expensive, but many reviewers have stuck with it as a primary device.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 1.1-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

3. Motorola Razr 5G (2020)

Blush Gold Combo

Motorola finally announced its foldable smartphone with a familiar name and design in late 2019. It then followed up the Razr with a big improvement in 2020 that fixed up many of the design and spec problems.

See also: Motorola Razr 5G: Everything you need to know

The design itself is a throwback to the classic Razr V3 mobile flip phone that was 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 now 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 hinge

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 protect it better 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 external screen beauty shot 2
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

In February 2021, Huawei launched the Mate X2. This foldable phone’s 8-inch display folds inward like a book, much 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, 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 with no Google apps or support.

At the moment, the phone is nearly impossible to find. If you live in an available market, 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

The latest OEM to enter the game is Xiaomi 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 folder just like the Mate X2 and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold.

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 with 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, and it even boasts that you can fold the phone one million times. The Mi Mix Fold even stars a 108MP main shooter and an 8MP liquid lens, the first of its kind on a smartphone.

Xiaomi’s first foldable will go on sale in China and retail for 9,999 yuan (~$1,521) for the 12GB/256GB variant and 10,999 yuan (~$1,674) for the 12GB/512GB option. It’s also offering a ceramic edition, featuring a ceramic back, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, for 12,999 yuan (~$1,977).

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, combining one larger 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 starting 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 big 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

The LG Display spent a good long time working on foldable phones. However, the news that its smartphone division will close means that we may never see the fruits of that labor. Instead, LG went in a different direction by launching a phone to which you can add a second display in the form of an accessory. 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. It has a big 6.8-inch Full HD+ display, and you can get it with an equally big secondary display accessory. You can currently 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.

LG V60 ThinQ
LG V60 ThinQ
Refreshingly iterative

The LG V60 is an iterative improvement over its predecessor, and that's not a bad thing. It sports a 6.8-inch Full HD+ display, the Snapdragon 865 SoC, Adreno 650 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a large 5,000mAh battery. The V60 also touts a Quad DAC and headphone jack for music lovers, a triple-sensor camera setup for photography enthusiasts, and a dual-screen display for power users.

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. 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.

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.