Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone

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 very expensive. In this article, we will take a look at the current foldable phones that are 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. Microsoft Surface Duo
  5. Huawei Mate Xs

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

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The latest foldable phone on the market is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, the next generation of Samsung’s biggest flagship foldable. 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 $2000, it’s $20 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+ AMOLED exterior
  • 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, 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 its 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 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)

Liquid Mercury Front Closed

Credit: Motorola

Motorola finally announced its foldable smartphone with a familiar name and design in late 2019, and gave it a big improvement in 2020 that fixed up many of the design and spec problems.

Throwing back to the classic Razr V3 mobile flip phone that was first released in 2004. the 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 specs on the new Motorola Razr foldable phone 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 also dropping its exclusive to Verizon Wireless setup in the US, so it’ll be more widely available. 

Motorola Razr 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch and 2.7-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 48MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 2,800mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Microsoft Surface Duo

Microsoft Surface Duo interior home screen

Credit: Microsoft

The Surface Duo is a foldable without a foldable display. It has a clever hinge to create a dual-screen device, but without a truly flexible AMOLED display. Also, the Microsoft Surface Duo is the first-ever Android hardware device from Microsoft.

The foldable is dual-screen device, with two 5.6-inch 1,800 x 1,350 displays, which combine to form 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.

Where the Surface Duo struggles a little is on the specs. It’s a Snapdragon 855 on board, with 6GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. Two batteries combine to form one big 3,577mAh cell. The camera needs a little work: 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.

The Surface Duo has a starting price of $1,399, which places it into that bleeding-edge expense territory. And unfortunately, early reviews are practically begging Microsoft to fix all the bugs switching between apps and screens and dual apps. But if you are interested, pre-orders for the unlocked version are already available at the Microsoft online store. You can also get it from a few third-party retail partners, such as Best Buy. AT&T will be the only carrier that will sell the phone, and it will be in a locked state.

Microsoft Surface Duo specs:

  • Display: 2x 5.6-inch, 1,800 x 1,350
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB
  • Camera: /
  • Front camera: 11MP
  • Battery: 3,577mAh dual battery
  • Software: Android 10

5. Huawei Mate XS

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, but just in China. It did not ship with Google Mobile Services due to the current trade ban on Huawei by the US.

Huawei has already released the successor to its first foldable phone. It’s called the Mate XS and looks very much like the original Mate X in terms of design. When folded in, it has a 6.6-inch display, but when folded out, it converts to a big 8-inch tablet. 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.

The phone is already available in parts of Asia, again without Google Mobile Services, and has some European country availability.

$2999 .00
Huawei Mate Xs
Buy it Now
Huawei Mate Xs Buy it Now
$2999 .00

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

The alternatives to foldable phones

LG G8X ThinQ dual screen on table 2

The LG Display division has been working on flexible screens for some time now. However, the smartphone division of the company has decided not to produce a foldable phone with a flexible screen. 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 last year. 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 by 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 2019, or its much more similar distant cousin, the Microsoft Surface Duo.

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 recently 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.

More posts about foldable phones

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.