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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

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 Flip
  2. Samsung Galaxy Fold
  3. Motorola Razr
  4. 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 Flip

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip unfolded sitting up

The latest foldable phone on the market is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. 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 definitely are better than those of the Razr. There’s a Snapdragon 855 processor, 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.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 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

2. Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Fold review art on the bridge

Samsung has teased us for years about its flexible phone plans. In early November 2018, at its annual developer conference, the company showed off a teaser of its first consumer foldable display phone. In February 2019 at its Unpacked press event, Samsung revealed more info about its foldable phone, along with its official name, the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

The phone, when closed, can be used as a smartphone with a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED external screen. When it unfolds to its full size, it acts as a tablet thanks to the 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and two batteries totaling 4,380mAh. It has six cameras: three on the back, one on the front, and two on the inside. You can currently only get the phone from AT&T in the US.

Samsung Galaxy Fold specs:

  • Display: 7.3-inch and 4.6-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 16MP
  • Front cameras: 10 and 8MP + 10MP (cover camera)
  • Battery: Two totaling 4,380mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

3. Motorola Razr 2019

After months of rumors and leaks, Motorola finally announced its foldable smartphone with a familiar name and design in late 2019. The Motorola Razr looks much like the classic Razr V3 mobile flip phone that was first released in 2004. Indeed, 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 16MP rear camera turns into a front-facing camera when the phone is folded.

The specs on the new Motorola Razr foldable phone are not what you would find on most flagships. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chip inside along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s also a small 2,510mAh battery and, for some reason, it ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box instead of Android 10. Finally, the price is quite high.

The new Motorola Razr is currently exclusive, at least for the moment, to Verizon Wireless in the US.

Motorola Razr 2019 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch and 2.7-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 710
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 16MP
  • Front camera: N/A
  • Battery: 2,510mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

4. Huawei Mate XS

huawei mate xs hinge

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

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. It will make its way to certain European countries as well, but we don’t know exactly when that will happen. We’ll add a buy link as soon as it does, though.

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

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

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

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

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.

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

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

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

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

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. That causes the phone’s screen to get bigger.

While we are a long way away from either of these concept phones from being released, it’s good to know there are still some new innovations in the foldable phone market that are being worked on. Only time will tell which one will turn out to be the most successful.

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.