The best folding phones for 2022

When it comes to foldable phones, Samsung has hit the ball out of the park with its latest flagship foldable models: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4. It’s fair to say reviews so far have judged these folding phones to be home runs. No, they’re still not perfect — not yet — but Samsung’s most recent try makes it clear that folding smartphones will be a valid design alternative to the “Great Glass Slab” from now on.

For the moment, folding phones come at a premium. Despite their hefty price tags, the marketplace for foldables continues to heat up. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted foldable smartphones will eventually become a “must-have” offering for major smartphone brands. The compact, hybrid folding phone-slash-tablet combo is designed for people who seek more screen real estate but dislike the newer gigantic phablets. The small models are for those who always longed for their clamshells of old.

In addition to Samsung’s latest handsets, the few foldable phones available sport a variety of styles and forms, while TCL has famously experimented with less conventional design concepts.

In the future, we expect folding phones from companies such as TCL and Apple, though some manufacturers may target local markets, like the Vivo X Fold, the Oppo Find N, the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold, and Mix Fold 2 — which landed a day after Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 — all currently only available in China. Even Google’s planning a foldable Pixel phone, and if the latest reports are accurate, we could see it arrive early next year.

As companies like Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei lead the charge for a creative overhaul of the smartphone genre, we present the best foldable phones available today.

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samsung galaxy z fold 4 review open on tableAndy Boxall/Digital TrendsSamsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Pros

  • Usable cover screen
  • Excellent multitasking features
  • Inner screen is great for games and video
  • Reliable and fun camera
  • Water resistant and durable materials

Cons

  • Heavy use kills the battery
  • Slow charging

The fourth generation of Samsung’s flagship foldable is here, and it’s everything we hoped for and more.

Available in Phantom Black, beige, Greygreen, or a Samsung-exclusive burgundy, the Z Fold 4 boasts a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz cover screen and a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 120Hz main screen. There’s the same under-display camera hidden beneath the main screen.

This is a heavy, chunky phone, weighing in at 263 grams and measuring 15.8mm thick — but it’s not as hefty as the Z Fold 3. There’s also a new hinge design that makes for more effective one-handed use, and you’ll notice the Z Fold 4 isn’t quite as tall nor as slim as its predecessor. It almost feels like holding a non-folding phone.

Multitasking is where this foldable shines, though, with Android 12L letting you split the screen into four apps at once, and the new Taskbar allows for adding icons to the bottom of the screen just like Windows Taskbar or Mac OS’s Dock. Under the hood, there’s the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, with 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage.

The Z Fold 4 sports 50MP main, 12MP wide-angle, and 10MP telephoto with 3 x optical zoom and 30x max digital zoom lenses, plus shoots 8K video at 24fps.

If there’s one thing that lets down this productivity powerhouse, it’s the slightly weak 4,400mAh battery and slow 25W wired charging speeds. But if you’re a serious multitasker looking for a stunning, powerful phone with better battery life than the Z Flip 4, this is the foldable to get.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Joe Maring/Digital TrendsSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Pros

  • Flatter design looks and feels fantastic
  • Bespoke customization is unmatched
  • Excellent main display
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Good, fun cameras

Cons

  • Battery still only lasts a day
  • Limited cover screen functionality

The Z Flip 4 takes everything we loved about the Z Flip 3 and adds some key iterative improvements. In our review, we go so far as to say this is an (almost) perfect foldable flip phone, and it’s easy to see why.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 boasts the same cute clamshell design as its predecessor, but this time around there’s a flatter frame with a slightly smaller hinge, giving the phone a more compact, pocket-friendly footprint. The frosted matte glass panel on the rear hides fingerprints and feels luxe, while the slimmer hinge should still survive over 200,000 folds, according to Samsung. The Z Flip 4 comes in Bora Purple, Blue, Pink Gold, Graphite, or a range of Bespoke Studio colors.

With its 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display with 120Hz variable refresh rate and 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover screen, things don’t look that different from the Z Flip 3, but this time around you get Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip with 8GB of RAM, and a beefier 3,700mAh battery with faster 25W wired charging.

Samsung’s also packed 12MP primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP selfie cameras on board the Z Flip 4, with a 65% brighter sensor that should mean better lowlight photography.

The Z Flip 3 was a bestseller for Samsung, and with these small but important upgrades, the Z Flip 4 looks set to follow hot on its heels. However, despite better battery life, you’re only going to get a full day out of this phone, and the 8GB of RAM may be limiting if you’re a serious multitasker, in which case the Z Fold 4 is likely a better choice for you.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

best black friday smartphone deals motorola razr 2020 grey set 768x653Motorola Razr (2020)

Pros

  • Water-repellent design
  • Smaller chin than 2019 Razr
  • Improved hinge

Cons

  • No microSD card slot
  • Small 2,800mAh battery

This latest model is Motorola’s successor to the Razr 2019 and addresses many of the complaints about the older phone, including a lack of splash resistance. The Razr 2020, available unlocked, heavily resembles the look of the older model, with the same size, clamshell design, and dimensions, as well as the internal 6.2-inch 21:9 foldable display and external 2.7-inch Quick View display. It also runs the same software — though the Quick View display can now run any app, accomplish quick tasks, and reply to messages. The new device sports 3D curved glass on both sides with an aluminum frame in Black, Blush Gold, and Gray. The chin at the bottom is smoother and smaller, and the fingerprint sensor is now on the back of the phone.

You might want to hold off and see if the new Motorola Razr 2022 comes to the U.S. and other markets, though. It launched in August 2022 in China, but there’s no word of a wider release yet.

Motorola Razr (2020)

Motorola Razr (2020)

samsung galaxy z flip 3 review being closedAndy Boxall/Digital TrendsSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Pros

  • Truly compact
  • Water resistance increases durability
  • Beautiful screen
  • Cutting-edge, eye-catching design

Cons

  • One-day battery life
  • Cover Screen lac

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