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Foldable phones to flex and bend: Galaxy Fold, Motorola Razr and more

The wonderfully weird world of foldable phones.

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Lynn La
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1 of 12 Angela Lang/CNET

Top foldable phones

Foldable phones are poised to transform the phone industry over the next five years. In addition to Samsung, other phone makers have either announced foldable phones or are rumored to have one in the works. These foldable phones will just hint at what's to come, as the devices become thinner, do a better job of managing battery life and let mobile apps take advantage of different display sizes.

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2 of 12 Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Available for around $2,000, the Galaxy Fold features a secondary 4.6-inch display that serves as its "cover." When you're ready for something bigger, the Fold opens up like a book to a 7.3-inch tablet. The Fold also has six cameras. On the back, there's the same triple-camera setup as the Galaxy S10 and on the front a single 10-megapixel camera. In tablet form, there are two additional cameras inside: a selfie camera and an 8-megapixel depth camera.   

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Motorola Razr

On Oct. 17, Motorola sent out invitations for a November event that will feature the "highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon." Though nothing has been confirmed, the company is expected to announce the reboot of the Motorola Razr phone, but with a folding-screen. Pictured here is a rendered image of what the new Razr may look like.

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4 of 12 Juan Garzon / CNET

Huawei Mate X

Jumping on the trends of foldable phones and 5G, Huawei's's Mate X has both. It has a 6.6-inch display when folded closed and an 8-inch OLED screen when you flip it open. And it features 5G connectivity that's said to be four times faster than 4G, a 4,500-mAh battery and three rear cameras. Similar to the Fold, the Mate X is very pricey at 2,299 euros, or about $2,600, £2,000 or AU$3,660.

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Royole Flexpai

Announced on October 2018, the Royole Flexpai has a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen, runs an OS called Water that's layered on top of Google Android 9.0, and features two cameras. Though rough around the edges when we first got our hands on it, the FlexPai gave us one of the first solid glimpses of what the future of foldable phones will hold, as it was the first flexible phone to debut.  

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TCL

Mostly known for its affordable televisions, Chinese tech company TCL is working on a number of foldable devices, which include two tablets, two phones and a cuff-like phone you wear around your wrist. Pictured here is its 10-inch tablet that folds into thirds. Despite not being a household name in the US, you may know TCL better through other brands it owns, namely BlackBerry, Alcatel and Palm.  

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Xiaomi Dual Flex or Mix Flex

In January, Chinese phone maker Xiaomi introduced its new foldable phone on the social media platform Weibo. Unlike previous phones we've seen, which have only one bend down the middle, Xiaomi's phone folds down into thirds, with both sides folding down.  

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Nubia Alpha

Nubia, an associate company of Chinese phone-maker ZTE, took the  concept of a foldable phone one step further with its Nubia Alpha. The $449 Alpha (£360 and AU$643, converted) is unique in that it's a phone that wraps around a user's wrist, similar to a smartwatch. It features a flexible 4.01-inch display, gesture controls and a water-resistant design.

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Apple

In February, Apple once again updated its patent application for a clamshell phone with a foldable display and body. The filings have been ongoing since Apple's first one eight years ago, in 2011. Since then, rumors of a flexible iPhone reignite with every new updated document, which have been filed in 20142016 and 2017.  

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Google

Back in December 2018, the tech giant filed a patent application for a foldable device. Fast forward later to May when Google then confirmed that its been prototyping the technology, but didn't see a clear use case for foldable screens yet. In addition, Google plans to support foldable phones with its Android OS platform to develop the technology from the software side as well.

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LG

LG doesn't have any foldable phones to announce yet, but we do know it's interested in the form-factor. So far it released two phones that come with a second screen attachment: the LG V50 and the LG G8X ThinQ.  

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Lenovo

Way back in 2016, Lenovo introduced the concept CPlus phone in 2016, which could bend and wrap around your wrist like the Nubia Alpha. While it was just a concept phone back then, Lenovo has been making inroads to release a real foldable phone to the masses. In July 2018 it filed a patent application for a "portable information device" with a "foldable configuration."  

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