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Article updated on March 30, 2024 at 2:30 AM PDT

Best Foldable Phones in 2024: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, Z Flip, Moto Razr, Pixel Fold

Most mobile makers now offer a foldable phone. But these are the ones to actually buy.

Our Experts

Written by 
Andrew Lanxon
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones, Photography, iOS, Android, gaming, outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
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What to consider

iOS or Android?

Size

Cameras

Software support

Our Picks

$1,920 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Best for productivity and entertainment
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
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$1,799 at Google
Image of Google Pixel Fold
Best foldable for Google lovers
Google Pixel Fold
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$1,120 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Best compact foldable phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
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$700 at Motorola
Image of Motorola Razr Plus
Best compact Samsung alternative
Motorola Razr Plus
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$700 at Motorola
Motorola Razr 2023
Best foldable for budget buyers
Motorola Razr 2023
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$1,022 at Oppo
oppo find n3 flip cover screen
Best flip phone with a telephoto camera
Oppo Find N3 Flip
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$1,700 at OnePlus
The OnePlus Open looking at YouTube app
Best foldable to stand out from the crowd
OnePlus Open
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Foldable phones have been around for several years now, with more companies offering their take on the tech, including more options in terms of features and price. And while foldables have their drawbacks -- including much higher prices than their non-folding siblings -- their clever bendable displays offer a fun experience that you simply don't get with regular smartphones. The market is dominated by Samsung, with its Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 offering different folding forms to part you from your cash. But Samsung isn't the only company in the game.

The Pixel Fold is the first folding phone from Google. Despite a few quirks, it's a solid first effort. Motorola's folding 2023 Razr Plus flip phone also scored well in our review, and its cheaper Razr is the most affordable foldable we've seen yet. We also like OnePlus' first attempt at a foldable phone. Then there are folding phones from Honor and Oppo, which are solid options for people in Europe, but they're not on sale in the US. 

There's still no sign of a folding iPhone. Sorry, Apple fans. 

Folding phones come in two main varieties: candy bar phones that open up to become larger, tablet-size devices (like the Galaxy Z Fold 5) or candy bar phones that fold in half to become smaller and more pocketable (like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Moto Razr 2022). Because of the still-recent technology, all foldables are more expensive than their regular smartphone equivalents, making them a luxury option for buyers with deeper pockets. But if you're looking to turn heads when you whip out your foldable display and bend your phone in half, they're worth investigating. 

Here are our picks for the best foldable phones available now.

What's the best foldable phone?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 sits at the top of our list of best foldable phones, largely because it has an approachable price for a foldable. At $1,000 it is still expensive, but we believe it packs a lot for that price. The design and build quality feel sturdy, the software is polished and the phone gets four years of Android version support. On top of it all the clamshell form-factor and large cover screen make it one of the most portable and fun phones you can own.

Best foldable phones

$1,920 at Samsung

Best for productivity and entertainment

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an incremental improvement that further refines Samsung's large-screened foldable. If you're looking for a phone that can double as a tablet for viewing work-related documents, running multiple apps on screen at once or watching movies, the Z Fold 5 is our top choice. The Pixel Fold may have better cameras, but the Z Fold 5's bright screen makes Samsung's phone better at its intended purpose: providing a big display that fits in your pocket.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5's $1,800 price is still hard to swallow and puts the phone out of range for most people. But if you can afford it, the Z Fold 5 is the best iteration of Samsung's phone-tablet hybrid yet. Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review.

$1,799 at Google

Best foldable for Google lovers

Google Pixel Fold

Google got a lot of things right with its first attempt at a folding phone. The large outer screen is great for using when the phone is closed, and its slim design means it doesn't stretch your pockets too much. It closes totally flat, too, which makes it very usable as a regular phone when snapped shut, while still letting you take advantage of the 7.6-inch internal screen when you need it. 

Its overall performance is solid and the cameras are good, too, making it a great all-rounder if you want to dive into the exciting world of foldables. Read our Google Pixel Fold review.

$1,120 at Samsung

Best compact foldable phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the biggest leap forward that Samsung's flip phone has seen in years. Samsung significantly expanded the size of the cover screen on the outside of the device, meaning you can look up directions, take photos and send messages without opening the phone. This, combined with the Z Flip's solid battery life and sturdy design, makes it a top pick.

The Z Flip 5 may be our favorite flip phone, but there are still some drawbacks. At $1,000, it's expensive for a phone without a telephoto camera. And not all apps work natively on the front screen as they do on the Motorola Razr Plus.

$700 at Motorola

Best compact Samsung alternative

Motorola Razr Plus

The Motorola Razr Plus raised the bar for what a flip phone should be in 2024. Its 3.6-inch cover screen allows you to use almost any app without opening the phone, plus battery life is long enough to get you through a busy day. It's also thinner than the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which could make it the ideal choice for those who prioritize portability in a phone.

While I recommend the Galaxy Z Flip 5 as the best flip phone overall, the Razr Plus is worth considering if you prefer a thinner design and want to use more apps on the phone's front screen without much extra fuss. The Razr Plus felt more fragile than the Z Flip 5 during testing, but it's certainly thinner, making it a great choice for those who care about compactness above all else. Read our Motorola Razr Plus review.

$700 at Motorola

Best foldable for budget buyers

Motorola Razr 2023

The Motorola Razr 2023 is the most affordable widely released foldable phone, with a $700 price tag that's well below the $1,000 prices of clamshell foldables like the Razr Plus and Samsung Galaxy Flip 5. Motorola made some obvious compromises for affordability, like losing its competitors' full-front screen for a 1.5-inch thumbnail-size external display. 

Less obvious are the more painful shortfalls: only three years of Android OS updates and 128GB of nonexpandable storage (you'll have to rely on cloud storage if you go over). If you can stomach those compromises, the Razr 2023 is a great phone, with a svelte design, a large 6.9-inch internal display and a sharp 64-megapixel main camera (the less said about its other ultra-wide lens, the better). It's a phone that suits a specific niche: folks who want to try out foldables for a few years but don't want to shell out a lot of money if they're still iffy on whether this "flexible display" thing will take off. Read our Motorola Razr 2023 review

$1,022 at Oppo

Best flip phone with a telephoto camera

Oppo Find N3 Flip

Oppo's Find N3 Flip phone is unique for two reasons: It has a telephoto camera and a vertical cover screen, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus. That could make the Find N3 Flip an ideal choice for people who want closer zoom shots, though this phone also shines for its fast performance, stylish design and speedy charging. The crease on the interior screen is also impressively subtle. That said, there are some downsides. The Find N3 Flip lacks wireless charging, and you'll be able to buy it only in certain markets -- and that doesn't include the US. Read our Oppo Find N3 Flip review.

$1,700 at OnePlus

Best foldable to stand out from the crowd

OnePlus Open

The Open is the first foldable from OnePlus. It's not a bad first effort, with great-looking hardware that feels premium and helps the Open stand out from its competitors. In our review, we liked the good battery life and the fast wired charging. Its generous 6.3-inch outer display unfolds to reveal a 7.82-inch inner display that's great for watching videos on the go. 

But the Open feels rough around the edges compared with Samsung's Z Fold 5, with the camera performance and some software optimizations leaving us a touch underwhelmed. At $1,700, it's tough to recommend the Open over Samsung's foldable, but if you want a device that few others have, it's certainly not a bad phone to consider. Read our OnePlus Open review.

Factors to consider when buying an Android phone

Shop Black Friday: Look for sales and deals close to holidays, especially Amazon's Prime Day and Black Friday.

Consider last year's models: When a new phone gets launched, stores and carriers discount their older phones to sell off existing stock.

See the phone in person: It's worth going to a store and trying out a potential phone. You may love or hate the way it looks and feels.

Budget for a case: Foldable phones sold today are more durable than phones from even a few years ago, but it still might be a good idea to protect your phone with a case to keep it in tip-top shape.

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How we test phones

We test every phone in real-world scenarios, focusing on its features, design, performance, cameras, battery life and overall value. We document our findings in an initial review that is periodically updated when there are new software updates, or to compare it against new phones from competitors such as Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus.

zfold5-9.jpg
John Kim/CNET

Photography

Photography is a major focus for most phones these days, so we take pictures and videos of various subjects in a variety of settings and lighting scenarios. We try out any new camera modes, such as Action mode that debuted with the iPhone 14 line, or the Unblur photo tool that launched with the Google Pixel 7 series.

Battery life

Battery testing is conducted in a variety of ways. We assess how long a phone lasts during a typical day of use and note how it performs during more focused sessions of video calls, media streaming and gaming. We also conduct a video playback test, as a simple, replicable measure of pure battery life, which isn't always included in the initial review but sometimes added later in an update.

The author holding the Z Flip 5 up to take a photo.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 largely has the same camera hardware as the Z Flip 4. But the new chip brings some image processing improvements.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Performance measuring

We use benchmarking apps to measure each phone's performance, alongside our own anecdotal experiences using the phone for our review. Most noteworthy is how graphics and animations look. Are they smooth? Do they lag or stutter? We also look at how quickly the phone switches between horizontal and vertical orientations, and how fast the camera app opens and is ready to take a photo.

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