Folding phones have been with us for a good few years now. While they haven't hit mainstream adoption, they're seen as exciting, futuristic devices that stand out from regular phones. The folding phone market is dominated by Samsung, with both itsand offering different folding forms to tempt you to part with your cash. But it's not the only company in the game, with Motorola having also launched a refreshed version of its folding phone.
There are other phones Huawei, Oppo and other companies, but these are mostly reserved for the Chinese market. And while both Apple and Google have filed patents over the years for their own foldable displays, we're yet to see a folding iPhone or Pixel phone.
The folding phones we do have come in two main varieties; candybar phones that open up to become larger tablet-sized devices (like the Galaxy Z Fold 4) or candybar phones that fold in half to become smaller and more pocketable (like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Moto Razr 2022). Because of the still recent technology, all foldables are more expensive than their regular smartphone equivalents, but if you're keen to turn heads when you whip out your phone and bend it in half, they're worth investigating.
Here then are our top favorites you can buy now:
Usually priced at $1,800 (yikes!), the Galaxy Z Fold 4 still costs substantially more than your average phone. But the latest version of Samsung's book-style foldable is filled with small improvements that add up to a much more pleasant overall experience. The hinge is thinner, the device is lighter and the cover screen is wider, making it feel more natural to use as a phone when closed. That's on top of other routine upgrades like a better camera that's similar to the Galaxy S22's and a new processor. Our reviewer Patrick Holland called it his "favorite Android tablet."
If you already have a Z Fold 3, it's not worth upgrading. But if you're willing to spend big (or can find a good trade-in deal) and are interested in a phone that can double as a tablet, the Z Fold 4 is the way to go.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Best compact folding phone
With a candybar form that folds down on itself to become a smaller square, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers a much more compact footprint than the Z Fold 4. It makes it easier to slide into a tight pocket when not in use, but it still folds out to offer a sizeable 6.7-inch display when you need it.
Like the Z Fold 4, the Flip line has seen revisions over the years with improvements to its hinge system and reduction in crease marks in its display. It's got a new camera system too, along with a larger outer display that shows incoming notifications.
It's pricey, sure, and its battery life could be better but it's a fun phone and one we've enjoyed using.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 3 isn't the most recent version, but the arrival of the Z Flip 4 meant a discount on the existing Z Flip 3. Starting at $724, the Flip 3 slices a hefty chunk off its original $900 asking price. This 2021 model packs features such as 5G connectivity, a potent processor and an aluminium design that makes it feel sturdy.
It's not a lot cheaper than the current $800 Z Flip 4, but if you're looking for a folding phone with a bit of spare change left over it's well worth considering.
Motorola Razr (2022)
Fresh update to a solid foldable
We reviewed the previous Motorola Razr phone back in 2020 and we liked its slick design and folding mechanism. The phone was given a fresh update in 2022 with updated internals, a fresh camera system and a bigger display.
And while this phone was announced for the Chinese market, the 2022 Razr is also listed on the UK website, along with a price tag of £950 ($1,160), so it's looking likely that the phone will get a wider release.
We're yet to get our hands on this phone so we can't say whether the updates have made it worthy of your money yet, but it's worth keeping in mind, particularly if you were considering buying the older model. We'll update this listing as more firm details are announced.
While the 2020 Moto Razr 5G might have been replaced with a fresh 2022 model (see above), the existing model has had its price slashed to all-time-low levels. You can pick it up directly from Motorola for only $600, which is a huge saving over its original $1,400 asking price and makes it the cheapest foldable phone you can buy right now.
And it is still worth considering, despite its age, if you're determined to get a folding phone on a budget. We loved its design when we first got our hands on it and its 5G connectivity means it's ready to take advantage of those super-fast data speeds.