Best foldable phone 2024

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Foldable phones used to be a far-flung concept from science fiction, but the latest in foldable smartphones brings the ideas of the future to the here and now. Built with strong aluminum frames and cutting-edge ultra-thin glass that can literally fold in half, these phones will amaze you every single time you open and close them.

Right now, it's nigh impossible to find a more ideal foldable phone than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. When unfolded, it looks similar to the average smartphone, including a sleek and slim chassis with an all-day battery. But, when you're all done and just need to fit it in your jeans pocket, you can fold it in half, and it magically seems to fit just about anywhere.

The beauty of the foldables market is that you don't just have to have a "normal" shape phone that folds in half. What if you'd rather have a regular-size phone that unfolds into a tablet instead? Or maybe a book-style foldable makes more sense, giving you two screens instead of one. Either way you fold them, these tremendous foldable phones bring the best parts of the best Android phones into neat, versatile packages.

Nick Sutrich
Nick Sutrich

Nick grew up in a telecom-savvy household and has been reviewing phones since 2011. Whether it's waxing poetic about Nokia's glory days or flipping open the latest foldable phones, he knows what makes a good phone and can help you understand which one to pick.

At a glance

Best overall

The larger cover display of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)
The best foldable phone for most users

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x, LTPO (1-120Hz), 2640 x 1080, 1,750 nits (inner) / 3.4-inch AMOLED, 60Hz, 720 x 748, 1600 nits
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
Storage: 256GB, 512GB
Battery: 3700mAh, 25W wired charging, 10-15W fast wireless charging 2.0, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
Camera: 12MP (main) + 12MP (ultrawide); 10MP inner selfie

Reasons to buy

+
Big cover display
+
120Hz refresh rate
+
Pocketable form-factor
+
IPX8 Water resistance
+
More affordable than most foldables
+
Great performance and battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No telephoto lens
-
Display crease is still noticeable
-
No dust resistance

With the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung finally increased the size of the outer cover screen and made it far more useful than ever before. Previous entries into the series had smaller displays that were good for telling the time or checking notifications, but it was hard to actually do anything with those little screens.

At 3.4 inches, this screen is big enough to use a full-sized keyboard to reply to messages, run full apps, and just use the large, inner display less often. That's both convenient for everyday use — it's certainly more glanceable than having to open the phone — plus, using a smaller display more often will inherently improve daily battery life since the phone doesn't have to power a big display every time you use it.

But that cover display is still a bit limited in how it handles apps. Sure, you can technically run full apps on it but you'll need to download Samsung Good Lock and enable the feature. Plus, Samsung keeps apps pinned as individual widgets instead of just giving you a full app drawer like Motorola does on the Razr Plus.

Samsung launched a brand new hinge design with the Flip 5 that makes the phone fold completely flat instead of the wedge shape of previous generations. Aside from just looking nicer, this hinge slims up the phone by a full 2mm and lightens it up a few grams, as well.

The rest of the phone is a little less exciting but still includes the latest mobile processor — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 — which provides the fastest speeds and best battery efficiency of any processor designed for an Android phone yet. There are no camera upgrades this year but the Flip 4's camera was always pretty good, anyway. Just don't expect to zoom in very far since there's no telephoto lens.

Best budget foldable

The Razr 2023 with the display folded up

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
Best budget foldable

Specifications

Display: 6.9-inch pOLED, 144Hz LTPO, 2640 x 1080, 1400 nits (inner) / 1.5-inch OLED, 60Hz, 194 x 368, 1000 nits (cover)
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
Storage: 128GB, UFS 2.2
Battery: 4200mAh, 30W wired charging, 5W wireless
Camera: 64MP (main) + 13MP (ultrawide/macro); 8MP inner selfie

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Gorgeous 144Hz OLED display
+
Good performance from Snapdragon chip
+
Vegan leather finish feels great
+
Sturdy hinge
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Inconsistent camera quality
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Shaky video capture
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Only 128GB of USF 2.2 storage
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Small cover screen does very little
-
Slow wireless charging

The era of the mid-range foldable is finally upon us thanks to the Motorola Razr (2023). Its $699 price tag is $300 less than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, making it the most affordable new foldable phone you'll find today. You'll be making some concessions by saving so much money, but it's likely this will only bother enthusiasts.

The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor inside is plenty snappy and likely will never show its "mid-range" nature, even when playing games like Honkai: Star Rail. But there's always the chance that you won't see the same super-high framerates that a more expensive foldable can achieve. Slower internal storage means that things will definitely take longer to load, though.

That slightly lower-powered processor paired with a 4,200mAh battery means you'll actually be able to get through a full day's use on a single charge, unlike most other flip-style foldables.

The OLED cover screen is a lot closer to the tiny Galaxy Z Flip cover screens of yesteryear, as it's mainly used to peek at notifications, take a quick selfie with the rear cameras, or jump on a phone call without unfolding the phone. You definitely won't want to run apps on it as you can on the higher-end Motorola Razr Plus (2023).

And the camera can leave a lot to be desired at times. Sure, it's "good enough" for most scenarios but it's rarely going to make you feel like it's "great."

But, if an average camera and only a glanceable cover screen aren't true negatives for you, this is an excellent way to get in on the flip trend and save a ton of money. Plus, that vegan leather option feels so good to hold and it looks extra classy, too!

Best cover display

Camera viewfinder on the Razr Plus cover screen

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
Best cover display

Specifications

Display: 6.9-inch pOLED, 165Hz LTPO, 2640 x 1080, 1400 nits (inner) / 3.6-inch pOLED, 144Hz, 1066 x 1056, 1100 nits (cover)
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
Storage: 256GB, UFS 3.1
Battery: 3800mAh, 30W wired charging, 5W wireless
Camera: 12MP (main) + 13MP (ultrawide/macro); 32MP inner selfie

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design (especially Viva Magenta)
+
Large cover screen is incredibly useful
+
Great performance
+
Great software promise
+
Motorola gestures are wonderful
+
Relatively fast charging

Reasons to avoid

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Displays can be hard to see in direct sunlight
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Cameras are just okay
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Battery life could be a lot better
-
Weak water resistance rating

The Motorola Razr Plus is two phones in one, outclassing the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in quite a few surprising ways. The biggest reason to choose the Razr Plus is the cover screen, which might initially be surprising because it looks very similar to what Samsung offers on the Flip 5.

So why is it so different if it's basically the same size? Motorola doesn't put any restrictions on what you can do with the cover display, which is why we say it's two phones in one. The smaller cover display on the front acts like a full phone so you can use the Razr Plus more often without having to open it up.

Yes, that sounds a little silly given how easy Motorola's hinge makes it to open and close on a whim, but there's just something nice about being able to use a smaller display for quick tasks. Plus, using that smaller screen more often will improve battery life which is one of the phone's only real negative points. Battery life isn't awful but it's certainly not the best.

In addition to a better cover screen, Motorola has two more hardware features that are better than Samsung's: the display crease, and the curved edges.

The Razr Plus's display crease is basically non-existent compared to the Z Flip 5's. Sure, both phones fold flat and utilize a waterdrop display curve inside the hinge but Motorola does a much better job of hiding the crease. Plus, the curved edges of the phone make the Razr Plus so much easier to open and close than Samsung's flat edges.

On the software side, Motorola's modern software update promise is almost as good as Samsung's — just one year short but you'll still get years of software upgrades for free — and Motorola's timeless gestures are here in all their glory. Double twist to open the camera, double chop to toggle the flashlight, and plenty more make it easy to quickly perform common tasks. Overall, it's a phenomenal phone and a great alternative to Samsung's Flip series.

Best premium foldable

OnePlus Open review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)
Best premium foldable

Specifications

Display: 7.82-inch 120HZ AMOLED, LTPO 3.0, 2440 x 2268, 2800 nits (inner) / 6.31-inch 120Hz AMOLED, LTPO 3.0, 2484 x 1116, 2800 nits (outer)
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5X
Storage: 512GB UFS 4.0
Battery: 4805mAh battery, 67W fast charging
Camera: 48MP (main) + 48MP (ultrawide) + 64MP (3x telephoto); 32MP cover selfie; 20MP inner selfie

Reasons to buy

+
Striking design and build quality
+
Smooth hinge with no visible crease
+
Excellent performance
+
Useful multitasking features
+
Fast charging with stellar battery life
+
Great cameras
+
Four Android OS updates

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging
-
No stylus integration
-
Games locked to 60fps

The OnePlus Open is the best large foldable you can buy today. Its size and shape fit somewhere in between the narrow Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the wide Pixel Fold, giving it that Goldilocks appeal. Plus, the display crease on the larger folding display is nearly invisible and you still get an IPX4 water resistance rating so you don't have to worry if it gets a little wet in the rain.

The displays are top-notch, as well, offering a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, 1440Hz PWM dimming, 10-bit color depth, and peak brightness of 2,800 nits. There's even support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision for spectacular movie watching on that large, cinematic display inside.

OnePlus offers two great colors, with the Voyager Black colorway sporting a nice textured leather-like material on the back for extra grippiness. Surprisingly, even the cameras are quite excellent, surpassing the quality of even the best large foldables like the Google Pixel Fold in most tests.

But good foldable hardware only works as well as the software, and this is where OnePlus really does things right. While there were some weird bugs at launch, the experience these days is nothing short of the best you'll find anywhere, particularly when it comes to multitasking.

The brilliant OnePlus Open Canvas concept lets you run several apps at once using a split screen or a unique sliding app concept, where you can dock an app "off-screen" and slide it into the main view at any time. Think of it a bit like looking at a comic book with several frames, each frame containing an app, and you can freely move the frame around as needed. It's brilliant, and it rounds out the best large foldable you can buy.

Best with a stylus

The new slimmer S Pen for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)
Best with a stylus

Specifications

Display: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x, LTPO (1-120Hz), 2176 x 1812, 1,750 nits (inner) / 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x, LTPO (48-120Hz), 2316 x 904, 1,750 nits
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB UFS 4.0
Battery: 4,400mAh (dual 2,200mAh batteries), 25W wired charging, 10-15W wireless charging 2.0, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
Camera: 50MP (main) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 10MP (3x telephoto); 10MP cover selfie; 4MP inner under-display selfie

Reasons to buy

+
120Hz refresh rate on both displays
+
Good cameras
+
Powerful processor that doesn't get hot
+
Excellent battery life
+
S Pen support and IPX8 water resistance
+
Unparalleled multitasking features

Reasons to avoid

-
No dust resistance
-
Display crease is still noticeable
-
No S Pen holster

Samsung's Z Fold 5 is a bit of an odd update. It revolutionizes the hinge for Samsung foldable and allows the phone to fold completely flat but does nothing to get rid of the unsightly crease on that large, inner display. At the least, though, this new hinge makes the phone feel a lot thinner.

Thankfully, that new hinge also feels better to open and close than before, with a lovely spring to help it open or close more elegantly. Additionally, the hinge no longer creaks or crackles as older Galaxy Z Fold or Flip phones used to, which is always nice on a $1,800 phone.

Samsung added a new "shock absorptive layer" under the display to help with any longevity issues that have cropped up over the years, which usually resulted in screens breaking spontaneously along the hinge. Plus, the hinge now folds the glass into a waterdrop shape instead of the U-shape that previous Galaxy Folds and Flips used, which should further help with the longevity of the display.

The taskbar got upgraded for the release of the Fold 5 and now supports up to four recent app icons right on the dock, making multitasking better than ever. Under the hood, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor offers better battery life and faster processing.

Last but certainly not least is the new S Pen case which packs a slimmer S Pen right into the case, making it feel like the S Pen is actually integrated into the phone itself. As a bonus, this S Pen is bigger than the one found in the Galaxy S23 Ultra, so it's more comfortable, yet, doesn't take up as much space as the old S Pen Fold Edition from the Fold 3 and Fold 4 days.

Just don't expect a camera upgrade this year, which is perplexing given how much better the cameras on the Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open are. We certainly expected Samsung to push the envelope with cameras this year and were pretty disappointed when we found out they didn't.

How to choose

What's the best foldable phone?

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

We rank the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 as the best foldable phone for most people because of its powerful processor, solid camera performance, good battery life, and the large cover screen. Plus, Samsung's foldable phones have proven to be more durable, capable of withstanding hundreds of thousands of folds more than the competition.

But a flip style isn't for everyone, and all of our staff who use foldables regularly prefer the larger form factors of the OnePlus Open or Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. These two phones give you the option of having a tablet-sized display when you need it with the pocketability of a standard phone the rest of the time.

Plus, companies like Samsung and OnePlus have created powerful multitasking software systems that make it a joy to use multiple apps at once on that big screen.

Are foldable phones worth it?

Any fledgling technology tends to cost more, which means that many people often get priced out of choosing a foldable phone as an option. Companies like OnePlus and Samsung often run great deals on their foldable phones, and trading in an older phone could get you hundreds off a new foldable.

But while large foldables tend to cost more, phones like the Motorola Razr have pushed the price of clamshell foldables to less than half the price they debuted at in 2019. That's a great track record for getting more foldables into people's hands affordably, and some even cheaper options from companies like ZTE look to be coming soon.

What are the disadvantages of foldable phone?

Aside from price, foldable phones are more difficult to repair than traditional slab phones. Our own Andrew Myrick had several problems getting his Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 repaired, and he's not alone in this conundrum. While many companies like Samsung partner up with shops like uBreakiFix, a broken display on a foldable is still a more difficult, costly process to repair.

We've also seen plenty of examples where foldable displays crack without any obvious damage infliction point. When this happens, there's a possibility that it could be covered under warranty. The problem is that repair shops aren't always consistent with how they identify warranty-eligible replacements, and we've run into these issues several times when trying to get foldables repaired over the years.

It's also worth noting that, traditionally, foldable phones have worse battery life and camera quality than a similarly-priced slab phone.

While the situation is improving with every year — the OnePlus Open's camera is better than the OnePlus 12, despite being a few months older — companies like Samsung have been making snail-like progress on camera improvements over the years. That's particularly true with telephoto cameras, as the company ships the same cameras on its $1,800 Z Fold 5 as it fits on the $799 Galaxy S24.

Do foldable phones last long?

Normally, a foldable phone will last you years without issue. Most foldable phones are rated for at least 200,000 consecutive folds before the hinge will start giving out, and companies like Samsung and OnePlus tout hundreds of thousands of folds beyond that before problems start to develop.

Foldables also tend to be more durable when dropped simply because the foldable display is encased within a protective clamshell.

But ultrathin foldable glass is still just ultrathin glass, and there's always the probability that it could break when you're using it normally, however unlikely that may be.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
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