The Best Foldable Phones Are No Longer a Novelty – See the Top Models of 2022

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 first
John Velasco | SPY

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In the last three years, we’ve seen major innovations in flexible display technology, which has led to an impressive new generation of foldable smartphones. The best folding phones are no longer a novelty, but a serious contender among elite flagship smartphones.

One of the goals for nearly every tech company has always been fitting more into less space. That’s exactly what folding phones accomplish. They maximize real estate when you need them and fold into a convenient form factor when you don’t. At least, that’s the premise behind folding phones.

Microsoft is joining the folding phone party with the new Microsoft Surface Duo, the company’s first folding phone and first phone offering in four years. It sports a dual-display design — two displays fold into a tablet size but have smartphone capabilities. As exciting as this new folding phone is, it’s not the first to hit the folding phone scene. Companies like Samsung and Motorola have had foldable phones out for a while, and we’ve included Samsung’s foldables in our guide to the best smartphones of 2022.

That got the SPY team thinking, “What are the best folding phones for sale in 2022?” There aren’t a ton of options, and they are all fairly expensive (you can get a brand new iPhone SE for way cheaper), but folding phones are here to stay, and if you want to be an early adopter, below you’ll find the best folding phones available right now.

  

The Best Folding Phones of 2022 At a Glance

1. Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4$999.99 from Samsung
2. Runner Up: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4$1,799.99 from Samsung
3. Most Affordable:  Motorola RAZR 5G (2nd Gen)$799.99 from Amazon
4. Largest Screen: Vivo X Fold$1,599.00 from Giztop
5. Best for Microsoft Users: Microsoft Surface Duo$1399.99 from Microsoft
6. Best Value: Samsung Z Fold3$1,159.99 from Samsung
7. Most Compact: Motorola RAZR$499.99 from Motorola

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 first look, best folding phones John Velasco | SPY

  

1. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Best Overall

Best For: Content creators and social media enthusiasts.

Why We Chose It: The rear cameras and FlexCam feature make it ideal for anyone that wants to record video.

Preview: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Key Specs:

  • 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide camera, 12MP F1.8 wide-angle camera, 10MP F2.4 selfie camera
  • 8GB RAM
  • 3,700 mAh battery
  • 6.7-inch FHD+ main display

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 first look featured, best folding phones John Velasco | SPY

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the latest folding phone from Samsung, available August 26.  The Flip 4 is aimed at content creators thanks to how it can be used to shoot video similarly to a camcorder, thanks to the small preview screen.

The cover screen is small, at only 1.9-inches, but the main display is an impressive 6.7-inch dynamic AMOLED screen that will display all your favorite content in bright colors. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is set to be one of the most powerful flip phones ever to hit the stage.

It sports wireless charging, as well as IPX8 water resistance. Neither of these features is easy to implement in a folding phone, but somehow, Samsung pulled it off. Moreover, the Flip 4 has a Bespoke edition that lets you mix and match the colors to make it your own in every way.

Pros:

  • Great for content creators
  • Powerful processing
  • Large, colorful screen

Cons:

  • Isn’t aesthetically impressive without the Bespoke features
  

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Runner Up

Best For: Productivity when you’re on the go.

Why We Chose It: The larger screen and taskbar make it easy to handle multiple chores simultaneously, providing a feeling more like a laptop than a phone.

Preview: Galaxy Z Fold 4

Key Specs:

  • 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED display
  • 12GB RAM with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform
  • 4,400 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 first look. John Velasco | SPY

It’s up for debate whether the always-connected nature of remote work is beneficial or not, but the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the perfect fit for the busy user. It allows you to transition seamlessly from using the phone to working a task, even if it involves spreadsheets.

Users can lay apps beside each other through split-screen functionality, and the Fold 4 supports the S Pen for added utility. A triple-camera system caters to content creators, making it easy to capture the next greatest TikTok.

Although the phone’s crease is somewhat visible, it doesn’t get in the way of gaming or surfing the web. It might be a slight distraction if you want to watch a lot of content on the Fold4.

The phone is available for preorder now through Samsung for $1,799.99.

Pros:

  • The large screen makes it great for productivity and gaming
  • Supports S Pen usage
  • A larger battery life lets you keep going for longer

Cons:

  • The crease is visible even when fully open
  

3. Motorola RAZR 5G (2nd Gen)

Most Affordable

Best For: Anyone who wants a folding phone on a budget.

Why We Chose it: Though it costs less than half of the Galaxy Z Fold4, the 2nd-gen Motorola RAZR 5G sports a lot of utility in a small package, giving a great value for the price.

Key Specs:

  • 48 MP camera with OIS
  • 6.2-inch OLED display
  • Snapdragon 765 processor with 8GB RAM

Motorola Razr 5G Courtesy of Amazon

The Motorola RAZR 5G leans on a bit of nostalgia with the RAZR name but sports all the features you expect out of a modern device. The powerful Snapdragon processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, gives you enough power to handle most tasks, while the 48-megapixel camera lets you take amazing photos.

The camera has OIS and Quad Pixel tech with up to four times the low-light sensitivity of other cameras, and when you flip the phone closed, you’ll be able to take the best selfie of your life.

Motorola also promises 24 hours of use without recharging, with the option to quick-charge through the TurboPower feature. The closed screen is 2.7-inches across, while it reaches an impressive 6.2-inches when open.

The Motorola RAZR 5G 2nd Gen is also one of the most affordable folding phones, coming in at just $799.99 from Amazon.

Pros:

  • Incredible camera
  • More affordable than most

Cons:

  • Lacks power compared to newer models
  

4. Vivo X Fold

Largest Screen

Best For: Those who want a large surface area to work with.

Why We Chose It: The Vivo X Fold has one of the largest folding phone screens on the market, coming in at 8.03 inches in total.

Key Specs:

  • 8.03-inch screen
  • 12GB RAM, up to 512GB storage
  • 4,600 mAh battery

Vivo X Fold, best folding phones Courtesy of GSMArena

The Vivo X Fold makes a name for itself with its large size, larger even than the Galaxy Z Fold4. That does come with two downsides, though. First, it’s heavy, weighing in at 311g. Second, it’s not available in the United States. If you want to get your hands on one, you’ll have to import it from China.

That said, the Vivo X Fold has a lot going for it. With up to 512 GB of internal storage and 12 GB of RAM, it has better specs than many laptops. It supports 5G and runs on the Origin OS, loosely based on Android 12. The 120Hz display is great for gaming and watching content, while the rear triple cameras are 50-megapixels, 48-megapixels, and 12-megapixels, giving a tremendous amount of photographing power.

The Vivo X Fold will cost a pretty penny, though. At $1599.99 plus import costs, it’s on par with high-end Samsung devices.

Pros:

  • Huge screen
  • Lots of power and storage

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only available as an import
  

5. Microsoft Surface Duo

Best for Microsoft Users

Best For: Long-time Microsoft users that want a familiar ecosystem.

Why We Chose It: The Surface Duo sports two screens and has all of the Microsoft apps we know and love.

Key Specs:

  • Two 5.6-inch AMOLED displays
  • 6GB RAM, up to 256GB internal storage
  • 3,577 mAh battery

best folding phones Courtesy of Best Buy

The Microsoft Surface Duo is now just a bit over two years old but is still one of the only folding phones on the market to feature two displays. With up to 256GB of internal storage, it can handle a lot of apps like Spotify, Teams, and more, and it lets you keep working even while on the go.

The two screens work together, but you can divide apps between them as if they were dual monitors. The camera is 11 megapixels, and the battery life feels a little small to support two independent displays. That said, it’s a great fit for Microsoft users who miss the old Windows phones and want a similar experience.

The Microsoft Surface Duo retails for $1,399.99 but can often be found for less due to its age.

Pros:

  • Compatible with all Microsoft and Android Store apps
  • Dual screens act as separate displays
  • Up to 256 storage

Cons:

  • Low-resolution camera
  • Software glitches
  

6. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Best Value

Best For: Those that want the Galaxy Z Fold 4 experience without the Fold4 price.

Why We Chose It: The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is still a great option and is more affordable than the current Fold model.

  • Key Specs:
  • 7.6-inch Infinity Flex display
  • S Pen support
  • 4,400 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Fold, best folding phones Courtesy of Samsung

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is remarkably similar to the Fold 4. The two models sport the same battery life, RAM options, and 5G compatibility. The primary way the Fold4 is superior is its Snapdragon 8+ processor and the drastically improved camera.

Sure, the Fold 4 is the more powerful device — but if you’re willing to sacrifice a few improvements, you can save a lot of money and get a comparable phone with almost the same functionality. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a great option for someone who wants to try out the Fold lineup without breaking the bank while still getting most of the modern features.

The Fold 3 is $1,159.99 with an eligible trade-in but is otherwise the same price as the Fold 4. If you can trade in something, this is a great model to check out and save a few bucks.

Pros:

  • Potentially less expensive than the Fold 4
  • Same battery life as the newer model

Cons:

  • Inferior camera and connectivity options
  

7. Motorola RAZR (1st Gen)

Most Compact

Best For: Users that want the functionality of a folding phone without the large size.

Why We Chose It: The 2019 Motorola RAZR is one of the most compact folding phones you can buy.

Key Specs:

  • Folded size of 72x94x14mm
  • 24-hour battery life
  • 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage

flip phones comeback, best folding phones Courtesy of Motorola

Not everyone wants an enormous phone, and the 2019 Motorola RAZR is the perfect solution. While most folding phones function like tablets, this one folds palm-down, making it compact enough to easily fit in your pocket. The impressive battery life, combined with the TurboPower charging feature, means it can stay ready to go almost all the time.

The phone folds out to a 6.2-inch display when fully open, with a 2.7-inch Quick View display when closed. It runs on the Android 10 operating system with a Snapdragon 710 processor and up to 6GB of RAM.

Due to its age, you can snag the Motorola RAZR for just $499 from Motorola.

Pros:

  • Small size
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Lacking in power
  • Three years old
  

Coming Soon: More Foldable Phones Releasing in 2022

Do none of these folding smartphones strike your fancy? Good news: there are more phones with flexible displays on the way in the coming months and year, including a major new release from Motorola. While we’ve seen some of our competitors stoke the rumor mill regarding a potential folding iPhone, we don’t think a foldable iPhone is coming this year.

Until Apple decides to get into the foldable game, Motorola and Samsung will continue to dominate the space.

Here are the new folding smartphones we expect to see in 2022.

Motorola RAZR 2022

new motorola razr, best folding phones Courtesy of Motorola

The Motorola RAZR 2022 features updated specs, an incredible 50-megapixel camera, a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, and up to 512GB of storage. No release date has been given, and the price is still anyone’s guess — but you can expect it to be upwards of $1,200 based on previous models.

  

A New Foldable from TCL

A lot of companies are toying with the idea of foldable phones, and TCL is no exception. Leaked images hint at several possible designs, including one that’s almost like a smartwatch. No official word has been given on these designs, so it’s impossible to say whether any will reach production or not — but you can’t argue with the style factor there.

TCL Concepts, best folding phones Courtesy of TCL/CNET

  

Xiaomi Mix Fold2

The Xiaomi Mix Fold2 is only Xiaomi’s second folding phone, and it capitalizes on being thin. At just 5.4mm when opened, it’s just slightly larger than a USB-C port and features a 4,500 mAh battery. It’s available for preorder in China for around $1,340, so anyone that wants to get one will have to find an importer.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, best folding phones Courtesy of Xiaomi

  

How We Chose the Best Folding Phones

The “best” of any device is always up for debate, but we chose the top folding phones of 2022 based on their specs, widespread appeal, and availability. SPY’s product reviewers have personally tested the majority of the smartphones featured in this guide, and we’ll update this piece with additional testing notes and reviews.

  • Specs: We looked at the processor, RAM, internal storage, and other technical specifications of each phone.
  • Availability: We examined whether a phone was available only in one country or internationally.
  • Size: Half the appeal of a folding phone is how large it can fold out.
  • Price: We looked at the price of each phone to determine affordability.

Finally, while we don’t always factor price into our product ratings, we made an exception for this product category. What’s the point of a great phone if no one can buy it?

Click here to read more about SPY’s product testing process.

  

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