Thinking of making the ultimate upgrade to a folding smartphone? Here’s what you need to know before you dive in to the high-tech world of unfurling gadgets.
While they are no longer a novelty, foldable phones are still a rare sight in the wild. You’ll probably be the only one of your friends and family to own one despite the fact that Samsung has been pumping them out for a few years now. They also offer more screen real estate, even coming close to tablet size, and can fold right down to fit in your pocket.
On the flip side (no pun intended, honest), their plastic screens can fall short compared to high-end traditional phones with glass displays, they tend to be thicker than some of their svelte non-bendable counterparts, and also cost more. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, for instance, will set you back an eye-watering £1,649.
So does that mean it’s worth making the switch to foldables from regular smartphones? Here’s a closer look at some of the most noteworthy options on the market to help you make up your mind.
Before we start, it’s worth mentioning the elephant in the room; Apple. Of course, there’s no foldable iPhone as of yet, though a team of hobbyists did just make one by piecing together parts from the iPhone X and a foldable Motorola Razr. Alas, if you’re comfortable using an Android operating system, then these are the folding phones you should consider.
Motorola Razr 2022
Fresh out of the kitchen is the third-generation Motorola Razr. The latest device in the Razr line-up - which began with the original flip-phone in 2004 - is bigger and arguably more refined than its predecessors in many ways.
It boasts a 6.7-inch OLED glass display with a 144Hz refresh rate when unfolded. Gone is the divisive notch that has become a mainstay on many modern phones. To make more room for that display, Motorola also chiseled down its chin.
Additional features include a speedy Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, which matches most rivals in the same price bracket. The dual cameras boast 50MP and 13MP sensors, along with support for 8K video. Finally, the 3500mAh battery also outdoes its predecessor, but doesn’t match many premium handsets.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
If you have the cash to spare, then the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is definitely worth a look. When unfolded, the main display is relatively large at 7.6 inches, making it the phone for those who want maximum screen space.
The 4,400mAh dual battery is also larger than the Razr’s. Additional features include a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB storage (or up to a hefty 1TB if you can fork out £2,019). There are also three cameras at the back, a 10MP front-facing camera on the external display, and a 4MP under-display camera for selfies. Still, that price could put it out of the range of many buyers.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
If you have your heart set on a Samsung but can’t afford a Galaxy Z Fold 4, then its smaller sibling may for you. The 6.7-inch screen is smaller when unfolded, but the device itself packs the same Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and also starts at 256GB of storage. However, the lower price inevitably means some cutbacks. The 3,700 mAh battery is smaller and there are only two 12MP cameras on the back, plus a 10MP front-facing camera. Still, this is the cheapest foldable option from Samsung right now, which could be enough to sway those on the fence.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2
There aren’t a whole bunch of foldables on the market right now, especially for those who don’t want to export a phone from overseas from a Chinese manufacturer like Oppo or Vivo. With that in mind, Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 could be a good bet for fans of the company. Notably, this isn’t a foldable in the truest sense of the word. Instead, it has two 5.8-inch screens joined by a hinge in the middle.
Pitched as a productivity-oriented device on its release in October 2021, the foldable isn’t the most crowd-pleasing option. But, it may be ideal for those looking to multi-task across two displays, such as using one screen for note-taking and the other as a keyboard in a laptop-style setup.