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The Best Foldable Smartphones: Which 2023 Foldable Comes up Top?

The best foldables phones to buy in 2023 compared

  Best large foldable Best clamshell flip Best foldable alternative Best passport foldable Best flip alternative Price pick
Product
Image OnePlus Open product image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Product Image Google Pixel Fold Product Image Motorola Razr+ (2023) Product Image Motorola Razr (2023) Product Image
Rating

Rating: OnePlus Open

Rating: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Rating: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Rating: Google Pixel Fold

Rating: Motorola Razr+ (2023)

Rating: Motorola Razr (2023)
Price
Display
  • Main display: 7.82-inch AMOLED | 2,440 x 2,268 pixels | 1-120 Hz refresh rate
  • Cover display: 6.31-inch AMOLED | 2,484 x 1,116 pixels | 10-120 Hz refresh rate
  • Main display: 6.67-inch AMOLED | 2,640 x 1,080 pixels | 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Cover display: 3.4-inch AMOLED | 720 x 748 pixels | 60 Hz refresh rate
  • Main display: 7.6-inch AMOLED | 2,176 x 1,812 pixels | 1-120 Hz refresh rate
  • Cover display: 6.2-inch AMOLED | 2,316 x 904 pixels | 48-120 Hz refresh rate
  • Main display: 7.6-inch AMOLED | 2,298 x 1,840 pixels | 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Cover display: 5.8-inch AMOLED | 2,092 x 1,080 pixels | 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Main display: 6.9-inch AMOLED | 2,640 x 1,080 pixels | 165 Hz refresh rate
  • Cover display: 3.6-inch AMOLED | 1,066 x 1,056 pixels | 144 Hz refresh rate
  • Main display: 6.9-inch AMOLED | 2,640 x 1,080 pixels | 144 Hz refresh rate
  • Cover display: 1.5-inch AMOLED | 194 x 368 pixels | 60 Hz refresh rate
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
RAM
Memory
  • 256 / 512 / 1024 GB UFS 4
  • 128 / 256 GB (US/Global) UFS 2.2
OS
  • OxygenOS 13.2 | Android 13
    Four years of system upgrades
    Five years of security updates
  • One UI 5.1 | Android 13
    Four Android upgrades
    Five years of security updates
  • One UI 5.1 | Android 13
    Four Android upgrades
    Five years of security updates
  • Android 13
    Three Android upgrades
    Five years of security updates
  • Moto My UX based on Android 13
    Three Android upgrades
    Four years of security updates
  • Moto My UX based on Android 13
    Three Android upgrades
    Four years of security updates
Camera
  • Main: 48 MP, f/1.7, OIS
  • Ultra-wide angle: 48 MP, f/2.2
  • Telephoto: 64 MP, f/2.6. OIS
  • Main: 12 MP, f/1.8, OIS
  • Ultra-wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2
  • Main: 50 MP, f/1.8, OIS
  • Ultra-wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2
  • Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4. OIS
  • Main: 48 MP, f/1.7, OIS
  • Ultra-wide angle: 10.8 MP, f/2.2
  • Telephoto: 10.8 MP, f/3.05, OIS
  • Main: 12 MP, 1/2.55”, f/1.5, OIS
  • Ultra-wide angle: 13 MP, 1/3”, f/2.2, 108° FOV
  • Main: 64 MP, 1/2.55”, f/1.7, OIS
  • Ultra-wide angle: 13 MP, 1/3”, f/2.2, 120° FOV
Front-camera
  • Internal: 20 MP, f/2.2
  • External: 32 MP, f/2.4
  • Internal: 4 MP, f/1.8
  • External: 4 MP, f/1.8
  • Internal: 9.5 MP, f/2.2
  • External: 8 MP, f/2.0
Battery
Connectivity
  • eSIM | 5G | LTE | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.2 | UWB | NFC
  • eSIM | 5G | LTE | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.3 | NFC
  • eSIM | 5G | LTE | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.3 | NFC | UWB
  • eSIM | 5G | LTE | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.2 | UWB | NFC
  • 5G | LTE | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.3 | NFC
  • 5G | LTE | Wi-Fi 6E | Bluetooth 5.3 | NFC
IP Certification
Dimensions and weight
  • Folded: 153.4 x 73.3 x 11.7 mm
    Unfolded: 153.4 x 143.1 x 5.8 mm
    245 g
  • Folded: 71,9 x 85,1 x 15.1 mm
    Unfolded: 71,9 x 165,1 x 6.9 mm
    187 g
  • Folded: 154.9 x 67.1 x 13.4 mm
    Opened: 154.9 x 129.9 x 6.1 mm
    253 g
  • Folded: 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1 mm
    Unfolded: 139.7 x 158.7 x 5.8 mm
    283 g
  • Folded: 73.95 x 88.42 x 15.1 mm
    Unfolded: 73.95 x 170.83 x 6.99 mm
    188.5 g
  • Folded: 73.95 x 88.24 x 15.8 mm
    Unfolded: 73.95 x 170.82 x 7.35 mm
    188.6 g
Price Comparison

Here’s what to look out for when buying a foldable

Different types exist:

Basically, we can distinguish two types when it comes to foldable devices:

  • Clamshell models like the Z Flip, which offer a normal smartphone-sized display when fully opened
  • Foldables in a book or booklet form factor, where the usual smartphone screen’s surface area is almost enlarged to a tablet form factor

Clamshell devices are much more compact, folding horizontally like how the first foldable phones once did. Meanwhile, they also come with external displays like the Galaxy Z Flip 5, on which you can control music or read notifications.

Foldables like the OnePlus Open, on the other hand, are folded vertically and offer significantly more multitasking possibilities due to the larger display area. Moreover, they are fully usable even when folded due to a generous outer display.

Who are foldables suitable for?

Foldable smartphones are still expensive for many models, giving companies a chance to try new things. So, the people buying these phones are usually those who can easily spend a lot of money. They also need to be patient since some of the new features and parts might not be perfect yet.

The big booklet design is great for people who work while traveling. It has a big screen that’s good for office apps, and some even support a stylus. A cool thing about the clamshell style is that you can prop it half-open. This is handy for content creators who want to record videos without holding their phone.

OnePlus Open: The best foldable to buy in 2023

OnePlus Open camera and cover screen highlighted
The Emerald Dusk color is very elegant, with its matte green derived from glass. / © nextpit

Foldable phones are all the rage now, aren’t they? We’ve come a long way from when they were just a cool, futuristic idea. But, let’s be real, not all foldables hit the mark. They either tug at your wallet a bit too hard or have those niggling issues. This is where the OnePlus Open shines bright.

OnePlus got things right. The phone looks good, works even better, and the best part? It’s “cheaper” than the other competitors. While its initial price tag reads $1,699, there’s a neat little trade-in offer that could bring it down to $1,499—OnePlus Store only.

Now, let’s talk about features. The OnePlus Open feels like a close cousin to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in terms of design, but it brings its own flair to the table. Charging speeds? It’s like the sprinter who always finishes first. The multitasking tools it offers, especially the nifty ‘Recent fold’ and OnePlus Canvas, are like a magic trick for productivity.

And for all the shutterbugs out there, its Hasselblad 48 MP camera is like the cherry on top. Some might say it’s marketing magic that makes us rave about it, but our team has been using it for a while now, we’re smitten. Simply put, if you’re in the market for a foldable this year, the OnePlus Open should be at the top of your list. It’s friendly on your pocket, packs a punch in features, and, honestly, it’s just a joy to use.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: The best compact model

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
Larger and more functional: The cover display offers a lot more possibilities in 2023. / © nextpit

Samsung delivered some important updates in 2023 for the Galaxy Z Flip 5. First and foremost is the 3.4-inch cover display, which is almost fully functional. South Korea has also been able to improve the hinge design and reduce the gap between the two display halves that lie on top of each other to almost zero.

In our detailed review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, we appreciated the fact that not only was the storage space doubled, but the base prices also remained consistent with those of previous generations. That is also worth mentioning in times when everyone is tightening their budgets.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: The best foldable alternative

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
More déjà vu than innovation? / © nextpit

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 looks much like the previous model and offers fewer new features than the Z Fold 4 did in 2022. If a smartphone is perfect, that would not be a criticism at all, but the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 also lacks an integrated garage for the productive accessory, the S Pen, in 2023.

Last year, Samsung could still rest on their monopoly position—but this year, there is much more serious competition. Of course, there is the new OnePlus Open and the Google Pixel Fold. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the South Koreans their experience and competence with five generations of foldables, which is why it was still enough for four out of five stars in our rating.

Google Pixel Fold: The best passport foldable

Google Pixel Fold
With its unique design, the Pixel Fold offers one of the most intriguing form factors in the foldable smartphone category. / © nextpit

The Pixel Fold is the first foldable smartphone from Google. That alone brings with it certain first-generation risks and its typical flaws. In addition, Google wants to set a milestone with the unusual form factor—similar to the Oppo Find N.

To make matters worse, the price is a whopping $1,800, which probably restricts the potential customer base even more. Nevertheless, Google is the Android benchmark in terms of software, AI support, and photography, so the rating is still equal to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 in the end. For more details, read our detailed review of the Google Pixel Fold.

Motorola Razr+ (2023): The best flip alternative

Motorola Razr Plus 2023
The large cover display of the Motorola Razr Plus 2023 currently beats every other cover screen in the clamshell foldable class. / © nextpit

After a couple of missteps in the foldable category—like leaning too heavily on nostalgia—Motorola started 2023 on fire with two foldables launched not much after a strong showing with the Razr (2022) we reviewed last year. And the Razr+ (aka Razr 40 Ultra) came ready to dethrone the competition with the biggest external display ever used on a flip phone: A crisp 3.6” OLED.

With a release so soon after the Razr (2022), the new model kept the same capable and efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, but resorted to an unfortunate downgrade in the main camera, with a smaller sensor than its predecessor (1/2.55” vs 1/1.55”), that particularly hurt its light capturing performance at night.

The new Razr+ (2023) is the first flip phone that can claim its external display is actually useful, and Motorola even managed to start offering a decent update policy of three Android versions and four years of security updates. And despite not quite taking down the Galaxy Z Flip 4 from this list, it indicates that Motorola is definitely back to the fight.

Motorola Razr (2023): The most affordable option

Motorola Razr 40
The Razr (2023) external display got a size reduction in line with a considerable price cut. / © nextpit

Motorola has made a return to this list—quite unexpected! Released in October 2023, the Razr (2023), globally known as the Razr 40, builds on the 2019 and 2020 Razrs. It features a decent mid-range processor and good cameras. It addresses the main issues of the original Droid Razrs by offering a practical design and, most notably, a price that’s more competitive than rivals.

The “cheap” Razr impressed us in our review that it got a score better than the Razr+. The Razr (2023) goes back to a mid-range SoC but keeps a big 6.9” OLED internal display, offers good memory options, and, surprisingly, a bigger resolution main camera and bigger battery without sacrificing wireless charging.

With an attractive bang-for-the-buck proposition, the Razr (2023) was launched at a lower price than its competitors in the US.

Short take

Foldable phones are becoming increasingly popular, and according to the Counterpoint Research team, this smartphone category has seen the most significant growth in recent years. This is welcome news for an industry that seemed to have reached its peak in the last 12 months.

The popularity of foldable phones can be attributed largely to the novelty of the butterfly variants’ expansive screens and the compactness of their flip options. Moreover, the hinge mechanism has now been established as a reliable feature, and the software integration has become more user-friendly with wider update policies, adding to its appeal.

Please let us know in the comments which model is your foldable favorite and if you agree with our picks.


Our selection of the best foldable smartphones has been updated as of October 2023, previous comments were kept and may appear out of context.


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