Best foldable phones 2024: top folding and flip phones to buy

Having tested all the best folding phones 2024 here are the best-of-best flips and folds – and why to consider buying

Best folding phones 2024: Jump Menu

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

(Image credit: Samsung)

00. The list in brief ↴
01. Best for most: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
02. Best premium: OnePlus Open
03. Best affordable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
04. Best cover display: Motorola Razr 40 Ultra
05. Best if priced right: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
06. Best wide display: Google Pixel Fold
07. Best slender design: Honor Magic VS
08. How to choose
09. How we test

Lately the best foldable phones have gone from being unreliable and expensive to dependable and more affordable (well, in some cases anyway!). The technology has improved rapidly thanks to research and development efforts – and now a lot more people can actually consider buying a folding handset as a viable alternative to the typical best phones of today. 

You'll find a couple of different form factors to choose between: book-like ones that open up to reveal a bigger tablet-sized screen; and clamshell-like ones, which typically house an at-a-glance cover display, but then can be flipped open (hence 'flip phones') to form a more regular-sized screen in a more traditional phone-shaped design. They're very different propositions, both of which we'll get into in this guide.

If you're in the market for one of the best folding phones in the world then you've come to the right place. Here are the handsets genuinely worth considering, as tested and rated, so you can find the best foldable phone for you – and across a wide range of budgets from genuinely affordable to top-tier luxury!

Mike Lowe portrait
Mike Lowe

I've been testing folding phones since their inception and there's not a single one in this best-of list that I've not handled in person. Most I've lived with for some time as my own and then reviewed, so I've got the inside line on what's good, what's not, and which you would (or, indeed, wouldn't) want to buy.

T3 Top Picks

Best overall

The flip phone with the best design of them all

Specifications

Displays: Front: 3.4in Super AMOLED, 60Hz, 720 x 748 / Internal: 6.7in Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, 1080 x 2640
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM & Storage: 8GB only / 256GB/512GB
Battery: 3700mAh, 25W wired charging

Reasons to buy

+
Better design and build than the competition
+
New 3.4-inch cover display larger than Z Flip 4
+
Similar pricing to conventional flagship phones

Reasons to avoid

-
Cover display isn't the most functional 
-
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra has larger cover display
-
Pricier than its Z Fold 3 & Z Fold 4 predecessors
Buy it if

✅ You want the best flip phone design: the build quality is a step beyond any other clamshell foldable out there; you can just feel it in use over the Motorola (or Oppo) competition

✅ A big cover display is a must: unlike the previous Z Flip 4's 1.9in display, the Z Flip 5 ups this to 3.4in – which fundamentally changes how you'll use the device for at-a-glance notifications and interactions.

✅ A larger foldable is too much for you: sure, the Z Fold (not Flip) 5 looks nice, but it's approaching twice the price of this and it's way, way larger – which won't suit all pockets and purses! 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to do more up front: the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra's cover display has more app availability and interactivity than this Samsung, meaning greater versatility. 

❌ You don't need a large cover display: sure, a 3.4in screen is nice, but if smaller serves your at-a-glance purposes then save a load of cash and get the Z Flip 3 or 4! 

❌ You're big into photography: the cameras here are functional, sure, but they're a long way from the best-of-best that you'll find in the best flagship phones (the ones that don't fold, typically speaking).

The bottom line

🔎 The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the best all-round flip phone thanks to a great build, larger cover display than its predecessor, great software, and a battery life that lasts surprisingly well considering the size. It's pricier than its Z Flip 3 & 4 predecessors, but that new cover display makes it worth it. ★★★★

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 certainly has plenty of competition from the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra elsewhere in this guide, but that's a slightly different proposition. 

Where the Z Flip 5 earns its stripes is in the overall build quality, which is better than that main competitor, plus Samsung has significantly upped the cover display size (from 1.9in to 3.4in) compared to its Z Flip 4 predecessor. 

Design: As noted in our review (full link below) there's a much better feel to the Z Flip 5's hinge mechanism than any other flip phone. That might sound minor, but in a device you'll be flipping open and closed dozens of times a day (and it's kinda satisfying) it's a major part of this design. Add lots of somber yet attractive colour options and this Samsung looks the part too.

Displays: The 3.4in cover display on the exterior is far larger than the 1.9in one in its Z Flip 4 predecessor, which is far better for at-a-glance use for notifications and interactivity. It's responsive to use, although Samsung is less open with app access than Motorola is, so there's not quite as much you can do in terms of functionality (yet anyway). The 6.7in internal display is great, although like any folding phone suffers from reflections and that central 'crease'. 

Performance: With a top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor at its heart, which is tuned for Samsung devices (i.e. it's overclocked) the performance here is second to none, and whether you're using the cover display or flipping open so apps continue on the larger interior one, everything runs super smooth. 

Battery: With a small battery (3,700mAh, so around 1,300mAh less than many flagships) don't expect the best longevity ever – our review quotes around 80% used in 14 hours – but as you'll be using the smaller cover display more, this small cell holds up well. Charging, at 25W, isn't the fastest ever, but it's speedy enough to provide 50% battery in 30 minutes.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review

Best premium

The best premium foldable phone

Specifications

Displays: Front: 6.31in, 120Hz, 1116 x 2484 / Internal: 7.82in, 120Hz, 2268 x 2440
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM & Storage: 16GB only / 512GB only
Battery: 4805mAh, 67W wired charging

Reasons to buy

+
The cameras are best in class
+
Battery life is significant

Reasons to avoid

-
The camera bump is massive
-
Software isn't perfect
Buy it if

✅ You value cameras: The triple camera setup on the rear (48MP for main and zoom, 64MP for 3x zoom) isn't mucking about. Indeed, it's a best-in-class setup. 

✅ You want more battery life: With more capacity and faster-charging than the mainline competition, you'll get better longevity per charge and faster top-ups here.

✅ You want the best folding feel: The hinge mechanism in the Open is extra smooth, yet extra 'snappy', giving a satisfying feel – but also less of a main screen 'crease' issue. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't like massive camera bumps: That rear projection is, well, it's massive isn't it? That makes this a less pocket-friendly device as consequence. 

❌ You're software fussy: While Android is behind the scenes, OxygenOS doesn't have precisely the same feel. At least it's got more bespoke options than Google's Pixel Fold though.

❌ You won't use the internal screen much: Seems obvious, but the Open's front display is so great, so 'normal phone-like' that if you don't unfold this device enough as a result then, well, is it worth buying at all?

The bottom line

🔎 The OnePlus Open is a surprise winner, outsmarting its most obvious rivals with a better balance of screen sizes, the most satisfying hinge mechanism, least visible crease, and great battery life too. It's still pricey, and that camera bump is huge, but it's an impressive package. ★★★★

If it's a book-like foldable that you're after then here's the best option right now. It's a bit of a surprise entry, especially given the longer-standing nature of Samsung's Z Fold competitors, but OnePlus' first entry is a fine product – that even won the T3 Award 2024 for Best Folding Phone

Design: You're not going to confuse the OnePlus Open with any other device on the market: the massive camera bump on the rear being a big part of the reason why. Still, it looks good and importantly feels good to use too. 

Displays: A key sell of the Open is its large dual displays: the front one is similar to a 'normal' flagship phone, while the massive 7.82-inch one inside is bigger than its rivals. You might find you don't open the handset quite enough, however, given just how usable the device is in its folded position! Still, it's a more logical proposition for a foldable phone, compared to the even wider front panel of the Google Pixel Fold.

Performance: Featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor under the hood, and with a compulsory 16GB RAM, there's no shying away from the power on offer here. That means it can multi-task apps like a daemon – and OnePlus' sometimes finicky software is otherwise very advanced in the way it offers split-screen setups. 

Battery: As said in our review, while the 4805mAh battery isn't as substantial as some flagship devices right now, it's bigger than what you'll find in most big-screen foldables by comparison. And the 67W fast-charging is most welcome too. If the 18-ish hours of use per charge won't get you to the end of a day anyway!

Read more: OnePlus Open review

Best affordable

The best-priced flip phone available right now

Specifications

Displays: Front: 1.9in Super AMOLED, 60Hz, 260 x 512 / Internal: 6.7in Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, 1080 x 2640
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
RAM & Storage: 8GB only / 128GB/256GB
Battery : 3300mAh, 15W wireless

Reasons to buy

+
Far cheaper than Z Fold 4 or 5 right now
+
Same 6.7in internal screen as newer models 

Reasons to avoid

-
The cover display is small
-
Smaller battery capacity than newer models
Buy it if

✅ You like money: The Z Flip 3 is so, so much cheaper than its Z Flip 4 or 5 follow-ups that, while it's a different device altogether, it's superb value for money.

✅ You're fine with a small cover display: Okay, so the 1.9-inch cover display is among the smallest out there right now, but it's still very useful for at-a-glance notifications – which is one of the main reasons to buy this device.

✅ You're curious about flip phones: Not bought a flip phone before but thinking about taking the plunge? This price proposition will give you that experience for less. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a larger cover display: As the Z Flip 5 ups the cover display to a far bigger 3.4in, the small 1.9in offering here may feel insubstantial for your wants. 

❌ You're a power user: With lower battery capacity than the Z Flip 4 or 5 models, don't expect this flip phone to last the longest per innings (unless you're very much a cover display user who's looking to use your phone less anyway).

❌ Cameras are a key feature for you: Like with most flip phones, the camera arrangement here isn't as stellar as you'll find in a Galaxy S series. Still perfectly acceptable, but not revelatory. 

The bottom line

🔎 The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is where it's at if you want the best yet cheapest flip phone on the market. Sure, that'll mean you've got to cope with a small cover display as a result, but for at-a-glance notifications that still works just fine – and might actually be your preference. ★★★★

Everyone's got to start somewhere and, for many people, the idea of a flip phone is hugely appealing – but the price point might feel like too much of a hurdle. That's where the Z Flip 3, the now two-generations older flip phone from Samsung, fills a perfect gap. If you've been curious about trying out such a device, this is your perfect inroad – and for less money. 

Design: Visually speaking the Z Flip 3 looks a lot like the newer Z Flip 4 and 5 models, except it has a smaller cover display on the front. In terms of a clamshell and highly pocketable product, however, there's no drama here – this is an ideal choice for pockets and purses, and you'll protect that internal screen from scratches as a result too. 

Displays: Inside the Z Flip 3 features a 6.7in display that's largely of flagship level, albeit with reflective qualities and that 'crease' where the fold is – something that's an issue for every folding phone right now. If that doesn't faze you, however, then the Z Flip 3 is a viable alternative to many current flagships. The cover display is far smaller, at 1.9in, but a large part of the reason for its existence is so you can not use your phone – simply glance at notifications, a bit like a smartwatch would notify, and go from there as applicable. 

Performance: Just because it's a couple of years old doesn't mean a great deal in terms of capability either – which is testament to just how far Qualcomm's chipsets have come, given their slowly slowly upgrades year on year. The Snapdragon 888 chip here does get a little hot, however, as noted in our review, but it can slice through larger apps and games no problem. 

Battery: The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a 3300mAh battery inside, which is a lot smaller than most smartphones these days – but it actually lasts okay, at over 14 hours per charge. That is a consideration if you're a power user though: the Z Flip 4 and 5 have larger battery capacities and greater longevity per charge, but will also cost you a little more cash too.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

Best cover display

The best flip phone if you want the biggest cover display

Specifications

Displays: Front: 3.6in AMOLED, 144Hz, 1056 x 1066 / Internal: 6.9in AMOLED, 165Hz, 1080 x 2640
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
RAM & Storage: 8GB/12GB / 256GB/512GB
Battery: 3800mAh, 30W wired charge

Reasons to buy

+
You want the biggest cover display on a flip phone (at 3.6in)
+
You want no restrictions on that cover display's app use-cases (unlike Samsung)

Reasons to avoid

-
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is better built
-
Battery life isn't great for power users
-
Throttles power, can run too hot
Buy it if

✅ You want the biggest cover display: The hands-down biggest reason to buy the Motorola is that its cover display is bigger and better than any other flip phone out there right now.

✅ And the most functionality: Unlike Samsung, too, Motorola's software allows full access to apps, so you can do a lot more with that cover display as you please. 

✅ You like a splash of colour: In addition to the black finish, there's also an exclusive Viva Magenta option, as part of a Pantone exclusive deal, which gives Motorola a visual edge. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You've not looked at Samsung: The Z Flip 5 looks better by design, with a hinge mechanism that just feels better than this Motorola's version.

❌ You're budget limited: At over the four-figure mark, this isn't a cheap flip phone, typically on par with its Samsung competition.

❌ You like extended gaming sessions: Play too long and throttling becomes evident, so power users won't get as much from this flip phone as some other options. 

The bottom line

🔎 The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is the flip phone to buy if you want the biggest and most functional cover display out there. It's not as well built as Samsung, however, and the power distribution means it can run too hot, making it less than ideal for power users. ★★★★

If Samsung doesn't catch your eye then Motorola makes the flip phone with the current largest cover display, which is the major appeal of the Razr 40 Ultra – otherwise known as the Razr+ for those readers in the USA. It's not only the biggest display, however, it's got a more advanced specification and is much more user-centric than the competition thanks to the addition of apps. 

Design: Motorola's Razr line is a classic, right? The originator from back in the day, the company was the first to really kick things up a notch when the new-gen Razr re-launched in 2020. It's come on in leaps and bounds since, too, with a design that's now more modernised, a little similar to the Samsung Z Flip line in some ways, and is a dainty little clamshell product. 

Displays: Where this Razr goes beyond its competition is in the screens department: the exterior, at 3.6in, is larger than any other on the market in this design format; the interior screen, meanwhile, at 6.9in, is also large. Not only that, with high refresh rates, these are advanced panels. Sure, there's still the 'issues' with reflections and the 'crease' in the middle of the unfolded display, but that's part and parcel of living with a folding phone. 

Performance: With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 under the hood, the Razr has plenty of power to draw upon. And indeed it does – sometimes to its detriment as it can get a bit too hot. In order to avoid this, Motorola also clearly throttles sustained use, so if you like a long gaming session rather than a casualdabble then this probably isn't the flip phone for you. 

Battery: As quoted in T3's Moto Razr 40 Ultra review, the battery life from the  3800mAh battery on board – which really isn't all that much by today's standards – held for a surprisingly long time per charge. After 14-15 hours of use it'll be in the 15-20% area, but that's without making any concessions to typical use. So this battery can last well for both these large displays. 

Read more: Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review

Best if priced right

The best foldable phone if priced right

Specifications

Displays: Front: 6.2in Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, 904 x 2316 / Internal: 7.6in Dynamic AMOLED, 120Hz, 1812 x 2176
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM & Storage: 12GB only / 256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 4400mAh, 25W wired charging

Reasons to buy

+
Bright and high-quality displays
+
Can use S Pen stylus input too

Reasons to avoid

-
Very similar Z Fold 4 predecessor
-
The skinny front display won't suit all
Buy it if

✅ You'll use it unfolded a lot: The front display, while close to a 'normal' phone, is a fair bit skinnier. But if you're using the internal display a lot then this won't bother you, making it the perfect balance.

✅ You love Samsung software: Samsung wins when it comes to software, especially with multiple app openings, where even the Google Pixel Fold can't keep up with this versatility.

✅ You might want S Pen stylus input: The Z Fold is also the only foldable series that can use stylus input – which doesn't come in the box, granted, but you can buy separately.

Don't buy it if:

❌ It's priced too highly: The older Z Fold 4 is very similar to the newer model, which might make it an even better buy. Its screens aren't quite as bright though.

❌ A skinny front screen will irk you: Samsung's foldable approach is to utilise a skinnier front display, which feels narrow and tall – many will find a traditional flagship more effective, or the OnePlus Open's more traditional frontage.

❌ You want the best cameras: Samsung's snappers are decent for a foldable phone, sure, but they're not to Galaxy S24 Ultra levels of versatility or capability. This is one area where the Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open win.

The bottom line

🔎 The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, for the right price, will be the best book-style foldable for most people. Not all will love the skinny front display, though, but with software that's ahead of its competition, it's a superb option if the OnePlus Open doesn't appeal to you. ★★★★

Design: You're not going to confuse the Z Fold 5 with a Samsung Galaxy S 24 Ultra, as it's a two-panel device that folds up nicely – and, importantly, with a hinge mechanism that just feels great in use. There are plenty of fun colour options to add some pizzazz to proceedings too.

Displays: The key sell of the Z Fold 5 is its dual displays: the front one is tall and narrow, which may mean you're more often inclined to open up and use the massive 7.6-inch one inside. That's a logical proposition for a foldable phone, though, otherwise you'd just rarely open it up. That said, if a wider panel would suit you better, then the OnePlus Open or even Google Pixel Fold are more sensible options. 

Performance: Featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor under the hood, plus a whopping 12GB RAM so multi-tasking apps is a breeze. And with Samsung's software being truly standout in bettering its competition, if you're familiar with the brand's OneUI style that adds further appeal. 

Battery: As said in our review, while sceptical about a 4400mAh battery being substantial enough for a device such as this, it holds out just fine – delivering close to 20 hours of use per charge. That's a solid innings from a great device. 

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

Best wide display

The best foldable phone with a wider front display

Specifications

Displays: Front: 5.8in OLED, 120Hz, 1080 x 2092 / Internal: 7.6in AMOLED, 120Hz, 1840 x 2208
Processor: Google Tensor G2
RAM & Storage: 12GB only / 256GB/512GB
Battery: 4821mAh, 21W wired charging

Reasons to buy

+
Wider front screen than Z Fold competitor
+
Among the best cameras in a foldable 
+
Expectation of great Android support

Reasons to avoid

-
Software isn't (yet) great for multi-tasking 
-
Internal display doesn't fold fully flat
-
It's very expensive
Buy it if

✅ You want a big front display: The critical reason to buy the Pixel Fold over any other is because its front display is wider than others, giving it a more traditional flagship phone width and usability. 

✅ Cameras are high up your list: Unlike almost all the competition, too, Google's cameras are a grade above. Not quite to Google Pixel 8 Pro levels, but knocking on the door of that greatness – and there's a true optical zoom here too. 

✅ Entrust in Android: Something to look forward to in the future is the Android 14 software release, which ought to make the Pixel Fold even more functional and further improved. The only way is up. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a flat internal display: The internal panel doesn't fold truly flat, which emphasises the central crease and raises questions of durability over time too...

❌ You haven't seen the Samsung or OnePlus: Do take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and OnePlus Open, as they're similar in price, have brighter screens, better software for multi-tasking, and screens that fold flat too. 

❌ You love your bank balance: Yes, it's a folding phone, so inevitably it's going to be pricey. But as a first-gen release there's no older model to save you any cash – unless you consider Samsung's older models instead.

The bottom line

🔎 The Google Pixel Fold is the first folding phone from Google, bringing some great points of difference, such as that wider front screen, but it does feel like a first go as the software doesn't take ample advantage of the foldable format just yet. ★★★

The first Google folding phone may split opinion: yes, it's got the largest front display, so it's more like a traditional flagship in that way; but having a larger front display largely negates the need to unfold it – and when you do that internal display doesn't fold flat (whereas the Samsung Z Fold's panel does and the OnePlus Open's is even better, with minimal crease visible). This being Google, of course, expect stellar software updates to come down the pipeline, so theoretically this device will only become more accomplished over time. 

Design: The Fold doesn't quite mirror Google's Pixel line from the front or inside, as its screen bezels are rather large overall, but on the rear there's that classic 'camera bar' design that has a point of distinction – making it very recognisably 'Google'. It's a large and heavy folding phone, inevitably, but is still comfortable to use. 

Displays: The reason most people will look to the Pixel Fold as being the book-like foldable of choice is down to the displays arrangement – the front panel, at 5.8in, is wider and less tall than the competition, but this makes it feel more like using a 'normal' phone much of the time. That may often mean you don't open to use the 7.6in internal panel, though, but when you do and it's on point with some great content things do look pretty amazing – except in the case of lots of ambient light, as the panel doesn't fold flat and light catches that crease (as is the case in all foldables, though).

Performance: Unlike the Qualcomm norm, Google does things its own way, employing the Tensor G2 processor to power the Fold along. Generally it does a grand job too, although in our review we found some stutters and app crashes which surprised – especially from Google, the inventor of Android. The software should improve over time, though, and here's hoping – as right now Samsung is much better at multi-tasking handling, and also offers S Pen stylus support for which this Google doesn't deliver an equivalent. 

Battery: The 4820mAh cell in the Pixel Fold sounds substantial enough, and often lasts well, but as said in T3's review of the handset, it's often below par because things run too hot too often, resulting in diminished battery life. Expect to reach for the charger before the day is out if you're a power user, but more idle use will see you through a 14 hour day easy. 

Read more: Google Pixel Fold review

Best slender design