Over the last few years foldable phones have gone from being expensive and unreliable to devices that most of us can consider picking up as our main phones – the technology has improved a lot, and quickly.
Indeed, they are now considered some of the best phones on the market, with the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Motorola fighting it out to make sure they have the most sought-after foldable devices.
You'll find a couple of different form factors to choose between: one that opens up to reveal a bigger screen, and one that uses a clamshell-style design, starting off as a much smaller device and unfolding to reveal a regular-sized screen.
Which type you go for will depend largely on what you need it for, and what your budget is. Don't worry though, because we're going to give you all the information you need to make a decision right here.
If you're in the market for one of the best foldable phones in the world in 2022, you've come to the right place. Here you'll find the handsets that are genuinely worth considering and highly rated by reviewers and users.
However, a folding phone might not be exactly what you're looking for. It that's the case then be sure to check out the best gaming phones on the market for great mobile pixel-pushing power, as well as the best small phones for more pocket-friendly dimensions.
Best foldable phones 2022: The top 3
Our pick for the best large-screen foldable phone is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. It offers supremely good build quality, a giant 7.6-inch screen when it's unfolded, and excellent performance. It sets a high bar for what folding phones can be.
Then the best clamshell foldable phone is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. It's another brilliant foldable phone from Samsung, but this one uses the fold-in-half form-factor – so it's a great choice if you want something smaller and would like to be able to end calls with a snap.
Our top three is rounded out by the best throwback-style foldable phone, which is of course the Motorola Razr. This also adopts the clamshell form factor and Motorola has done a fantastic job in terms of the build and reliability of this phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is, without doubt, the best folding phone you can buy this year. I'd be surprised to see anything surpass it.
It’s durable, completely waterproof and the glossy 6.2inch cover screen looks great. Open it up and you reveal the 7.6inch phablet Dynamic AMOLED 2X display inside which will get you more immersed in your games, videos and your workload. And this is Samsung's first ever phone with an under-display camera which means the screen doesn’t have any interruptions whatsoever.
With shiny new software updates and app optimisation to suit the larger screen, you can do so much all at once on the Fold 3. For instance, Multi-View lets you have up to three app windows open, and the handset now has S Pen support. It’s great for multitasking, like if you want to take some notes on a video call, or do some online shopping while you watch a YouTube video.
Take note though, this phone won't be for everyone. Its price tag will still make your eyes water and you will still struggle to fit it into your pocket because it's very chunky. But for anyone who can afford it, and who needs a phone for doing work out and about, you won't find anything better.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 will satisfy your nostalgia for the classic noughties flip phone while actually giving you some of the most up-to-date smarts around. The phone fits in the palm of your hand when folded up, but when you unfold it, it's the size of a regular smartphone.
When we tested it out we were impressed by its performance capabilities made possible by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, and the battery lasted us a decent amount of time as well. The only major sacrifices to be made are in the camera system which has a few flaws like poor zoom quality and an underwhelming night mode.
Motorola rebooted the clamshell Razr line under the name the Motorola Razr (2020), which then became the Motorola Razr 5G when an upgraded version was launched later in the same year – the Razr 2020 part II if you like. It's perhaps easier to just call it the Motorola Razr, but it's the September 2020 version that we're talking about here.
As well as 5G, the phone also brings with it a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. You get a single-lens 48MP rear camera for photo-taking duties as well. Those aren't the very best specs that you'll get on a foldable phone, but they're still very decent.
The main OLED screen folds vertically: it measures 6.2 inches corner to corner, and runs at a resolution of 876 x 2142 pixels. The second screen you see when the phone is closed is interesting too – the 2.7-inch, 600 x 800 pixel resolution OLED screen is useful for phone notifications, alarms, and so on.
Best folding phones 2022: The best of the rest
Note: a number of the below may not be available in the UK, Europe, USA or Australia, due to regional launches in Asia. Others may have since gone off sale, but it's always good to have a glance at the history of folding phones' successes in recent times.
Like Samsung, Huawei has learned some lessons on its journey in the foldable phones market, and the Huawei Mate Xs is evidence of that. It folds in the opposite direction to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, so when the handset is closed, as it were, you've still got the screen on the outside of the device.
When it's fully opened up, the huge OLED display measures 8 inches from corner to corner, with a 2200 x 2480 pixel resolution. That's into tablet territory, and it gives you a lot of flexibility for your apps – and speaking of apps, it's worth noting that like other modern Huawei phones, this one doesn't have access to Google apps or Google Play Services.
Close the phone, and the screen becomes a 6.6-inch, 1148 x 2480 pixel affair. Running everything you've got a Kirin 990 processor and 8GB of RAM, and there's 512GB of internal storage on board. The rear camera is a quad-lens 40MP+8MP+16MP+TOF (time-of-flight) affair, with a very useful 3x optical zoom.
The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is appealing in a lot of different ways: a polished, customised version of Android, two superb high-resolution screens, and excellent build quality for example. This is a phone that's going to attract a lot of envious glances when you get it out.
What's more, there's so much you can do with it. The dual-screen form factor means you have two displays – that's obvious, but what's not immediately obvious is just how much more quickly you can work when you're able to get two different apps side by side.
Microsoft has upgraded the internals with the second generation of the Surface Duo as well, so there's 5G support and a speedy Snapdragon 888 processor on board. While it has two screens rather than a single display that bends, we reckon this is still one of the best foldable phones around.
The LG Velvet isn't technically speaking a folding phone, but it's close enough – and it's definitely worth considering if you're in the market for this kind of device. It comes with a dual-screen accessory that basically doubles the size of the phone display.
That means you can get two apps up side by side, or have touch controls on one screen while a game plays on another, or keep a couple of browser windows in view simultaneously, and so on. The dual-screen case also has a neat little display on the outside as well, for showing key information.
Even without the case, this is a great phone: a 6.8-inch, 1080 x 2460 pixel OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G CPU, up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, a triple-lens 48MP+8MP+5MP rear camera, 5G and wireless charging are some of the goodies on offer.
Perhaps the only drawback to the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold is that it's only available in China for the time being, so you might not be able to get your hands on it very easily – otherwise this is a fantastic handset and undoubtedly one of the best folding phones out there. Indeed, we would expect nothing less from Xiaomi.
Fully open, the handset treats you to a 8.01-inch, 1860 x 2480 pixel resolution AMOLED display, and when it's closed shut you've still got a 6.52-inch, 840 x 2520 pixel AMOLED screen to play around with as well. It's like a normal phone when it's closed, and like a tablet when you open it up.
As for the internal specs, they impress too – a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G, up to 16GB of RAM (try exhausting all of that in one go), up to 512GB of internal storage, a triple-lens 108MP+8MP+13MP rear camera, and plenty more besides. Oh, and it all looks rather stylish too.
Samsung has lowered the price of this model, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G now costs the same amount as a flagship. That's not to say it lacks in features though because this clamshell-style handset has tonnes to offer.
It has a 1.9inch cover screen and a large 6.7inch 120Hz main screen inside. The cover screen is 4x bigger than the original which means it can fit plenty on it. You can control your music, access Samsung Pay and check your messages, it’s really easy to use you just swipe through the widgets. You can even take pictures without unfolding the handset at all, you’ll just need to double press the power button.
This folding phone is a people pleaser - it comes in 7 different colours, has a speedy performance and it's still small enough to fit in your pocket. What more could you want!