In the last few years the best foldable phones have gone from being unreliable and expensive to dependable and much more affordable. The technology has quickly improved and now a lot more people would actually consider using one as their main phone. In fact, some of them are considered to be the best phones on the market point blank.
You'll find a couple of different form factors to choose between: one that opens up to reveal a bigger phablet-sized screen, or ones that mimic the noughties flip phones with a clamshell design, starting off as a much smaller device and unfolding to reveal a regular-sized screen.
If you're in the market for one of the best foldable phones in the world in 2023, 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.
Best foldable phones 2023: The top 3
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Our pick for the best large-screen foldable phone is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. 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 4. 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 cover display clamshell, which is the Oppo Find N2 Flip, thanks to its larger-than-any-other front display and great price point.
When it comes to folding phones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 undoubtedly reigns supreme, particularly for those who need a big-screened phone to get work done on. The 7.6-inch display is partly what makes this so well set up for productivity, as well as the software which includes a handy taskbar and multitasking on a split-screen.
Admittedly, this handset isn't actually that different to what came before it: there's a slight shift in the screen's aspect ratio, the hinge has had a redesign and the camera system has been upgraded. Still, all of these improvements do make it an overall better experience.
In the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review, we were slightly disappointed by the lack of S Pen included in the package, although the screens do support it, and there were a few issues with the crease getting in the way. Yet in saying that, we also thought that 'when you step back and simply marvel at the Z Fold 4 for all its technological amazingness, it's really hard to not be astonished.'
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.
Hot on the heels of the Samsung is Oppo's more affordable and larger-screen clamshell, the Find N2 Flip. It's an impressive competitor because it has the largest external screen, at 3.26-inches, although it's not always the most responsive despite this greater real-estate offering.
As said in our Oppo Find N2 Flip review: it's an "attractive flip phone option [that], as a clamshell option to take the fight to Samsung and Motorola, has some key strengths that are hard to ignore." So if you want flippable but more affordable, it's a very tempting proposition.
Best folding phones 2023: 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.
Motorola rebooted the clamshell Razr line a few years ago now, taking a classic phone and loading it with the latest in foldable screen technology. Now on its third generation, the Motorola Razr is every bit the premium handset. In the Motorola Razr review, we described this phone as providing "the most promising combination of price and hardware."
As well as 5G, the phone also brings with it a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. You get a dual-lens 50MP rear camera for photo-taking duties and a 13MP ultrawide camera as well. The main OLED screen folds vertically: it measures 6.7 inches from corner to corner and runs at a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels which is FHD+. 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.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is durable, completely waterproof and the glossy 6.2-inch cover screen looks great. Open it up and you reveal the 7.6-inch phablet display inside which will get you more immersed in your games, videos and your workload. And this was Samsung's first-ever phone with an under-display camera which means the screen doesn’t have any interruptions whatsoever. The best part? Because it's not the latest in the series, you can find some killer deals on it right now.
You can do so much all at once on the Fold 3, like the 4th generation it has Multi-View lets you have up to three app windows open, and the handset has S Pen support. In the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G review we described it as being great for multitasking, letting you take some notes on a video call or do some online shopping while you watch a YouTube video, the possibilities are endless.
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 with a 1.9-inch cover screen and a large 6.7-inch 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, as you can read in our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G review - 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?
Like Samsung, Huawei has learned some lessons on its journey in the foldable phones market, and the Huawei Mate XS 2 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 7.8 inches from corner to corner, with a 2480 x 2200 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 6.5-inch, 2480 x 1176 pixel affair. Running everything you've got a Snapdragon 888 4G processor and 8GB of RAM, and there's 512GB of internal storage on board.
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. 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, have touch controls on one screen while a game plays on another, 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 as you can tell from our LG Velvet review: there's 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. Sound good? There's a problem: you can't buy one of these. But it's fun to feature it as a hark back to foldables of the past.