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The best foldable phones (and how they compare)

Welcome to the fold, where phones come in all shapes and sizes. ZDNET reviewed all of the best foldable phones available to help you decide which to buy.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
OnePlus Open | Best foldable phone overall
OnePlus Open in hand
OnePlus Open
Best foldable phone overall
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 | Best Samsung foldable phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Best Samsung foldable phone
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Google Pixel Fold | Best camera foldable phone
Google Pixel Fold on a table.
Google Pixel Fold
Best camera foldable phone
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 | Best flip-style foldable phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 in hand
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Best flip-style foldable phone
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Motorola Razr Plus | Best runner-up flip phone
Motorola Razr Plus (2023) in hand
Motorola Razr Plus
Best runner-up flip phone
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Motorola Razr (2023) | Best budget foldable phone
Motorola Razr 2023 in hand
Motorola Razr (2023)
Best budget foldable phone
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Show more (1 item)

If you've been reading the headlines lately, then you know that foldable phones are back and better than ever. Within the past few months, the number of foldable competitors in the US quadrupled. Well, quadrupled from one, that is -- with the "one" for the past four years being Samsung.

Today, consumers have more options than ever if they're ready to embark on the foldable phone journey, whether the preference is for one that can transform into a tablet or one that flips outward at the flick of the wrist, paying homage to the classic Motorola Razr. That's my segue to say that Moto is back, baby! And Google and OnePlus have got shapeshifters of their own, too.

ZDNET has tested and reviewed every single mass-market foldable during the past year, and as preparation for what's in store in 2024, these devices below represent the best of the best right now. Starting with the top pick, the OnePlus Open, a device that personifies the company's industrial design prowess and "Never settle" mentality in performance and speed. Read on for more of our favorite foldables. 

The best foldable phones in 2023

Pros & Cons
  • Slim, easy-to-manage form factor
  • 16GB of RAM and 512GB is the "base" storage
  • 67W wired charging is practical to use
  • No wireless charging
  • No official IP rating for water resistance
  • Can't buy directly from a carrier store
More Details

OnePlus Open features: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | Display sizes: 6.3-inch exterior and 7.8-inch interior | RAM/Storage: 16GB with 512GB | Battery: 4,805mAh

With Chinese phone maker Oppo having released several foldable phones throughout the years, it was only a matter of time before its sister company, OnePlus, would unveil one of its own -- bringing about some much-needed competition in the U.S. market. 

With the OnePlus Open, the company's new phone-to-tablet foldable has not only undercut the likes of Samsung and Google in price but also brought about some fancy new features that we've yet to see in the product category. For example, the OnePlus Open is both thinner and lighter (245g) than the Galaxy Z Fold 5 (253g) and Pixel Fold (283g), and it supports 67W fast charging. 

Read the review: OnePlus Open

Perhaps more importantly, the OnePlus introduces Open Canvas, a multitasking feature that lets you glide between several app windows for a seamless multitasking experience. The camera system, from our tests, is great, with a triple-lens configuration that's helmed by a 48MP sensor, capable of capturing vivid and sharp imagery throughout various lighting conditions.

The well-roundedness and aggressive pricing -- OnePlus will deduct at least $200 from the Open when you trade in any phone in any condition -- make this the foldable phone to beat going into 2024.

Pros & Cons
  • Thinner and lighter than ever
  • Gapless hinge design for better dust resistance
  • 1,750 nits of brightness for outdoor viewing
  • Best multitasking phone yet
  • Expensive, starting at $1,799
  • Cameras are a step below the S23 Ultra
  • Battery size is just passable
More Details

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 features: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy | Display sizes: 6.2-inch exterior and 7.6-inch interior | RAM/Storage: 12GB with up to 1TB | Battery: 4,400mAh

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google's Pixel Fold went tooth and nail for the runner-up spot on this list, but key feature advantages put the former ahead. With both devices priced the same, the Z Fold 5 is arguably the better of the two thanks to its more refined and durable design, productivity-inducing software, and after-sales support.

Read the review: Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Z Fold 5 features a competent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset that's proven to yield day-long battery life and better AI processing when taking photos and videos. Samsung also upgraded the hinge this year, making the Fold notably thinner and lighter yet still durable enough to withstand 200,000 bends -- maybe more -- during its lifespan. 

"The hinge, battery, and photography updates are nothing flashy, but they're things you'll benefit from every day when using the Fold 5," says ZDNET's Jason Hiner, who tested out the phone.

Pros & Cons
  • Wider and shorter display is very practical to use
  • Smooth and bloatware-free software
  • Impressive battery life
  • Best camera system of any foldable
  • No stylus support
  • Noticeably heavier than other foldables
  • Multitasking features are limited
More Details

Google Pixel Fold features: Processor: Google Tensor G2 | Display sizes: 5.8-inch exterior and 7.6-inch interior | RAM/Storage: 12GB with up to 512TB | Battery: 4,821mAh

While the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 forges ahead with better design and productivity features, the Google Pixel Fold is a close second thanks to its user-friendly form factor and market-leading camera system. Google took the traditional smartphone route when building the outer display of the Pixel Fold, opting for a shorter and wider panel than Samsung's taller approach.

Read the review: Google Pixel Fold

Naturally, all the content you're used to consuming, like video streaming and social media, is portrayed in a familiar manner; nothing feels disordered. And while the foldable doesn't match its Pixel Pro sibling spec-for-spec, I noted in my review that "where the Pixel Fold truly shines, and more than makes up for the "inferior" camera system, is in long exposure shots and selfies."

Thanks to its flexible design allowing you to set the phone down and angle it for photos, this is technically the best Pixel phone for selfies and low-light captures.

Pros & Cons
  • 3.4-inch external display for quick interactions
  • Performant Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
  • Most durable flip phone to date
  • Aggressive trade-in deals and offers
  • Battery lasts no more than a day
  • Can be slippery to handle
  • Same camera system as last year
More Details

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 features: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy | Display sizes: 3.4-inch exterior and 6.7-inch interior | RAM/Storage: 8GB with up to 512GB | Battery: 3,700mAh

Deciding on the best flip-style foldable phone also came down to the wire, with Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5 just scraping by Motorola's Razr Plus. I went hands-on with the Z Flip 5 prior to Unpacked and strongly believe that it's Samsung's most ambitious foldable of late, with this year's model featuring its largest external display yet at 3.4 inches and a gapless design that allows both sides of the inner display to fold completely flat.

Read the review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Compared to the Razr Plus, the Z Flip 5 features a more reliable dual camera system, a Qualcomm chipset that's a generation ahead, and Samsung's trusted four-year software update policy (plus five years of security patches). 

Toss in the generous trade-in offers and storage upgrade promotions we're seeing at the time of writing and the Z Flip 5 is the clear winner in this foldable phone category.

Pros & Cons
  • Reliable performance with minimal form factor issues
  • 3.6-inch external display is plenty useful
  • First foldable with dust resistance
  • Moderate battery life due to its size
  • No telephoto camera
  • Relatively slow charging
More Details

Motorola Razr Plus features: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 | Display sizes: 3.6-inch exterior and 6.9-inch interior | RAM/Storage: 8GB with 256GB | Battery: 3,800mAh

When the market is competitive, both manufacturers and consumers are winners. Case in point, no one, including myself, expected the Motorola Razr Plus to be as good as it was when first released. 

In ways, the Moto yields a better experience than the Z Flip 5, with a larger 3.6-inch display that "feels more like a secondary, smaller phone than a larger smartwatch. You can interact with apps and services just like how you would when the phone is unfolded," as quoted from my review.

Read the review: Motorola Razr Plus

Under the hood is an older but still powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, with Moto's minimalist approach to Android 13. There are a few gesture-based perks like twisting your wrist to prompt the camera or doing a chopping motion to turn on the flashlight.

Pros & Cons
  • Around $300 cheaper than competing flip phones
  • Faux-leather finish gives the phone a nice grip
  • Reliable 4,200mAh battery with wireless charging
  • Lack of significant water resistance
  • External display may be small for some
  • Occasional hiccups and lag
More Details

Motorola Razr (2023) features: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 | Display sizes: 1.5-inch exterior and 6.9-inch interior | RAM/Storage: 8GB with 128GB | Battery: 4,200mAh

Motorola with the late-year, "best budget foldable phone" buzzer-beater was not on my 2023 bingo card, but was it on anyone's? The standard Motorola Razr is not as flashy as its Plus sibling, with a smaller 1.5-inch external display that's just sizable enough for quick scans of basic information (weather, alarms, contacts, etc.), but it's also $300 less.

At $699, the Razr is the most affordable foldable that money can buy this year, and that's not counting the various second-hand flip phones that have since dropped in value and reliability. Even then, the device is specced just well enough for a smooth daily operation, from scrolling through webpages to emailing to multimedia consumption.

Review: Motorola Razr (2023)

Of course, you'll experience some compromises with a cheaper foldable, including the just-passable camera system, 128GB storage limit, and less performant processor. If you can shoulder all of that, the Motorola Razr may just be the best starting point for users to board the foldable hype train.

What is the best folding phone?

The best foldable phone is the OnePlus Open, which offers the most complete mobile experience with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a 4,805mAh battery with 67W fast charging, and more. Just as important, the Open undercuts the competition by as much as $300 (when you trade in any phone in any condition). See below for a breakdown of all the picks on this list.

Foldable phone




OnePlus Open


6.3-inch and 7.8-inch

48MP wide, 64MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto, 20MP front

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5


6.2-inch and 7.6-inch

50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto, 10MP front

Google Pixel Fold


5.8-inch and 7.6-inch

12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto, 10MP front

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5


3.4-inch and 6.7-inch

12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP front

Motorola Razr Plus


3.6-inch and 6.9-inch

12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP front

Motorola Razr (2023)


1.5-inch and 6.9-inch

64MP wide, 16MP ultrawide, 32MP front

Which foldable phone is best for you?

To help you decide, see below for the key reasons to buy each of ZDNET's top foldable phone picks.

Choose this foldable phone…

If you want…

OnePlus Open

The best foldable phone right now, with top-of-the-line RAM and storage, market-leading fast charging, and a price to beat. It's also the lightest tablet-style foldable in the U.S.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

The most refined, all-inclusive foldable that money can buy. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 also supports Samsung DeX and S Pen stylus inputs.

Google Pixel Fold

An S-class camera system in a foldable form factor. Google's Pixel Fold nails the large-screen form factor and excels with AI-powered camera features.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The best flipping foldable on the market, with a high likelihood of scoring a generous trade-in offer. The Z Flip 5 also features a useful 3.4-inch outside display.

Motorola Razr Plus

A late bloomer, but a bloomer nonetheless. Motorola's Razr Plus is in second for best flip-style foldable, but it actually wins out in key design areas.

Motorola Razr

A foldable for less. If you can live with its compromises, the $699 Motorola Razr is, without question, the most accessible device of its kind.

How did we choose these foldable phones?

Based on years of testing phones and "next best things", these are the key factors we look for when choosing the best foldable phones.

  • Design: Currently, foldable phones come in two designs: regular phones that unfold into tablets, and ones that flip inward to become more pocketable. The best-designed foldables are practical to use, require a moderate learning curve at most, and should have a burdenless hand feel.
  • Software optimization: A foldable phone relies on more than just the standard software features of a traditional handset; it needs specialized tools and services built for larger (and smaller) displays.
  • Durability: The best foldable phone can take a beating, whether that's in the form of waist-high drops or pouring rain. Every device on this list is either certified IPX8 or IP52 or has been tested to meet above-average durability standards.
  • Value: It's difficult to ignore how expensive foldable can be, so price-to-performance is something deeply considered when evaluating between devices. Carrier store promotions, trade-in deals, and other offers are also factored in.

Will Apple make a foldable phone?

It's the question everyone's been asking since the very first foldable was launched back in 2019, whether or not Apple will put out a foldable iPhone of its own. While the company has yet to unveil any plans of making one, and the rumor mill has been rather slow in that regard, it would not be surprising if there's a team within Cupertino already building one out.

Also: Why foldable phones are still so expensive, according to analysts

And, as is often the case with consumer technology, once Apple does feel comfortable enough to release a mass-market foldable phone, we can expect there to be a drop in overall pricing in the market, as manufacturers scramble to compete in value.

Are there alternative foldables worth considering?

The best foldable phones listed above strike the perfect balance of design, functionality, and innovation. If you're still on the fence, here are some alternatives to consider.

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