The Best Flip and Foldable Smartphones in 2023

In this reviewed, the best flip and foldable smartphones of 2023, which include compact models like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola RAZR 40 Ultra, as well as full-sized folding mobiles such as the Samsung Z Fold 5 and the Pixel Fold.

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Motorola RAZR 40 Ultra

Motorola razar Ultra flip Smartphone

One of my personal favorite compact flip phones is the Motorola RAZR 40 Ultra. After several previous versions, they seem to have really hit the mark with this one. The Ultra model features a 3.6-inch pure LED cover screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate, making it convenient for quick tasks like checking apps or responding to messages without needing to unfold the larger screen.

However, when you do take the step of flipping open the RAZR 40 Ultra, you’ll be greeted with a stunning 6.9-inch OLED panel. This internal display is vibrant and supports a silky-smooth 165 Hz refresh rate, complemented by respectable stereo speakers. The phone runs on the same clean stock Android experience found in non-foldable Motorola phones, with additional features to make use of the expanded cover display, including some entertaining time-wasting apps that can be surprisingly addictive.

In terms of battery life, it’s quite decent for a foldable phone if you’re not pushing it too hard. And with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, performance remains smooth. However, it’s worth noting that the camera technology isn’t exceptional, and the price tag may deter some potential buyers, despite the phone’s overall quality.

Oppo Find N2 Flip

Oppo Find N2 Flip Design

Another impressive foldable phone that shares similarities with the Motorola RAZR is Oppo’s exceptional Find N2 Flip. This nifty flip phone can magically expand in your hand to a generous 6.8 inches with only a subtle crease action, thanks to Oppo’s clever Flexian hinge. The internal display is bright and vibrant, and you also get a sizable cover screen with the right aspect ratio for running apps. However, it’s disappointing that you can’t actually run any apps on the cover screen.

On the bright side, there’s a small selection of widgets, including a calendar and a timer. You can also be entertained by a quirky bunny animation. The good news is that Oppo has updated the cover display, allowing you to reply to messages using speech-to-text, and they’ve added a fresh new Spotify widget, showing that Oppo continues to improve the Find N2 Flip with such features.

The Find N2 Flip also has enough power to handle the latest games, impressive battery life for a compact foldable phone, and some pretty decent camera technology. Overall, it’s a phone I quite like. For more details, you can read the full review of the Oppo Find N2 Flip.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Cover Display Widget

Samsung also offers its own compact foldable option in the form of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, priced at around a grand. Despite its small size, it’s remarkably robust. It comes with an IPX8 water resistance rating and the durable Gorilla Glass Victus 2 finish, making it pleasingly scratch-resistant and capable of withstanding knocks.

The Z Flip 5 follows a similar design approach to the Motorola and Oppo devices but adds Samsung’s on-screen UI launcher on top of Android. The cover screen is nearly as large as Motorola’s and offers a swift and efficient user interface. However, it’s important to note that only a limited number of third-party apps are currently supported.

While Samsung hasn’t upgraded the 6.7-inch internal OLED screen, it remains sharp and vibrant, though it can be a bit challenging to use in bright sunlight. The phone delivers solid performance, even for intense gaming, thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Additionally, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 boasts a capable 12-megapixel camera for capturing your everyday moments, making it suitable for casual photographers. For more details, you can read the full review of the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Backend Design

If you’re looking for a proper foldable phone that transforms into a tablet-style device, consider Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5. The latest model is notably slimmer than its predecessors, although it still maintains a robust build with IPX8 water resistance and the durable Victus 2 finish. The 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED cover screen functions just like a regular smartphone display, and this time, you can run any app you desire. However, due to its narrower width, typing on it might not be the most comfortable experience.

Nonetheless, this panel offers a bright, vibrant, and incredibly smooth display with 120Hz refresh rate support, making it perfect for watching movies and other cinematic content. When you unfold the Z Fold 5, you reveal a 7.6-inch screen with the same specifications as last year’s model.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Internal Display

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 maintains a Quad HD Plus resolution, ensuring crisp visuals despite its size. It features a camouflaged under-display selfie camera, offering a full-view finish that complements the massive and impressive internal display.

This foldable phone is perfect for multitasking, allowing you to run up to three apps side by side, with additional floating window options for added convenience. For instance, you can refer to a web page or a document while composing an email and simultaneously enjoying some tech-related content. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset delivers excellent performance, making gaming a smooth and enjoyable experience.

However, the phone’s 4400 milliamp-hour dual-cell battery provides around five to six hours of screen time per day, which drops significantly to around three to four hours with heavy use of the internal display in bright sunlight. While the charging speeds aren’t particularly fast, the device does support wireless charging.

In terms of the camera, the triple-lens setup, led by a 50-megapixel primary sensor with optical image stabilization, produces results similar to Samsung’s regular flagship, the Galaxy S23. It performs well in most lighting conditions, with occasional minor hiccups in picture quality. Additionally, the Z Fold 5 is capable of capturing impressive 8K resolution video. For more details, you can read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold Build Quality

One of Samsung’s main competitors in the foldable smartphone market is the Google Pixel Fold, which was launched shortly before the Z Fold 5. Remarkably, this is Google’s first foray into foldable phones, and it has made quite an impressive entry.

The Pixel Fold features a more compact design with a 5.8-inch cover screen, making it easier to use one-handed and for typing. The internal display is the same size as Samsung’s but not quite as bright, although it’s equally vibrant and suitable for various tasks.

However, I must admit that when you open the Pixel Fold and use its large internal display, I find myself preferring the Galaxy Z Fold 5. It offers a more seamless multitasking experience, with fewer issues of apps slowing down. While the Tensor G2 chipset can handle serious gaming, it’s not as powerful as the Snapdragon HN2 and tends to heat up a bit under heavy use.

Google Pixel Fold Back Camera Setup

The Pixel Fold wins some points when it comes to battery life with its bigger cell. If you use that massive internal screen a lot, you will tend to get longer out of each charge, and the pixel fold also pumps out better luck and snaps with its 50 megapixel rear camera, helped along considerably by Google’s impressive image processing and chops. It’s more capable in low light and also boasts a better zoom lens for getting closer to your subject. Although the z-fold 5 is superior for video capture, choosing between these two foldable phones can be rather tough, but I’d say if you don’t mind the tensor g2’s limitations, I would go pixel fold. Read the Full Google Pixel Review

Honor Magic Vs

Honor Magic Vs Foldable Smartphone

One right here on Expert that is a similar and cheaper alternative to the Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold is the Honor Magic Vs, which sadly isn’t water resistant but still boasts some solid specs for a better price. We have once again got a full HD OLED with 120 hertz refresh on the outside and a 7.9-inch OLED inside. It’s a sharp, poppy stunner, but this time the refresh rate maxes out at just 90 hertz.

Magic OS is a tad more janky than one UI, and the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is not as beefy as the Gen 2 chipset, although it’s still perfectly fine for gaming on the go. But it’s the battery life that is the true highlight of the Honor Magic VS, thanks to the massive 5000 milliamp hour capacity cells stuffed inside that mean all deer players have no worries, while the 66 watt wide charging support means you’ll be back up to full again in no time at all, although admittedly there are no wireless charging supports here on the VS now.

Camera Tech once again offers ultra-wide and telephoto options, and it’s all right but a bit more limited in low light and dodgy lighting compared with the likes of the Pixel, so while the Honor Magic VS is pleasingly affordable and the battery life is definitely superior to the other big bendy blowers in this roundup, I would definitely be swayed by the others instead.

Huawei Mate X3

Huawei Mate X3 Foldable Smartphone

When it comes to the hardware, it is hard to fault the excellent devices that Huawei spiffs out, and this fresh Mate X3 is its best yet. This is one of the most impressively skinny and light full-sized foldables around, and with its sleek vegan leather coat, it’s an absolute stunner, and yeah, you’d kind of bloody well hope it looks good as well for two flipping grand.

Despite its slender design, you’ve got a 4800 milliamp-hour capacity battery with 66 watts of wide and 50 watts of wireless charging support, giving you all-day play with no worries and nippy recharging when you need it. Those OLED displays are absolute eye candy, and while the 50-meg ultravision camera can’t quite reach the giddy Heights of Excellence of Huawei’s P60 Pro, the Mate X3 can still churn out good-looking picks whenever you like.

However, despite that steep price, the Mate X3 is powered by the older Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. and there is no 5G action here either, all thanks to the various sanctions and other things that Huawei has been dragged through, and likewise, as usual, there’s no Google.

Conclusion

That’s my roundup of the best flips and foldables you can bag yourself right now in 2023. There are a couple more on the horizon, of course, not just the Honor Magic VS2 but also the OnePlus Open, which should eventually finally be with us, and well, hopefully any day now, but it would be great to hear your thoughts on what you find to be the best foldable phone right now.

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