Foldable smartphones | The best of 2022

Foldable smartphones | The best of 2022

Foldable Android smartphones represent the latest frontier of mobile telephony, as well as one of the most significant innovations in form factor and technologies used since the advent of devices equipped with capacitive touchscreen displays.

The history of foldables begins just a few years ago, when the Royole Flexpai was presented to the public in January 2018, a smartphone with a flexible 7.8-inch display that can be closed in half by means of a hinge. Little more than a prototype in design and performance, this device was offered for sale at the prohibitive price of 1290 dollars; despite its imperfection, it has played the role of forerunner for this category of smartphones, providing an important starting point for the development of more advanced models.

Starting from 2019, some of the leading telephony brands have produced smartphones increasingly functional and sophisticated folding, which arrived over the last year to offset the still very high list price with real flagship features. Two main foldable models have also been consolidated: the first proposes a screen with the form factor of a small tablet closed in half by means of a vertical hinge, while the second recovers the iconic clamshell design of the 2000s phones with a hinge horizontal that divides a standard-sized display in half.

If for the moment Samsung seems to maintain the leadership in the folding smartphone market with its Z series, now in its third generation and in able to conquer even the general public, in recent months other brands have unveiled their first foldables, declaring themselves ready to bet on this form factor and make it accessible to more users.

Foldable smartphones: which one to choose?

To help you get to know the best foldable smartphones of today and tomorrow we have compiled a practical list, also explaining how each device differs from the others. At least for the moment, there are very few models available on the Italian market, but it is not excluded that others may soon be added in the near future.

Oppo Find N Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold Huawei P50 Pocket Huawei Mate X2

Oppo Find N

Among the recently announced folding smartphones, Oppo presented the new Oppo Find N earlier this year, the device made with the specific intent of making foldable accessible to an ever wider range of public.

The Oppo Find N form factor represents a novelty in the foldable field: the smartphone has a central vertical hinge similar to that of the Galaxy Z Fold3, which however hides inside a foldable 7.1-inch display with dynamic refresh rate up to 120Hz. Even the external display thus assumes much smaller dimensions, stopping at 5.49 inches.

For the moment there is no news of a possible arrival on the Italian market of the new Oppo Find N, which has instead landed on the eastern market from December 23.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3

The Galaxy Z Fold3 consolidates Samsung's leadership in foldables, combining intrinsic innovation to this new category with a series of features that give the large form factor of the internal screen a specific purpose.

This device stands out in the panorama of folding smartphones for perfect integration with Samsung services designed for productivity , which make it a real office within your pocket. The support for the S Pen makes it a worthy heir to the Note series smartphones, while the integration with the Samsung DeX desktop mode further expands its purpose of use.

The Galaxy Z Fold3, with its display Infinity Flex internal 7.6 inches, is undoubtedly an important device both in size and in cost, designed for specific users who want to maximize the multitasking potential of a smartphone: nevertheless, it is the best can be found on the market in this sector.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

If the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 wins the title of most functional foldable, the "brother" Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is undoubtedly the most aesthetically pleasing folding smartphone available on the market at the moment.

With its clamshell design, designed to recall the shape and function of vintage mobile phones once closed the Galaxy Z Flip3 fits comfortably in any pocket; you can also comfortably consult notifications from the small 1.9-inch front display.

When open, the Galaxy Z Flip3 features a 6.7-inch foldable display with adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz. The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and all the features of Samsung's One UI designed for foldables complete the picture, making this smartphone much more than just a gadget.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review: revelation or disappointment ? SEE ON AMAZON

Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold

The Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold was presented on the Chinese market in the spring of 2021 with the intention of introducing a series of innovative technologies, which are not limit the possibility of folding in half the large screen from 8.01 inches to 1 billion colors, but also involve other components of the smartphone.

On board its first foldable, Xiaomi has also introduced a camera unique in its kind, the first to use the so-called "liquid lenses". By imitating the structure of the human eye, the camera's radius of curvature can in fact be modified as needed, thus combining different shooting modes in a single sensor.

This first foldable model, despite the technical data sheet unprecedented, highlighted how much Xiaomi still has to correct the game on some characteristics: this will be taken care of by its successor, which however will not see the light at least until 2022.


Huawei P50 Pocket

The latest addition to the Huawei folding smartphone range is determined to unseat the Galaxy Z Flip3 from the podium of the most beautifully designed foldables. In fact, when closed, the P50 Pocket presents a sophisticated design with two rings, in which the cameras and the small front display are housed respectively.

The internal display is instead a 6.9-inch folding panel with a 120Hz refresh rate , which can also count on a fold effect reduced to a minimum thanks to the latest generation hinge.

The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and a Dual Matrix camera system with main sensor complete the picture of the new Huawei P50 Pocket 40MP Quad Pixel. The smartphone will arrive on the market with the proprietary HarmonyOS operating system.

Huawei P50 Pocket review, Premium Edition in name and in fact SEE ON AMAZON

Huawei Mate X2

L The latest device in the Huawei Mate X foldable smartphone line was launched on the Chinese market in early 2021 with the intention of directly rivaling Samsung's Fold range, thanks to its 8-inch foldable OLED display with a maximum frequency of 90Hz.

In addition to the important form factor, completed by an external 6.45-inch OLED display, the foldable "made in Huawei" can count on the Kirin 9000 high-end proprietary SoC and on a rear camera compartment consisting of well four sensors.

The Huawei Mate X2, however, arrived on the market at a disadvantage from the start, since it still featured at the time of launch Android 10 with EMUI 11 customization without access to Google services.


How to choose the best folding smartphone

Choosing the best folding smartphone is not always so easy and obvious. In fact, both the needs of those looking for a smartphone with a display capable of flexing, and the peculiar characteristics of the terminals and the design choices of the various manufacturers change a lot.

A good folding must first be a great smartphone

First of all, when choosing the best folding smartphone to buy, you must obviously take a look at the product data sheet. In fact, before being able to catalog a device as the best folding smartphone for your needs, you need to make sure that, folded or not, you are in front of a smartphone capable of completing all the tasks we want to assign to it.

We check the number of cameras and their quality, the processor mounted under the body, the amount of memory and other technical characteristics such as battery capacity and charging system, but not only. Connectivity plays a fundamental role in modern smartphones and it is right to ask some questions such as “Does it have 5G? “,“ Does it support the latest Wi-Fi connectivity standards? “,“ What Bluetooth version is it compatible with? “,“ Is it Dual SIM? ".

Having verified that the foldable you are evaluating is a smartphone sufficient to meet your expectations, it is then a must to focus on the unique characteristics of the foldables.

Form factor

Not all foldable smartphones are created equal. Indeed, it is perhaps the smartphone market segment in which, at least to date, there is greater diversity of products. Therefore, preparing to decide which device is best suited to your needs, it is necessary to evaluate the different designs and dimensions of the various folding smartphones.

Roughly speaking, it is possible to separate the world of foldables into two macro categories:

Smartphones that fold in half to reduce clutter Smartphones that open to reveal an even larger display The first of the two categories is the one populated by products like Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and Huawei P50 Pocket. These are devices that when open are approximately the size of a classic smartphone but which, if necessary, can be folded in half to be stored and reduce their bulk in trouser pockets, jacket pockets or handbag. br>
The second category counts prominent exponents such as Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Oppo Find N. These are foldables which when closed have dimensions that can be attributed to a classic smartphone (thickness excluded) but which can be opened to reveal a larger work and display surface.

Smartphones belonging to the first category usually fold from top to bottom while the latter have a hinge that allows the internal display to be folded on the vertical axis . Once we have chosen the type of folding that interests us most, it is also right to compare its dimensions with its closest competitors.


Displays already play a fundamental role in classic smartphones, let alone in the sub-category of folding which in most cases even have two!

When choosing the best folding smartphone, the diagonal and resolution of the internal and external displays must be taken into consideration when compared to the overall dimensions of the device. The first Samsung Galaxy Fold had, for example, a very small external display that made interaction difficult. Similarly, the Huawei P50 Pocket has a small circular display accessible when closed which is not sufficient for using the device for long periods of time or for complex operations, but is instead very convenient for quick actions and checking notifications.

Refresh rate is another display feature to keep in mind. If one of the two displays is faster than the other (more evident disparity in the category of foldable with form factor of the second type) you will be constantly distracted by the difference in fluidity of the displayed content. For some users this may be a feature that is easy to get used to, for others it makes the difference between a product to buy and one to ignore.

Finally, the type of protection applied to the display must be carefully considered. flexible. In order to flex like that it can't be protected by the tough hard glass we are used to. Therefore, evaluate the material from which these displays are protected (Samsung uses for example what is called UTG, Ultra-Thin Glass) and the resistance to scratches, bumps, dirt and continuous bending over time.

Foldables are relatively new products and evolving quickly, it is therefore sometimes difficult to rely on a history on the durability of flexible displays over the years. However, it is easy to find a lot of content online regarding resistance to accidental damage and abuse.

Zipper and fold

Smartphone manufacturers have developed several techniques to efficiently fold the displays of foldable. Browsing through the (currently very short) list of products with a flexible display, you immediately notice a fundamental difference in the fold of the displays.

Most products with a flexible display fold inwards, so as to better protect the delicate OLED panel. Some, however, lean outward like the Huawei Mate Xs.

In addition to this more obvious difference, however, there are other factors that diversify the foldable smartphone offering. The hinges developed by the various manufacturers are incredibly intricate and unique, as well as treat the foldable panel completely differently.

Some, like Samsung, have opted for a single fold in order to reduce the display area slightly "Distorted" to a minimum, with the consequent result of showing a more evident sign in this area and having to leave a small gap between the two halves of the devices where dirt or dust could easily enter.

Others have engineered a “multi-fold” hinge in order to obtain a teardrop shape of the panel when closed. This avoids the appearance of obvious signs in a single area and allows the perfect closure of the two halves of the device but involves a larger fold area in which small deformities of the panel can still be noted. A matter of execution and taste.

Hinges can then be divided into four other categories. Those that have an internal mechanism to support the display (and therefore reduce the fold) and those that do not have it, then those that can be stopped at practically any angle and those that with a spring mechanism are only open or closed altogether.

Manufacturers usually also share the number of openings and closings for which the hinges have been tested, a fact that is still useful to know when evaluating the purchase.


Some technical characteristics are less generic and are more related to individual products, they are no less important for this. For example, the latest generation Samsung foldables are the only ones at the moment that have been certified against water fattening (IPX8) and Galaxy Z Fold3 is the only one to support stylus input (S Pen).

The usefulness of a foldable is obviously also linked to the exclusive software functions implemented by the manufacturers to improve multitasking or the general use of the smartphone. The ability to resume using active applications on a different display when the terminal is open / closed is an example, the adaptation of applications to the hinge state (opening angle and orientation) is another.

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