When Samsung released its first premium Fold phone, it was a technical feat: it was essentially a thick and tall smartphone that unfolded into a tablet. But it was also kind of a disaster, the folding mechanism crunched on dust, and the “screen protector” that came pre-applied would permanently damage the screen if removed.
Samsung’s persistence paid off with last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, which seems better able to handle daily use. Now almost every manufacturer, from Honor to Google, is chasing the folding device form factor.
Smartphones, including Apple’s iPhones, are getting boring with their iterative updates, so a new form factor could keep people interested with a whole new screen that literally folds away when you don’t need it.
Besides the hard-to-completely-ignore center crease and durability questions, foldable are still really expensive, with prices kissing a $2,000 ceiling that zaps away your whole college tech budget.
But with foldables trending toward abundance, perhaps a price war is around the corner. Stay tuned here for all the latest on the foldables launching this year, like the Pixel Fold, Motorola Razr, and whatever Samsung has planned next. Just don’t try folding your regular phone in the opposite direction unless, of course, your phone is a Surface Duo.
Maybe you spotted one at the coffee shop, sitting conspicuously on a table in an L-shape position. Maybe you’ve seen one on the subway, in tablet mode, held by someone who’s trying very hard not to drop their $1800 gadget. They’re out there in the wild, but foldable phones are still a rare sighting. That might be about to change because we are entering — and I’m making an official call on this — hot foldable summer.Read Article >
They’ve been on the market for years, but there are tons of good reasons why foldables haven’t caught on in the mainstream, starting with the fact that they’re expensive as all get-out. There were also some real bad problems with durability early on, and although build quality is much better now, there’s still a question mark over how a folding phone will hold up four or five years down the line. And then there’s the simple math: there’s basically one company selling folding phones in the US right now. Samsung has more or less run unopposed over the past few years, with no real competition prodding it to innovate.
Sep 20OnePlus’ upcoming foldable might come in October.
At TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday, the company announced its new OnePlus Open is releasing “soon,” but leaker Max Jambor is providing some more specific insight: apparently, it will get its full reveal on October 19th, and a release soon after.
Aug 22Alright, you sold me, I guess I’m getting a Pixel Fold.
What’s the good of being named Wesley if I don’t have a Star Trek: The Next Generation-era console to fiddle with? The Trek-themed launcher in this TikTok from thetechpreacher might be just the thing... if I had a Pixel Fold.
Yes, these launchers have been around forever, but look, I forgot about them, and this video awakened something in me.
I wish he said where it’s from. I think it’s this one?
Hey, wait a minute, that Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is actually just two iPhones in a trench coat!Read Article >
That’s the idea behind the latest update to the Try Galaxy web app, which, when running on two iPhones, offers a Samsung One UI demonstration spread across both screens. Samsung says it lets iOS users try out the foldable’s benefits, like watching content on an “immersive” screen, or sample productivity features like dragging and dropping across both screens thanks to its multitasking abilities — something Samsung does well and that even the iPad could use work on.
Aug 16Want to see the inside of the Galaxy Z Fold 5?
iFixit just posted its video teardown — which includes throwing the phone in a bag with a bunch of bright green dust. The Z Fold 5 has an IPX8 rating, meaning it that it’s not rated for dust resistance, so you can imagine what happens with that bright green dust.
Being able to declare an absolute category winner is rare in the smartphone space. But in the case of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, it’s actually quite easy: this is the best flip-style folding phone you can buy.Read Article >
It’s a small category, so that helps. It’s even smaller if you’re looking at options available in the US since your choices are basically the Flip 5 or Motorola’s Razr Plus. They have a lot in common, including the fact that they both offer a much bigger, much more useful cover screen than their predecessors. They share the same $999 price tag, too. But Samsung’s flip phone is more durable, its cover screen widgets are more useful, and its camera system is better overall.
The Motorola Razr Plus’ reign as the best flip phone might be short-lived.Read Article >
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is officially here, complete with a 3.4-inch cover screen — still small by modern smartphone standards but much bigger than the Z Flip 4’s 1.9-inch front display. There’s a new hinge design that closes totally flat, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset tuned for Samsung, and 256GB of storage in the base model. Even with these substantial upgrades, it’s still $999. That puts it toe-to-toe with Motorola’s new Razr Plus — also $999 with 256GB of storage. But given Samsung’s experience making folding phones and some of the hardware upgrades included in this year’s Z Flip, the Razr Plus is in a tough spot.
Samsung saved this year’s biggest advancements for the flip phone. As for the bigger Z Fold 5, it gets a new hinge, a brighter inner screen, and not a whole lot else. For better or worse, that includes the price: still $1,799.Read Article >
There’s an updated processor, of course — the same overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset in Samsung’s S23-series flagship phones — and it’s a bit thinner and lighter than the Z Fold 4 thanks to the new teardrop-shaped hinge that allows it to close flat. The Z Fold 5 measures 13.4mm thick when closed; at its slimmest point, the Fold 4 was 14.2mm thick. It’s also about 10g lighter (two nickels), down to 253g from 263g. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s six nickels lighter than the Google Pixel Fold.
What’s old is hot again, and flip phones are so very hot right now.Read Article >
These phones are a far cry from the phone that you mastered T9 texting on in college. Today’s flip phones are garden-variety 2023 smartphones that happen to fold in half — plus a screen on the front cover.
Jul 18Samsung’s foldables will definitely be lighter and thinner this year.
Samsung mobile business president TM Roh mostly waxes poetic in his pre-Unpacked blog post about human-inspired product design, but also confirms one small detail about the upcoming folding phones: they’ll be thinner and lighter than last year’s models.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 was already appreciably lighter than the Pixel Fold, so that likely gives the Z Fold 5 another advantage over Google’s first foldable. We’ll get all the details soon enough — Unpacked is next Wednesday which is fast approaching.
If there’s one thing Honor wants you to know about its new Magic V2, it’s how thin and light it is. The thinnest vegan leather version of the new foldable, which is launching in China today, is just 9.9mm thick when folded and weighs 231 grams. That’s thinner and lighter than Honor’s major competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 (14.2mm and 263g), Google’s Pixel Fold (12.1mm and 283g), and Huawei’s Mate X3 (11.8mm and 239g) when folded.Read Article >
In fact, hold the folded Honor Magic V2 in your hand, and it almost feels like a non-folding smartphone. The Magic V2’s weight (like its 6.43-inch exterior screen size) sits somewhere between an iPhone 14 Pro (206g) and iPhone 14 Pro Max (240g). It’s not as thin in its smartphone-style folded form (both of Apple’s recent flagships are 7.85mm thick), but it’s in a similar ballpark. Note that the glass-backed version of the Magic V2 is slightly thicker and heavier than the “Silk Black” vegan leather variant, at 10.1mm and 237g.
We have a confirmed date for Hot Foldable Summer’s biggest party. Samsung has announced it’s hosting its next Unpacked on July 26th at 7AM ET — bright and early for the east coast, but it’ll be an evening affair in Seoul, where Samsung previously announced that it’s hosting the event. The image and text released with the announcement make it quite obvious that we’ll see a flip-style foldable at the event, which would naturally be the Galaxy Z Flip 5, and the Z Fold 5 is anticipated as well. We will likely see the Galaxy Watch 6, too, as well as some Galaxy Tablets. That’s quite a packed Unpacked.Read Article >
The flip-style foldable in Samsung’s promotional image looks right in line with the rumors and leaks we’ve seen thus far with a lower-profile hinge. It certainly looks like a phone that will close flat. Unfortunately, this profile view doesn’t give us a glimpse of the cover screen, which is expected to be much larger than the teeny tiny screen on the Z Flip 4 — literally big, if true.
Jul 2Here’s why the Pixel Fold has more letterboxed apps than Samsung’s foldables.
Mishaal Rahman writes on Android Central explaining why Google’s Pixel devices — like the Pixel Fold — tend to be more constrained than others, specifically Samsung’s Galaxy Fold series. It comes down to developer expectations versus user preferences:
Google’s decision to letterbox apps, in my view, is the correct one: It compromises between the desire of developers to not have their apps’ aspect ratios distorted and the desire of users to use their apps in their preferred orientation.
Google is Android’s steward, and as such, it’s important for it to make sure apps behave the way developers intended — even if it means running afoul of user preferences.
As foldables go mainstream, perhaps developers will feel more pressure to optimize for larger screens.Pixel's ties to Google is its biggest strength—but also a weakness
With about a month to go until the next Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, we may have a pretty comprehensive idea about what to expect from the next version of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Several leaks over the last few days have revealed a lot about what the phones may look like — and what’s under their respective hoods — ahead of their official unveiling.Read Article >
A Twitter leak early this week from Revegnus showed a photo of a folded phone that looks to be to be the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in a blocky, black case (via 9to5Google). The case hides a lot of the design, but what you can see backs up previous alleged renders. For instance, the screen on the back may be the same 3.4-inch 720 x 748 cover screen that’s been predicted. You can also make out the side-by-side camera lenses, another rumored update to the design.
The Google Pixel Fold is a lot of phone. It’s heavy, expensive, and often great. But it’s also every bit the first-generation product that it is, and it’s not ready to take the foldable fight to Samsung just yet.Read Article >
It’s the first foldable I’ve used with a camera system I feel like I can really trust. And its wider format outer screen fits apps more naturally than Samsung’s tall-and-skinny cover display. But if you’re going to spend $1,800 on a phone, then you better get a lot out of using it. I haven’t felt that from the Pixel Fold the way I did when I used the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Google finally has a default weather app to compete with Apple and Samsung. Though Pixel phones have long been able to display the current weather in widgets, tapping on those widgets just launched a basic screen with a cute weather frog and a handful of stats. It felt like a webpage because that’s basically what it was.Read Article >
With the launch of the Pixel Tablet earlier this week, Google has rectified that situation. Its new weather app — which is accessed via the same widgets as before, as there’s no icon to launch it — has a much nicer design without losing the playfulness of the older experience. It has 10-day and 24-hour forecasts; wind, humidity, barometric pressure, and UV index reports, plus current sun position and sunrise / sunset times. It also shows details for precipitation, wind, and humidity broken down by the hour. All of this is available in an easy-to-parse single screen with some fun animations for the current conditions.
The Motorola Razr Plus is the first folding phone that makes me genuinely excited for what’s ahead. In the here and now, it’s a good device, though not quite as ready for the mainstream as Motorola wants you to believe. But for a specific kind of tech-inclined person willing to try out something new, the Razr Plus will be very rewarding.Read Article >
One feature defines the Razr Plus experience: the 3.6-inch outer display. It’s bigger than anything else offered on a flip-style foldable right now — in fact, it’s bigger than the screen on the first iPhone. It’s not just a check-your-notifications display; it’s a display, full stop. It opens up a whole bunch of use cases that I kept discovering the more I used the phone. It definitely has its limits, but if you’re willing to work within them, then the cover screen becomes kind of a secret weapon.
During Google’s I/O keynote in May, Google introduced both its new flagship foldable and midrange slab phone offerings: the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7A. These were some of the showcase device announcements at the tech giant’s big spring event, which was accompanied by other Android and AI-related news.Read Article >
The Pixel Fold is a new ultra-flagship addition to the Pixel lineup, one that represents Google’s first attempt at a foldable phone and takes a page from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 in the “it’s a regular-ish phone that also unfolds into a small tablet” department. It runs a whopping $1,799 and is due out in July. Here’s what you need to know and where you can preorder one for yourself.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 leaks and rumors have all pointed to a larger cover screen on the upcoming phone, and a new alleged render published by MySmartPrice continues the trend. The image shows the Z Flip 5 with a gloriously big cover screen, which is exactly what we want. And by we, I mean me personally. I want this.Read Article >
The Galaxy Z Flip 4’s outer screen measures just 1.9 inches. It’s fine for checking the weather and reading notifications, but the small size limits the kinds of actions you can take with it, like typing out responses to texts. It’s also not ideal for framing up selfies with the outer cameras — one of the benefits of a flip-style phone — because the preview image is literally the size of a postage stamp. I checked.
What appears to be the first official image of Samsung’s next flagship foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, has been posted by MySmartPrice (via SamMobile). While we expect to see a full reveal during Samsung’s Unpacked event in Korea next month, the picture does show a few details about the Z Fold 5 that could help explain how it will compete with Google’s Pixel Fold and all of the other flexible mobile devices that are popping up this summer.Read Article >
We’ve heard rumors of a “water drop”-style hinge that could help reduce the appearance of a screen crease when unfolded and allow the phone to close practically flat, with the same durability rating as its predecessor. In the image, the folded device looks like it has less of a gap when closed than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 we reviewed last year (although Samsung Display has already shown off a prototype with a slim hinge that can fold both inward and outward if you want to know what might arrive even further in the future).
Jun 12Google apps might look good on the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s rumored bigger cover screen.
According to SamMobile, some Google apps will be optimized for the updated cover display, including Google Maps, Messages, and YouTube. This isn’t an entirely new idea — you can run apps on the Moto Razr Plus’ bigger cover screen, too — but it still seems like an extremely useful way to use the extra screen real estate.
Samsung will likely announce its new foldables at Unpacked in July.
Jun 1Folding full screen.
Get a look at the new Motorola Razr Plus, its 3.6-inch cover screen, and the Magenta color option in this quick hands-on video with the foldable phone that’s launching later this month.
And check this page for updates on the Razr line, plus all of the new foldable phones we’re expecting to see for the rest of 2023.
Motorola’s new Razr foldables are official, confirming what we learned from a set of substantial leaks over the past few weeks. Just as it was foretold, the Razr Plus comes with a massive cover screen, while the standard Razr offers a much more modest screen on the front panel.Read Article >
They’re both coming to the US, though only the Razr Plus is launching this month — June 23rd, to be exact, for $999. And it’s a real head-turner.
Jun 1Another minute of the new Motorola Razr.
Leaker @OnLeaks has unearthed new trailers for Motorola’s upcoming, and so far officially unannounced, foldable Razr 40 and Razr 40 Ultra. We can see a pretty sizable cover display on the Ultra with an onscreen keyboard, and a color variant seemingly based on Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year.