If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you’ll be delighted by the abundance of options available. But with so many choices, how do you decide which device is the perfect fit for you? iPhones, Androids—the possibilities seem endless. However, one smartphone style that has remained consistently popular is the classic candy bar design, offering a great screen-to-hand ratio. But technology never stands still, and now, a revolutionary new form factor has emerged: folding phones. You might think, “Wait, I had a folding phone 20 years ago. Why would I want to go back to that?” Well, these cutting-edge devices are miles ahead of their retro predecessors. (Folding Phone Buying Guide, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, Motorola Razr 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip)
These folding phones boast the latest processors, top-of-the-line cameras, and stunning displays, all with the added bonus of a foldable screen. That’s right, the screens themselves can now fully fold, ushering in a new era of versatility and sophistication.
History of Folding Phones
Think back to when the first flip phones came out. Before flip phones, most phones were thick brick-sized devices that weren’t always very pocketable. As technology progressed, phone manufacturers created flip phones, which were phones but in a much smaller footprint, taking up much less space in your pocket. These new folding phones harken back to the old days of flip phones.
Why Choose A Folding Phone?
Just as the name suggests, the folding phone can fold itself into a smaller form factor. With this in mind, the main advantage of getting a foldable phone would be the screen-to-size ratio. Folding phones are available in two different form factors: the traditional flip phone and a new style, opening more like a book. The traditional-style folding phone is a great option for someone who wants the nostalgia kick of having a retro phone, as well as the benefit of having a large screen in a small device. When you open this type of phone, you are met with the screen size of a traditional candy bar-style phone.
The book-style folding phone is a bit thicker, but when opened, provides the user with a display much more akin to a tablet than a phone. This style of device is perfect for power users who need as much screen real estate as possible. (Motorola Razr 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip)
Stick with the Classics
To avoid immediately ruling yourself out of getting a folding phone, consider your existing position within the Apple ecosystem. If you’re firmly entrenched with an iPhone and have no intention of switching anytime soon, a folding phone may not be in your near future. Although there have been rumors of a foldable iPhone, they remain unconfirmed, and Apple has not made any official statements regarding such a device.
Another reason to exercise caution when considering a folding phone is that they are still relatively new to the market. While being on the cutting edge of technology can be thrilling, it also comes with its challenges. When a new technology emerges, two things are true: Firstly, you’ll likely have to pay a premium for that new tech. Secondly, you’ll need to contend with the initial challenging problems associated with any emerging technology.
The prices of folding phones are gradually decreasing, but even on the lower end of the foldable spectrum, expect to pay around $1000. For premium folding phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, be prepared to shell out close to $2,000.
New technology often comes with a few bugs and quirks. In the case of the first generation of foldable phones, issues like visible creases, lack of dust resistance, and limited app support were common. The crease down the middle proved distracting for many users, as they could feel it while scrolling and see it while watching content. Additionally, the folding screens sometimes had small gaps when closed, allowing dust to enter and potentially damage the display. Furthermore, since each folding phone has a unique display size, app developers would need to update their software to support each device, making it challenging to guarantee full app compatibility across all folding phones.
Here’s a list of our top recommended folding phones by category:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – (Ultimate Folding Phone)
- Huawei Mate x2 – (Top Shelf Alternative)
- Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold – (Portable Power)
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – (Affordable yet Powerful)
- Motorola Razr 5G – (Nostalgia meets modern-day)
Folding phones represent an exciting leap in smartphone technology, providing a more immersive and versatile user experience. While they may come with a few drawbacks, the potential benefits make them a compelling choice for tech enthusiasts and casual users alike. As technology continues to evolve, folding phones offer a glimpse into the future of mobile devices. So, if you’re ready to embrace the cutting-edge, consider giving a folding phone a try and take your smartphone experience to a whole new level!