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Best folding smartphone: ultimate guide to knowing which one to choose (comparison and differences)

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If you are hesitating between several models of folding smartphones, it may be because their technical sheet is just too “technical”. To better understand the interests of each of the best of the moment, we must put the resulting uses into perspective. This is what we were able to observe during our various tests, images of which illustrate this guide.

In it, you will discover what are the best strengths of each model, in our opinion. Of course we also note imperfections and prices. These are the main criteria to take into account when purchasing, so as not to face unpleasant surprises later. And when we find them, we also list in this comparison the good deals to treat yourself to the best folding smartphones at low prices.

Top 5 best folding smartphones& ;nbsp;:

  1. OnePus Open
  2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
  3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
  4. Honor Magic V2
  5. Motorola Razr 50 Ultra

The best folding smartphone of the moment.

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Let's start with the model that has impressed us the most in recent months: the OnePus Open. Certainly, the device is one of the most expensive in this comparison with a price of 1,849 euros all the same. But its design is particularly successful. However, there are many failures of folding smartphones in terms of appearance. The back of the device allows you to see an imposing photo sensor, signature of this model. One might then think that the photos captured with it are excellent.

This is not always the case, however, and our test of this folding smartphone was able to prove that the camera turns out to be “perfectable”. This is quite a shame, especially since today many flexible model sensors consider them inherently high-end devices. So, of course, the OnePus Open shots live up to their price: ideal almost nine times out of ten. The wide-angle does the job very well, and we see that the work of Oppo (which collaborated on this mobile) is bearing fruit.

With this smartphone, the fold is also very discreet and its rendering turns out to be more comfortable than that of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, for example. The very visible hinge was the fault of many folding mobiles in the past, but the OnePus Open was able to solve this problem. With this, the format of the device is particularly imposing and, once unfolded, serves as a real nomadic workstation. Simply connect an external monitor to the USB-C port, and you have a control center for your professional activity.

In terms of performance, this smartphone is no exception since it is quite simply one of the most powerful of its generation, and on the market. Moreover, even the cadence of a secondary screen does not slow down the system, which happens with real computers. Certainly, here, you will not be entitled to the same software. But many of our apps can now be used on all formats, which OnePus Open allows you to fully exploit.

In China, this mobile has another name: it is the Oppo N3 Flip. But make no mistake; the datasheet is actually the same. With the difference – not negligible – that the Asian edition offers more affordable versions. This is particularly the case for the version with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of internal storage. You will therefore necessarily have to opt for 16 GB of RAM and the same storage capacity, in France, with the OnePus Open.

This does not mean, however, that you must choose the oriental edition, quite the contrary. Indeed, the OnePus Open operating system, with its overlay, is better suited to France. Also note that the manufacturer offers to benefit from four major Android updates, and it's guaranteed. Security updates are, for their part, supported for five years. Let us point out, however, that Apple does better, with at least five years of iOS updates and patches for several semesters thereafter. But Cupertino has not yet released a folding smartphone.

The OnePus Open is currently available in two colors: black and gray. Same price for both.

The best folding smartphone for on-the-go multitasking.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is often considered THE benchmark for folding smartphones, probably because its manufacturer did not skimp on marketing. Often, this practice is synonymous with vanity metrics. But the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn't highlight more than the average competition, and in the end, the technical sheet doesn't really need it. Judge for yourself: this device, which folds in the same direction as the OnePus Open, is notably entitled to one of the best mobile processors in 2024.

This is the second generation Snapdragon 8 chip, engraved with a precision of four nanometers. This offers breathtaking performance, without the device overheating too quickly. The screen is also magnificent thanks to AMOLED technology, which Samsung has mastered to perfection for many years now. As a bonus, for photography, this mobile is also a good performer.

By using it, you will benefit from a definition of fifty megapixels at wide angle, with f/1.8 aperture. The result is rather successful images, the same goes for the telephoto lens and the twelve-millimeter ultra-wide-angle lens. At the front, however, Samsung limits us to four poor megapixels of definition: one wonders if this is not an error. But this photo sensor is a wide-angle, while many smartphones do not offer this advantage for the front camera.

However, most of these advantages are also found on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which could put off some given the price of its successor. You have to pay 1,899 euros to afford it. It is therefore also one of the most expensive, among all the folding smartphones that we have been able to compare. Some people might therefore want to get the Fold 4, but this is not necessarily the best idea since this model will be supported for a shorter period of time, in theory.

For Returning to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, let us also note that its integration with the rest of the ecosystem of the same brand is particularly successful. This is perhaps even what allows mobile to differentiate itself the best. Indeed, today, neither Motorola, nor Honor, nor ZTE, nor OnePus manufacture wireless headphones, tablets, computers and connected watches. These are all the other manufacturers in this comparison, who are also not the most advanced on the AI ​​side.

Indeed, artificial intelligence is an integral part of the features of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. A whole suite of automated options awaits you there, such as an alternative to Google Lens very effective. This one is called “Circle to search” and, as its name suggests, recognizes any element that you indicate in this way in a photo. The tool can even identify different types of plants, although the reliability is not always 100%.

The artificial intelligence of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 also suggests the best changes to make to your images when editing. You can therefore create quality professional content with this device. And real producers will confirm that this is rather rare, on mobile.

A significant drawback, however, hides under the chassis of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, whose autonomy is rather average. In fact, we can only count on 4 400 mAh here while premium mobiles which do not unfold sometimes do much better. The iPhone 15 Pro Max, for example, comes with a 4 441 mAh battery.

If you want to treat yourself to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, know however, as this device has been out for a long time, it is often on sale.

The best compact folding smartphone.

Best folding smartphone: ultimate guide to knowing which one to choose (comparison and differences)

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A second folding smartphone from Samsung appears in our comparison: the Galaxy Z Flip 5. This model folds this time widthwise, and it is also the first of the list has been designed with this objective in mind. It is certainly more expensive than the Nubia Flip 5G, with a similar design, but comes at the same price as the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra. On the other hand, the technical sheet is starting to date and it is perhaps wise to wait until the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 to afford this range. This model should indeed offer performance similar to the current industry standard.

Be careful, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is still fast and carries out calculations without flinching, even with the onboard artificial intelligence of Galaxy AI. But its 3,700 mAh battery is also rather limited. Samsung should definitely review this point. Moreover, the experience offered by a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is more or less the same as on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, apart from the format.

Indeed, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is quite compact and is reminiscent of the design of a good old GameBoy Advance SP. Its flip is particularly pleasant to use, even if the sound of the OnePus Open is a little better. Moreover, the design and finishes are high-end and we feel that we are holding a high-end device in our hands, with the Z Flip 5.

The most durable folding smartphone, for digital nomads.

Best folding smartphone: ultimate guide to knowing which one to choose (comparison and differences)

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The Honor Magic V2 is another example of the best in the folding smartphone market, with top-notch performance and a simply magnificent screen. The design is also of quality, which, as mentioned previously, is rare on the foldable market. Here you have the choice between several storage capacities, from 256 GB to 1 TB. Choose the one that suits you according to the volume of files that you exchange most often. For games or production software, large memory may be necessary.

Before checking out, however, be aware that the Honor Magic V2 is not waterproof. It's a real problem if you drop it in liquid, as you might guess. You will also have to be quite careful with dust. Indeed, if it gets under the shell, the folding mechanism may no longer work correctly.

You can obtain the Honor Magic V2 in France for the tidy sum of 1,999 euros.  This is an exorbitant rate. Given the amount, we would have appreciated if the manufacturer had not overlooked the technical sheet (hello waterproofing). But the Honor Magic V2 is still larger than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which provides much better comfort when watching movies. We can even say that this mobile has enough to replace a tablet. You could therefore save the price of this product, by only purchasing a smartphone, which will be useful in the same cases.

For an almost invisible fold and high performance.

Best folding smartphone: ultimate guide to knowing which one to choose (comparison and differences)

Motorola Razr 50 Ultra © Journal du Geek

With the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra, the manufacturer offers us another format that folds like a portable games console. The rendering is quite good, we are actually testing the device at the moment. The manufacturer improves the recipe of the previous model and offers us in particular to benefit from IPX8 certification, which was sorely lacking in the Honor Magic V2. The screen is also huge for a long format, with no less than 6.9 inches.

This model is, as a bonus, cheaper than folding phones with a more square format, such as the Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. Count on 1,199 euros for a new device with the basic configuration, which is as much, in short, as a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. However, the latter was released earlier and is therefore benefiting from better discounts at the moment.

When unfolded, the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra presents itself as a traditional smartphone and will therefore not disorient you greatly if you come from this format. In addition, the operating system is refined and we are light years away from the experience offered by the unsightly overlays of many competing brands. Moreover, note that this mobile is powered by a Snapdragon Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Gen 3 chip, and that you will be entitled to eight or twelve gigabytes of RAM depending on the model.

The best folding smartphone so you don't break the bank.

Best folding smartphone: ultimate guide to knowing which one to choose (comparison and differences)

ZTE Nubia Flip 5G © ZTE

What you especially need to know about the ZTE Nubia Flip 5G is that it is quite simply the cheapest in this comparison. You only have to pay 599 euros to get the basic version! That’s almost four times cheaper than a good Honor Magic V2. The ZTE Nubia Flip 5G, however, bends in the other direction, but its quality/price ratio is simply unbeatable, to date. Some outsiders could soon come and overshadow this device. But even the competition from Blackview is still not up to par today, in the mid-range sector.

The ZTE Nubia Flip 5G has a second 1.43-inch screen, visible when folded. It's quite small, because the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra, for example, offers a second 4-inch screen on the front. But as this display is often limited to notifications, it's not that annoying. Just know that the features of the small panel will be more developed on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, for example.

The ZTE Nubia Flip 5G also allows you to enjoy a refresh rate of one hundred and twenty frames per second. This is a premium technical feature, which is found on mobiles almost four times more expensive such as the iPhone 15 Pro Max. As a bonus, the ZTE Nubia Flip 5G has fast charging. If you need to stock up on electricity at the last minute, this is an asset that is sure to help you out.

To know which folding smartphone to buy, you still need to know what technical characteristics are most important to you more. As you have noticed, it is also a question of comparing the functionalities. Samsung's folding smartphones come with unique options with the Flip's second screen or artificial intelligence, for example. But they are not the most durable mobiles.

The ZTE Nubia Flip 5G has the advantage of charging quickly, and costing much less. As for the Honor Magic V2, we had to compare it because it’s one of the leaders. But its high price should put off the majority of consumers.

When choosing your folding smartphone, also remember to find out about the compatibility of mobile networks or the functionalities of security, especially if you opt for this format in the office. And of course, we will update this guide as often as necessary, to cover the latest news on new models.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116