Once considered a relic of the past, the flip phone is making a surprising and fashionable comeback. Emerging from the shadows of obsolescence, mobile phones with flexible screens are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, capturing the attention of both nostalgia seekers and those looking for a refreshing departure from the ubiquitous flat-style designs. And although these animals were very rare in the smartphone jungle, nowadays you can see one in the wild almost daily. But which is the best flip phone? Samsung led the way with its Galaxy Z Flip series, and Motorola capitalized on the nostalgia surrounding the RAZR moniker, but there are other Far Eastern players threatening to steal territory.
In this article we will focus on the modern day flip phone and carefully list and classify all the species out there. Here we go!
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The best flip phones 2023, a condensed list:
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
The most popular flip phone out there
PhoneArena rating: 8.2/10
Sure, that one Z Flip 5 is not yet at the level of usability of the Motorola Razr Plus, but the company is getting there through third-party support for the cover screen widgets. It’s neck and neck between these two, and Samsung fans might want to grab it Z Flip 5 for the familiar OneUI experience and longer software support – four full years.
Motorola Razr Plus
The best shell display on a flip phone
PhoneArena Rating: 8/10
This phone has the largest and most usable clamshell screen of any foldable in this form factor. The 3.6-inch front screen offers plenty of bells and whistles—you can type on the full-size keyboard, call someone, launch an app, watch a video, and pretty much do anything you need to do without opening the phone. Which takes care of the first number from the top.
Further down the spec sheet, the Razr Plus offers a bright and vibrant 6.9-inch main display with a 165Hz refresh rate, a flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a hefty 3,800mAh battery and two decent cameras on the back. What’s not to like? Take notes, Samsung!
Oppo Find N3 Flip
The best camera on a flip phone
PhoneArena Rating: TBC
The Oppo Find N3 Flip builds on the idea of a do-it-all flip phone with a stunning clamshell display and a Hasselblad-branded main camera. The Find N3 Flip might just be the first flip phone with a triple camera system, we’re talking real camera, not depth sensors or other excuses to increase the camera count.
There’s a 50MP main camera, a 48MP sensor under the ultra-wide lens and a dedicated 32MP telephoto shooter with optical zoom! The phone also comes with a Dimensity 9200 chipset, 12GB of LPDDR5x RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 storage, both upgrades from the memory specs of its predecessor. The double battery of 4,300 mAh and fast 44W charging is transferred.
Huawei P50 pocket
The best looking flip phone
PhoneArena Rating: 8.5/10
On the downside, this phone comes with an older Snapdragon 888 chipset and no 5G capability, and of course it doesn’t have Google services on board. This thing looks nice though.
Motorola Razr/Razr 40 (2023)
The most affordable flip phone
PhoneArena Rating: 8/10
The Motorola Razr costs just $699, which is cheaper than many non-folding flagships out there. Admittedly, the phone is all over the mid-range, but you can get a taste of that flip experience without breaking the bank. It’s a great gateway to the world of flexible-screen smartphones, and if you really like it, you can upgrade to a more capable and more expensive one after a year or two.
Are flip phones worth the extra cost?
It’s a hard question. It really depends on what you are looking for in a phone. If you like to be on the cutting edge of smartphone technology and you don’t mind paying extra, then yes. Plus, there are now really affordable flip phones like the Motorola Razr (2023), so you can try the experience without breaking the bank.
Are flip phones durable enough?
Folding technology has been around for many years now, and most of the problems have been fixed. The hinges that companies use are designed to withstand about 200,000 folds, which is 5 years of heavy use. However, you should be careful not to abuse these hinges. They can be tested in lab conditions but a little attention goes a long way. Be careful not to let dust and dirt slip between the hinge and the screen, as this can break the screen and render it unusable. Overall, flip phones are durable, but not as durable as their more rigid non-folding cousins.
Is the size and shape of flip phones a factor in battery life?
Several generations ago, the battery life of flip phones used to be slightly lower than that of regular flagship phones. These days, however, most flip phones come with 4,000 mAh or larger batteries inside, and battery life is comparable to that of a similarly compact flagship phone. At the end of the day, it all depends on the usage scenarios. The nature of flip phones allows them to be used without opening them, which can save battery life.
Are there any differences in camera quality between flip phones and traditional phones?
Normally, yes. Flip phones need to be thinner and lighter to integrate the hinge and to be able to fold without being too thick. This requires some compromises, mainly in the camera department. Most flip phones come with a dual camera setup consisting of a main and ultrawide cameras. However, we are starting to see models with three rear cameras and flagship sensors and lenses. So the answer to this question is “it really depends on the model.”