While foldables have not yet taken over the market in the manner in which many had predicted they would (they haven’t hit jaw-dropping sales figures yet), the concept of a foldable phone is very much alive and kicking. More brands are now warming up to the idea of releasing a foldable phone. And the latest one to join the list is Google.
At Google I/O 2023, the search giant showcased a number of software smarts, a look at Android 14, AI advancement and the launch of the affordable Pixel, the Pixel 7a. But the device that made the most headlines was the Pixel Fold, which marked Google’s entry into the foldable smartphone zone. The phone folds up like a book and opens up to turn a tall phone screen into a more tablet-shaped one like the Samsung Galaxy Fold phones.
It comes with a 5.8-inch OLED cover display, while the internal display is a 7.6-inch OLED one, both with an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz. Like other recent Pixel devices, this one will also be powered by Google’s Tensor G2 processor which will be paired with 12GB RAM and will have two storage variants — 256GB and 512GB. While the Pixel Fold has a completely different form factor as compared to other Pixels, it retains the iconic camera band from the Pixel design, which has been reimagined for the Pixel Fold. The phone will have a triple camera set up on the back while there will be two selfie cameras on the phone, one on the cover screen and the other on the main screen.
Keeping the Fold running will be the task of a 4,812mAh battery, which we think would be on the smaller side considering all the displays on the phone. The phone will support 30W fast charging. The Pixel Fold will also come with Android 14 out of the box and because it’s all in Google’s hand– the software and the hardware, we are hoping to see the brand make some really good additions to the foldables’ software game. While these are some very good specs, the phone comes with a very stiff price tag — $1,799 (roughly Rs 1,48,800).
And even though there are only a handful of foldable smartphones in the market, the Pixel Fold will still face some serious competition from the existing folding smartphones in the business. So, if you are someone who wishes to invest in a foldable phone but does not want to wait for the Pixel Fold, here are a few phones that can open up for you right this instant:
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: The Obvious Challenger
Price: Rs. 1,54,999
Samsung is a veteran in the foldable phone business and has been launching foldable devices for a few years now. The latest and the greatest one in this list and one that is the most obvious and the biggest challenger to the Pixel Fold is the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Samsung is the lord and master of making vibrant, beautiful displays and the Fold 4 comes with one t(w)oo. There is a tall 6.2-inch AMOLED 2X display with HD+ resolution while there is a 7.6-inch AMOLED 2X main display with QXGA+ resolution. Both displays have a 120Hz refresh rate. While the cover display of the Fold 4 is quite tall which makes viewing a bit odd, the tablet-sized main display is an absolute treat.
The phone is powered by one the most powerful smartphone processors in the market, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip which is paired with 12GB RAM and up to 1TB storage. This makes the Fold 4 capable of handling chores, whether intense or casual, with ease. This, combined with stereo speakers makes the phone a multimedia beast.
The triple camera set up on the back comprises a 50-megapixel main sensor with OIS, a 10-megapixel telephoto lens with OIS and 3X optical zoom and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with 123-degree field of view. There are two selfie cameras, one on the cover screen comes with a nominal 4-megapixel sensor while the one on the main screen comes with a 10-megapixel lens.
The phone runs on Android 12 out of the box (now updated to Android 13) topped with Samsung’s OneUI which is not too crowded like some of the other skins in the market. The phone has a 4400 mAh battery which can last you from morning to evening. There is fast charge support of 25W (a little basic, we think) and support for 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging is present too.
The phone looks very distinct, comes with support for Samsung’s stylus, the famous S Pen and has IPX 8 rating, making it quite sturdy. This is pretty much the boss of foldables right now in terms of sheer performance and specs.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: The Clamshell Boss
Price: Rs. 89,999
If you do not believe in the ‘big is better’ ideology which seems to have consumed almost all of the smartphone world and want a phone which focuses on being compact yet complete, then the Z Flip 4 is the phone for you. Samsung took the basic flip phone mechanism that was popular back in the early 2000s and used that to make a smartphone.
The result is the Galaxy Z Flip. The Flip 4 is the latest variant of the Flip phones and comes with the same processor that powers the Z Fold 4, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. There is a single 8 GB RAM option while you can choose from 128 GB and 256 GB storage options.
The phone has a 6.7-inch AMOLED 2X, FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate. There is also a tiny secondary 1.9 AMOLED display which can be used to view notifications, change songs and view pictures.
There are two 12-megapixel sensors, one with OIS and the other with 123-degree field of view, on the phone that can take some beautiful pictures with punchy colours and also double up as selfie cameras when the phone is flipped close. For actual selfies, the main display has a 10-megapixel sensor.
The battery on the Flip 4 is a bit on the smaller side at 3,700mAh but 25W charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse charging support like the Fold 4. It is IPX8 rated, making it water resistant. The phone runs on Android 12 out of the box (updated to Android 13 now) with Samsung’s OneUI skin on top.
Throw any task in the way of the Flip 4 and the phone will surely hit a home run with it, if not knock it out of the park completely.
Tecno Phantom V Fold: New Kid On The Block
Price: Rs 88,888
The biggest USP of this phone is its price tag. At the starting price of Rs. 88,888, the V Fold is the most affordable new foldable smartphone in the market.
The phone comes with a huge 6.42-inch LTPO AMOLED cover display with full-HD+ resolution. Open the phone up and you will find an even bigger 7.85-inch main LTPO AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,000×2,296 pixels. Both displays come with a high 120Hz refresh rate.
In terms of processor, the V Fold is bundled with the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+. Some might have their reservations about MediaTek but this is one very powerful processor. The single 12 GB RAM option can be bought with either 256GB or 512GB storage options.
With these numbers, the V Fold brings enough power to handle even the most intense smartphone chores you may bring its way. The triple camera setup on the phone has two 50-megapixel sensors, one main and another telephoto and a 13-megapixel ultrawide one. For selfies, there is a 16-megapixel sensor on the cover screen while a 32-megapixel one resides inside. Tecno might not be a household brand in India at the time of writing but the Phantom V Fold has the potential to make it just that.
Oppo Find Flip N2: Clammy Competitor
Price: Rs. 89,999
While rumours suggest that Oppo is in the process of launching a book-style foldable phone, the brand has already released a clam-shell type foldable smartphone called the Oppo Find Flip N2.
The phone comes with a slightly larger main display of 6.8 inches as compared to the other flip phone (the Z Flip 4) in the market. The main display is an AMOLED full-HD+ one with a 120Hz refresh rate.
The cover display of the Flip N2 is also bigger at 3.4 inches and is also an AMOLED one. It is this secondary display that gives the Find Flip N2 its design edge, making it different looking than the Flip 4 from Samsung.
Oppo chose to go with the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ chipset for the phone, combined with 8GB+256GB RAM and storage. Some might consider the processor a step down from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 on the Flip 4 but the Flip N2 can easily handle casual as well as power-consuming tasks without any struggles.
The phone also comes with some impressive specs — it comes with a dual camera set up which comprises a 50-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor with Hasselblad integration.
To top its camera game off, Oppo also includes a big 32-megapixel selfie sensor at the front.
The Find Flip N2 also comes with a bigger 4,300mAh battery and with support for some real fast charging at 44W. The phone runs on Android 13 topped with ColorOS 13.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: The Bang-For-Buck Option
Price: Rs. 49,999
If budget is an issue and you would like to spend the minimum while getting your hands on a foldable phone, then the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the option to go for. With the smartphone being available for as low as Rs 49,999 on some e-commerce websites, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is pretty much the least expensive foldable smartphone that one can get their hands on.
But do not get misled by the affordable price tag — the phone does not come with too many compromises, especially when compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The clam-shell design device comes with the same screen size as the Flip 4, for both main and secondary displays. It also boasts a 6.7-inch AMOLED 2X FHD+ main display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED secondary display.
While Samsung claims that the Flip 4 comes with improved cameras, the megapixel count of the cameras also remains the same on both the Flip 4 and the Flip 3. Both come with a dual 12-megapixel camera set up on the back while a 10-megapixel sensor sits on the front for selfies. The Flip 3 also comes with IPX 8 rating, making it water-resistant.
The two phones also have the same storage and RAM variants to choose from — 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB. The main difference between the Flip 4 and Flip 3 is in terms of processor – the Flip 3 is powered by the less powerful but still quite capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor which can take care of your everyday business very smoothly, although it might not handle power hungry tasks as well as the Flip 4 which comes with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor.
The Flip 3 is also a bit behind in the battery department as it comes with a 3,300mAh battery with support for 15W charging, 10W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse charging. The phone also comes with an even older version of Android out of the box but considering its two-year-old device, there is little to complain.
Plus, Samsung has a great Android update track record which means the phone can be upgraded up to Android 13, if not 14.