Best flip phones & best fold phones in the UK

The best flip phone is nice and easy to slip in your pocket, while the best folding phone opens up to reveal an enormous screen. Whichever you prefer, this guide will reveal the best model for you, at the best possible price.

The arrival of the smartphone temporarily killed the flip phone market, but we're not surprised they're on their way back, albeit reimagined with the latest tech. After all, there's something very satisfying, as well as practical, about closing the phone to hide your screen. It's a great way to take a step away from the incessant demands of the digital world: you can still be contacted, but you're not constantly being bothered by screen updates.

The best fold phones, meanwhile, provide many of the advantages of a large tablet screen, without having to carry around a tablet. And of course, you can make calls too. Fold phones are quite expensive right now, admittedly, but you can save substantially if you buy an older first- or second-generation model. For more on fold phones, read: Why I Fold While Others Flip.

Finally, if you don't need 2020s tech, and want to wallow in nostalgia, you could opt for one of the old-school flip phones we've included at the end of our list.

Best flip phone overall

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
The best flip phone overall

Specifications

Screen size: 6.7-inch, 1080 x 2636 pixels
Rear cameras: 12 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide)
Battery: 3700 mAh
Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9-17.1mm (closed); 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm (open)
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Wireless charging
+
Large cover screen
+
Handy part-folded experiences
+
IPX8 water resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
It gets hot with intensive use
-
Vibrancy and saturation are very boosted
-
Weak ultra-wide camera
-
Its camera is inferior to non-flip alternatives

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 takes a step forward in unlocking the potential of compact, clamshell foldables. However, it's not without its quirks – the camera hardware falls short of expectations for a phone in its price range, and it tends to warm up during hot-spotting and wireless charging.

But here's the real story behind the Z Flip 5 – it's Samsung's ticket to staying relevant in the flip phone game. The practicality of the new cover screen for everyday tasks, coupled with the commendable move of integrating IPX8 water resistance into a flip phone, sets it apart. Moreover, in the realm of flips, the Z Flip 5's camera holds its own, putting up a good fight against the RAZR 40 Ultra – Samsung's primary flip competition outside Asia.

Now, photographers might have reservations about Samsung's bold HDR effect, Insta-color science, and reliance on computational photography. Yet, credit where it's due – it's genuinely impressive that a phone with seemingly modest camera specs can consistently deliver a decent (albeit stylized) photo in most scenarios.

If you're on the lookout for a sleek compact flip clamshell and happen to be a fan of Samsung smartphones, well, it's our top choice in that particular category.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 review

Best folding phone overall

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
The best fold phone overall

Specifications

Screen size: 7.6-inch 2176x1812 pixels
Rear cameras: 50MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 10MP, f/2.4, 66mm (telephoto), 12MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 12mm (ultrawide)
Front (selfie) cameras: 4 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)
Cover (selfie) camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 24mm (wide)
Battery: 4400mAH
Weight: 263g
Dimensions: 155.1 x 67.1 x 14.2-15.8mm (folded); 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3mm (open)
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful and feature-rich
+
Expert RAW compatible
+
S pen support
+
Water-resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Crease in main display
-
Hinge gap still prominent
-
S Pen not included
-
Screen clings onto fingerprints

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a powerhouse, especially for photography enthusiasts. 

The camera improvements and enhanced software are noteworthy, making it a solid choice for capturing those picture-perfect moments. S Pen support is a game-changer, too. Being able to use it on that expansive screen can unleash your creativity in photo editing.

Sure, the camera hardware itself could be even better, but considering the overall package and how it seamlessly integrates with photography apps, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 makes a compelling case for an all-round creative tool.

The appeal of the Flex Mode for steady shooting is awesome – it's like having a built-in stabilizer, complemented by the hinge that locks at various angles – very impressive. The durability and IPX8 water resistance are great bonuses, ensuring the phone can handle real-life scenarios without breaking a sweat.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review

Best folding phone cameras

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
The best fold phone camera

Specifications

Screen size: 7.82 inches, 2268 x 2440 pixels
Rear cameras: 48 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide), 64 MP, f/2.6, 70mm (telephoto), 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 114˚ (ultrawide)photo),
Front (selfie) cameras: 20MP, f/2.2, 20mm (ultrawide)
Cover (selfie) camera: 32MP, f/2.4, 22mm (ultrawide)
Battery: 4805 mAh
Weight: 239 g
Dimensions: Unfolded: 153.4 x 143.1 x 5.8 mm Folded: 153.4 x 73.3 x 11.7 mm
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent camera system
+
Great screens
+
Smart interface
+
Premium design

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
No wireless charging
-
No IP-rated waterproofing

After Samsung's Fold hit the scene and sucked up all the air, it seemed like foldables were losing their spark – a bit ironic for such cutting-edge tech. But fear not, the OnePlus Open has come to the rescue, stirring things up, especially when it comes to photography.

Boasting the best camera combo in the foldable realm, and snapping shots that could give non-folding flagships a run for their money, the Open shines in the camera department. With a robust telephoto camera and the polished processing prowess we've come to love from OnePlus, this foldable is a true imaging triumph.

And here's the kicker – no major red flags in other areas. OnePlus's debut foldable confidently jumps to the forefront. Now, if you're eyeing one, there are a few things to note – it skips out on wireless charging and an IP rating. But if those omissions don't faze you, this is the first foldable we're giving a wholehearted camera-based recommendation.

Read our full OnePlus Open review

Best fold phone for AI editing

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
The best folding phone cameras

Specifications

Screen size: 7.6-inch (main) + 5.8-inch (cover)
Rear cameras: 48MP (main), 10.8MP (wide), 10.8MP (tele)
Front (selfie) cameras: 8MP
Cover (selfie) camera: 9.5MP
Battery: 4821 mAh
Weight: 283 g (9.98 oz)
Dimensions: Unfolded: 158.7 x 139.7 x 5.8 mm Folded: 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1 mm
Storage: 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable cover screen size
+
Relatively strong camera system
+
Smooth performance and clean interface
+
IPX8 water resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Runs hot with demanding tasks
-
Doesn't unfold completely flat
-
No native manual camera support
-
It's very expensive

The Google Pixel Fold has a lot going for it: the most balanced camera system of any mainstream foldable; its front screen is much more comfortable to use than that of the Z Fold 5, the part-folded inner screen is great for watching 16:9 video on, and it's a taster of what a foldable stock Android experience looks like. 

What sets the Pixel Fold apart though is it's AI photography and editing skills. This phone is packed with computational tricks that make your photos look better than ever with just a few taps.

So while a few shortcomings hold it back, and its price is eye-watering, it's still a viable alternative to Samsung's Z Fold line and a welcome addition to the foldable space.

Read our full Google Pixel Fold review

Best last-gen fold

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)
The best fold phone overall

Specifications

Screen size: 7.6-inch 2176x1812 pixels
Rear cameras: 50MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 10MP, f/2.4, 66mm (telephoto), 12MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 12mm (ultrawide)
Front (selfie) cameras: 4 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)
Cover (selfie) camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 24mm (wide)
Battery: 4400mAH
Weight: 263g
Dimensions: 155.1 x 67.1 x 14.2-15.8mm (folded); 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3mm (open)
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Light and durable
+
50MP main camera sensor
+
Flex mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery not the greatest

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is quite simply the best folding phone to date. It's super-slim, at just 6.3mm thick. It's lighter and more durable than its predecessor, thanks to an advanced hinge. And you get a beautiful AMOLED display, which folds out to 7.6 inches in diameter, supports HDR, has a 120Hz refresh rate, and has a high resolution of above 380 pixels per inch.

The cameras are very high quality too; being virtually identical to those of the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, and a big step up from the sensors in the Z Fold 3. 

You can capture videos at up to 8K resolution at 24fps, and 4K at up to 60fps. Manual ISO can be set as high as 3200, and the shutter speed up to 30 seconds. And cleverly, the camera takes advantage of the phone's Flex Mode, so when the Fold 4 is half-folded, the top half of the screen acts as a viewfinder, while the bottom half serves up your shooting controls. 

The 4,400Mah battery isn't the greatest among modern smartphones, and like with the Z Fold 3, the fold still has a big gap in the middle. But on the whole, if you want a folding phone, you won't find it finer. 

For more information, see our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

Best last-gen flip phone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
The best last-gen flip phone

Specifications

Screen size: 6.7-inch, 1080 x 2636 pixels
Rear cameras: 12 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide)
Battery: 3700 mAh
Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9-17.1mm (closed); 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm (open)
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Water resistant
+
Flex mode
+
Great cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
No telephoto lens

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is nice and compact while folded away, making it easy to carry, yet feels very durable and sturdy. Open it up, and it turns into a 6.7-inch screen smartphone with a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, smooth 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support and a 1200 nits peak brightness.

The cameras are a step up from its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Flip 3, with a larger, 1/1.76-inch main sensor (despite being the same 12MP resolution), matched with an f/1.8 aperture. That means you should get better quality photos, especially in low light, thanks to the new Super Night Solution mode. 

You can also film videos at up to 4K, at 260fps, and if you're shooting in Pro Mode, manual ISO can be set at 3200, and the shutter speed up to 30 seconds. 

For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review.

Best non-Samsung flip phone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
A solid flip phone with a legendary name

Specifications

Screen size: 6.7-inch, 1080 x 2400 pixels
Rear cameras: 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 13 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
Front camera: 32 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide)
Battery: 3500 mAh
Weight: 200g
Dimensions: Unfolded: 167.0 x 79.8 x 7.6 mm Folded: 86.5 x 79.8 x 17 mm
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Novel design and styling
+
Meaningful UI highlights
+
Extensive range of camera modes
+
Smaller crease than Z Fold 4

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging
-
Aggressive photo processing
-
Misses out on telephoto camera
-
The battery life could be better

The Motorola RAZR (2022) is a welcome upgrade for anyone coming from a RAZR or a RAZR 5G. Its design is a little hardier and more refined, its cameras perform better, and thanks to Motorola including Ready For, and a flagship-grade processor onboard, performance is on the money too. 

Folding phones are becoming less expensive, and the RAZR (2022) marks a beautiful boost in quality and a drop in price for the line. Foldable phone cameras still have a way to go, as do Motorola’s phone cameras. But with the trajectory set by the RAZR (2022) suggesting both are going in the right direction, it’s fast becoming one of the best folding phones out now. 

Read our full Motorola Razr (2022) review

Cheapest fold phone still available

(Image credit: Basil Konfli/Digital Camera World)
The second best fold phone

Specifications

Screen size: 7.6-inch 2208x1768 pixels (main) + 4.6-inch 720x1680 (case)
Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.5/2.3/2.4 (triple), 16MP mm
Front (selfie) cameras: 10MP f/2.2
Cover (selfie) camera: 10MP f/2.2
Battery life: 18 hrs (screen on)
Weight: 282 g
Dimensions: 62.8 x 160.9 x 17.1 mm (folded) 1174.9 x 160.9 x 7.6 mm (open)
Storage: 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
S-Pen
+
Decent battery
+
More affordable than Z Fold 4

Reasons to avoid

-
Lower specs than successor

The previous phone in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series is still available, and if you can get it for cheaper than its successor, it's still worth investigating. 

As this model was released back in 2020, you'd expect it to be inferior in many ways, and you'd be right. For instance, the cameras aren't quite as good, with the 12MP main sensor being a big climbdown from the 50MP one in the new phone. 

The Z Fold 4 is more durable too, due to its advanced hinge design, reinforced with Armor Aluminium. The processor in the Z Fold 3 (Snapdragon 888) also isn't fast as the 4's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. That said, you're getting the same S-Pen and the same 4,400Mah battery as the latest model. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 hands-on review

Best fold phone for business

(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Microsoft Surface Duo

The best fold phone for productive work

Specifications

Screen size: 1800 x 2700 px
Rear cameras: None
Front camera: 11MP
Battery life: 9h
Weight: 250g
Dimensions: 145 x 93 x 9.9mm
Storage: 128GB or 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Side-by-side work like dual monitors
+
High quality hinge
+
Thinner than the Galaxy Fold2

Reasons to avoid

-
Big screen bezels
-
Camera low quality

With two screens separated by a small hinge, the Surface Duo is impressively thin – sub 5mm when open – and shiny, with gorilla glass on both the screen size and outside of the case. Since the hinge can stop in any position, the device can be used like a book, a tiny laptop (Psion PDA style), a tablet or a single-screen phone. There are even extra options like ‘peak mode’ (rather than an extra external screen).

Microsoft is using Android rather than their own OS (they don’t even force Bing on you), so you have access to a good range of apps. The Snapdragon 855 and 6GB of RAM is enough, though the big bezels mean the screen is ‘only’ 8.1 inches and a single 11MP camera won’t please photographers. That said, Instagrammers are definitely not the intended market, and the camera is fine for video calls. 

For productivity tool users, the real gains are in the software space. Microsoft has updated its suite of apps to work on both screens effectively, but multitaskers really power ahead by using ‘app groups’ to choose pairs of apps to run one on each screen, side by side.

Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook