MWC is in full swing and we can already tell two topics are going to play centre stage: 5G phones and folding phones.
Here to help make sure you don’t miss any of the newly announced bendy blowers we’ve rounded up the folding phones that have been announced, plus all the big name ones that have been teased or rumoured.
Read more: Best smartphone
Samsung folding phones
The product of almost a decade of work, the Galaxy Fold is the current poster child for folding phones, but we don’t expect this to be the case for long. It just looks too clumsy.
Samsung’s folding handset features a ludicrously small 4.6-inch external display, and a 7.3-inch internal display fitted with an enormous notch. It also looks chunky and doesn’t appear to fold flat.
The Galaxy Fold also features six cameras, a 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It can also be used to wirelessly charge other devices via Wireless PowerShare, there are AKG-tuned speakers on board and there’s UFS 3.0 support too.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold will come to the UK on May 3, with prices starting at $1980 (~£1800), though we’re expecting the 5G version to cost more than this.
Huawei folding phones
Huawei has taken a different route with its folding phone and, right now at least, I think it’s the likelier blueprint to catch on.
The Huawei Mate X has two screens that face outwards at all times: a 6.6-inch, 2480 x 1148 front display and a 6.38-inch, 2480 x 892 display around the back. Together, they form an 8-inch, 2480 x 2200 tablet display.
The device measures in at 5.4mm thick in tablet mode, and 11mm thick when folded − and yes, it folds flat.
It’s also a 5G device, and features a Kirin 980 chip and Balong 5000 5G modem, as well as four cameras and a variety of clever shooting modes. The 55W SuperCharge feature sounds very impressive too, promising to take the Mate X from 0% battery to 85% in just 30 minutes.
Related: Huawei Mate X vs Galaxy Fold
LG folding phones
The LG V50 ThinQ isn’t technically a folding phone, but it’s being sold alongside a secondary clip-on display that turns the V50 into a sort of DIY foldable device.
That secondary display is one of the handset’s standout features, but it looks really very strange. Basically it’s LG’s answer to Galaxy Fold or Mate X, but nowhere near as slick.
The 6.3-inch FHD+ OLED panel comes with a case that the V50 slips into, it then connects to your phone via a proprietary connection tech and extends your phone’s home screen.
Motorola folding phones
Motorola’s confirmed it is working on a foldable phone, but that’s about it. The news came during an MWC press session attended by Trusted Reviews where Motorola vice president and general manager Anthony Barounas revealed the company plans to release a foldable phone, branded with “an existing Motorola franchise” at an unspecified point in the near future. Further details weren’t offered but the news is in line with prior rumblings the company’s been working on a foldable Razr Phone. If true you can colour us excited.
Royole folding phones
“It’s clear the FlexPai has been rushed out to ensure it claims the crown of the world’s first foldable phone. It’s a shame then, that it’ll likely be remembered for its terrible user experience rather than its genuinely interesting foldable design.”
That’s what we wrote after spending some hands-on time with the Royole FlexPai, a foldable phone that’s more in the mould of the Mate X than the Galaxy Fold. On paper, the specs look solid enough: a 7.8-inch display that splits into a pair of 4-inch screens, the Snapdragon 855, 16- and 20-megapixel cameras.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well when it’s folded into phone mode − and the fact it doesn’t fold flat makes it very difficult to get in and out of your pockets. The software is also not up to scratch, juddering and glitching during use, and struggling to detech whether the FlexPai is in phone or tablet mode.
The Royole FlexPai is already available to purchase, and starts at €1388 (~£1200).
Xiaomi folding phones
Back in January, Xiaomi’s co-founder and president, Lin Bin, posted a clip to Weibo teasing a phone that can unfurl to become a tablet. You can watch the teaser here.
Labelled “the world’s first double folding mobile phone”, it folds in two places and it actually looks like something we can imagine people wanting to use. Though it’s still far from perfect. There’s a bit of screen judder when the device switches from tablet to smartphone mode, and the handset looks slightly chunky in phone mode.
Lin Bin hasn’t revealed any specs or major details, saying this is just a concept device. However, if the interest is there, he says Xiaomi will consider bringing something along these lines to market.
Are you aboard the folding phones hype train? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.