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5 (or more) foldable phones are still expected in 2022 — here’s what they may be

Foldable phones have made a significant dent in the mobile industry in recent years. Back before smartphones, foldable flip cell phones were dominating the market. But as soon as the iPhone launched in 2007, it became clear that they’d be relics of the past until technology advanced to the point where displays were able to be bent. Fast forward 15 years, and now foldables are making a major comeback.

According to a report from Counterpoint Research, there could be “at least 4 to 5” foldable phones launching in the latter half of 2022. Some are all but confirmed with plenty of rumored details, while others are shrouded in a lot more mystery. Here’s a look at what we think those 4 to 5 foldables could be, based on the latest leaks/rumors.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Seemingly official renders of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Price Baba

Samsung has been one of the companies leading the charge for the future of foldable tech with the Z Fold series. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the next in line and seems to be an impressive foldable flagship based on the leaked specs we’ve seen. It’s rumored to use the latest Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, and be fitted with some impressive cameras that rival the Galaxy S22.

Because the Z Fold 4 is positioned uniquely as something of an in-between of a smartphone and a tablet, it’ll also be making the most out of the tablet optimizations of Android 13 when unfolded. There’s been a lot of conflicting reports about whether or not the Fold 4 will have an in-device S-Pen slot, but regardless of if it can hold smart pens or not, the fact that its screen unfolds to be big enough to warrant their use makes it an enticing foldable to keep an eye out for.

There are still a lot of mysteries surrounding the Z Fold 4, however, the upcoming Samsung Unpacked on August 10 should answer all questions about it and Samsung’s other upcoming foldable — the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4
OnLeaks / 91Mobiles

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is in a similar boat as the Z Fold 4. It’ll be revealed in full on August 10, but we’ve seen enough leaks to confidently say that it’ll likely be running on the same Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and launch in a similar window. The two should have remarkably similar specs, but with the Z Flip 4, there’s a tradeoff between screen size and portability.

The Z Flip 4 will be able to fold itself into a small square that will easily fit in pockets, purses, and palms without issue. Like the Z Flip 3 before it, it’ll be great to take on the road, but its portability means that it offers a lot less screen than other Samsung devices. Rumor has it that both the Fold 4 and the Flip 4 will offer a 1TB internal storage option so that you can hold as many apps, pictures, and videos as you want. That positions the Flip 4 as potentially being one of the best devices for travel thanks to its portability and high storage capacity.

Moto Razr 2022

A Motorola executive showing the Moto Razr 2022
Chen Jin / Weibo

During the heyday of the flip phone, the Motorola Razr was at the absolute top thanks to its sleek design and excellent features. As the industry has leaned heavily into touchscreens, however, Moto was taken down a few pegs from the top. In recent years, however, the company has been making a comeback with a revamped version of the foldable Razr smartphone.

The Moto Razr 2022 is launching in early August with solid specs. Like the Galaxy Flip 4 and Fold 4, it’ll have the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, a huge leap in processing power when compared to the Razr 5G. The 2022 Razr is also seeing major improvements in the camera department, rumored to be touting a 50-megapixel primary camera and a 13MP ultrawide secondary lens.

If you’re looking for a solid flip device, the Moto Razr 2022 certainly meets that description. That said, because the company is only now starting to truly compete with the rest of the industry in terms of specs, it could be worth holding off a generation while Moto irons out potential growing pains. In any case, all should be revealed on August 2 when Motorola formally unveils the device.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2

Xiaomi Mix Fold overview.

Xiaomi launched its first foldable phone in 2021, so now the company is following the Mix Fold up with a second generation. The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 will likely rival a lot of the other devices listed here, specifically the Z Fold 4, thanks to its rumored Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and a solid foldable OLED 120Hz display. The thing that sets it apart is a rumor claiming the Mix Fold 2 will be able to fold 360 degrees and still be able to return to its stackable design. Because we haven’t officially seen much of the Mix Fold 2, however, there’s no way to know if that’s true or not.

Other than that, there isn’t much in terms of solid leaks or rumors surrounding the Mix Fold 2. In terms of its release and announcement window, we’re sort of in the dark. If Xiamoi were following a consistent release timeline, we would have seen the Mix Fold 2 launch in April 2022, but we’ve clearly missed that window by quite a large margin, so there’s really no telling when the company will rear its head to show us what it has in store.

That said, if you’re looking to pick up the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 outside of Asia when it eventually launches, you may be out of luck. The Mix Fold 1 was never sold outside of China, so unless Xiaomi announces that it’s going for a global release, this foldable might fly under the radar in most places.

Oppo clamshell flip phone

Opening the Oppo Find N.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

To be blunt: There’s really not a lot of solid information when it comes to Oppo’s next foldable device. There are plenty of rumors that Oppo is looking to launch a flip phone following the release of the Find N, but the company hasn’t said anything officially. Rumor has it that Oppo’s next foldable venture will be a “clamshell” flip smartphone that’s meant to be on the more affordable side of things, but other than that, there’s not much else making the internet rounds that isn’t purely speculative.

Oppo’s next foldable may launch later in 2022, but with the general lack of solid information, there’s a very real possibility that it could launch in 2023. The Fold N launched in late December 2021, however, so there’s a chance that the Oppo flip could be one of the final major hardware releases of the year.

Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold concept image.
WaqarKahnTech

There has been a lot of talk of the Pixel Fold since its notable absence earlier this year at Google I/O 2022. Rumors have said that it’s been delayed and then delayed again out of 2022, but until we hear official confirmation from Google, there’s still a chance that it could be launching before the year ends. Official information on the Pixel Fold has been hard to come by, but leaks have painted a pretty picture of what fans can expect.

Given the fact that Google always tends to impress when it comes to camera support, it wasn’t much of a surprise when a leak came out saying that the Pixel Fold will feature a 50MP, a 12MP, and an 8MP camera — the same lenses that the Pixel 6 is equipped with. It’ll likely be fitted with Google’s latest Tensor chipset that, while not as powerful as something like the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, is still a solid pick.

The main draw of the Pixel Fold is how it’ll make use of the large screen enhancements coming with Android 13. We’ve gotten a taste of what to expect with Android 12L, but because the Pixel Fold would be the first first-party Google foldable device to use the new OS, it would be a perfect showcase for its large-screen features.

The Pixel Fold has had a rocky history of cancellation rumors and delay rumors, but fans are hopeful that it could be coming at some point in 2022. There’s certainly the possibility that it could be pushed, especially if recent leaks are to be believed. But if it isn’t, it would mean that the competition in the foldable market is upping its game for the latter half of 2022.

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