Technology is forever evolving, and in the world of smartphones, it has had a massive impact. The first commercial foldable smartphone was brought to the market in 2018 by Royole. Soon in 2019, Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola followed in the footsteps of Royole and launched their own foldable smartphones. From that time onwards, foldable smartphones have seen serious improvements and upgrades. At this moment, Samsung’s Galaxy Z series is probably the top foldable smartphone in the market, but Oppo’s Find N2 Flip is providing great competition. Read the article to learn more about the coming foldable models that will be available in 2023.
Google Pixel Fold
Google has a bad reputation for shelving its hardware and software products, and the Pixel Book is its most recent victim. But from several reports, it can be confirmed that the project for the Google Pixel Fold has already gone further with leaked information available on CAD renders, accurate dimensional dummy units, and specifications. Several names like Pipit, Felix, Passport, and Notepad have been on the cards for Google’s foldable product, but it is yet to be confirmed what they will stick with. The launch of the first foldable from Google has been delayed quite a few times, but if all things go according to the plan, the Google Pixel Fold may debut with the Google Pixel 7a in May 2023. For flexible displays and larger layouts, Google will be introducing Android 12L, which is a specially optimized OS. You can expect ultra-thin glass on the inside with a 7.57 in display that will have a resolution of 1840 x 2208p. A probable maximum brightness of 1200 nits and a refresh rate of 120 Hz can be equipped with the selfie camera housed on the upper screen. Rumors suggest that the crease will be gentler than the Galaxy Fold, and when closed, it is going to have a 5.79 in display with a resolution of 1080 x 1900 p. The Google Pixel Fold will most likely have a water drop hinge, with the speakers located on the right bottom and top left of the thick bezels. The camera bump will be there, but it will not make the phone wobble, and the leaked information suggests that the main camera will have the Sony IMX787 sensor, the ultrawide will have the IMX386, and the telephoto along with the outside selfie camera will have the Samsung S5K3J1. The usage of the Tensor G2 chip is almost confirmed, along with the implementation of 12GB RAM. Reports have suggested that the Google Pixel Fold will be heavier and wider than its competition, which indicates the inclusion of a large battery. You can expect a price range of $1400-$1800, where Google should have the target to keep the price on the lower end.
Vivo X Flip
Two foldable smartphones have already been launched by Vivo, but none of them have hit the global market. Yet, another one, the Vivo X Flip, is in the pipeline, and we are yet to see if it gets outside China or not. Vivo mostly releases its flagship model in the month of November, but after releasing the Vivo X Fold in April 2022, it again released the Vivo X Fold+ in September 2022. Rumors relating to the release of the Vivo X Flip in April 2023 thus hold some basis. Further, the inclusion of a Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 processor in the device, according to leaked information, also suggests an early release as the company did not get time to implement the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2. Similar to the Moto Razr 2022, the secondary screen on the outside will be horizontal for the Vivo X Flip, as per the leaked images. The price of the device could be set around or above $1000 and will come with 128 GB storage and 12 GB RAM. The Vivo X Flip houses a circular camera module with Zeiss branding and a dual-lens setup, where the expected 50 MP primary camera will have a Sony IMX866 sensor and the 12 MP will have an IMX633 sensor. Rumors have it the display will be 6.8 in FHD+ and support a refresh rate of 120 Hz. With a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the power button, the device will be backed by a 4400 mAh battery and will also have a 44 W wired fast charger.
OnePlus teased an image about the coming of its foldable smartphone at their Cloud11 event, where the OnePlus 11, OnePlus Buds Pro 2, and OnePlus Pad, among many others, were launched. At MWC 2023, with the unveiling of the OnePlus 11 Concept phone, the company also made an official statement about the arrival of the OnePlus foldable in 2023. Now the company has announced that it will not release the OnePlus 11 Pro or OnePlus 11T, which usually hit the market in August. This can be the time slot for OnePlus to come out with its foldable phone. Several leaked reports have suggested that the OnePlus foldable will draw inspiration from the Oppo Find N series when it comes to design. But whether the form factor will be book style or clamshell, it is yet to be confirmed by the company. There are rumors that the device will be equipped with a 2K large screen, which is quite magnificent. OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme come under the umbrella of BBK Electronics, and as per leaked information, the price of the OnePlus foldable will be set around the price of the Oppo brand’s foldable smartphones. So expect a price of around $1000 or more when OnePlus launches its foldable. You must also consider one thing, that it could be a smart move for BBK Electronics to release a foldable with close to identical specifications to the Oppo Find N series under OnePlus, which has a solid customer base in the USA and Europe. Then Oppo’s foldable would only serve the Asian market, while the OnePlus would serve the American and European markets.
Tecno Phantom V Fold
Tecno is primarily a new smartphone brand that is surely going to create waves in the coming years, and it surprised everyone with the unveiling of the Tecno Phantom V Fold at MWC 2023. The Tecno Phantom V Fold has a unique finish that feels extremely grippy in the hand and is completely fingerprint resistant. Weighing around 299 g, the device will come with a 7.85 in LTPO AMOLED display when it is unfolded. A 6.42 in LTPO AMOLED display is on the cover, and both displays support a 120 Hz refresh rate, 1 billion colors, and 1100 nits of brightness. As per the specification sheet on the company’s official website, the Phantom V Fold will run on Android 13 (HiOS 13 Fold) and will be powered by MediaTek Dimensity 9000+. The device is equipped with a triple camera setting that includes 50 MP (wide), 50 MP (telephoto), and 13 MP (ultrawide), and has the ability to capture 4K videos at 30 FPS. The Phantom V Fold is expected to come with a whopping 5000 mAh battery and a 45 W wired charger, which has the ability to juice up the device to 100% within an hour. As far as the price is concerned, it will cost between $900-$1100, which seems quite fair with so many impressive features. The Phantom V Fold is expected to hit the retail market in the second quarter of 2023.
Huawei Mate X3
Some recent online advertisements have teased that Huawei is going to hold an event in March 2023. It can be expected that the company will launch the Huawei Mate X3 along with the P60 series at this event. Now the Mate X2 is available in the market for a whopping price tag of around $2500, which is quite disadvantageous as many other brands like Samsung, Oppo, and Motorola are offering some great foldable devices for far less. A few leaks have suggested that the company is trying to cut prices and bring them around or a bit above $1000 to stay in competition with other premium brands. It can be almost confirmed that the Huawei Mate X3 will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, like most flagships of 2023. But the unavailability of 5G due to some ongoing dispute with the US government is a real bummer. Though it is expected that the company will compensate for the loss of 5G with satellite connectivity, which the company has already introduced in its Mate 50 Pro. According to reports, the Huawei Mate X3 will follow the foldable book design and might have a 120 Hz refresh rate with a 6.45 in OLED display on the outer side. Several leaked information also suggests that the base variant of the Huawei Mate X3 will have 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage, along with a 4800mAh battery and a 66W wired fast charger.
If you are planning on buying a flagship model this year and want to try something innovative, then you can go for any of the foldable models mentioned here. Just make sure to check the specifications, and prices, as the ones mentioned in the article may vary at the time of release. To learn about more foldable options, you can check out Part 2 of the article.