Foldable phones still aren’t mainstream — but Samsung, Google and Motorola told me that’s going to change

As someone who reviews phones for a living, it's easy for me to say that foldable phones have come a long way since Samsung introduced the first Galaxy Fold in 2019. They're more durable now, and they're getting more affordable, too.

The foldable segment is also growing pretty quickly, with a new report from DSCC saying shipments rose in Q3 2023 215% quarter over quarter and 16% YoY. This was fueled by the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5

But when I started asking people in Times Square what they thought about foldable phones, it was a pretty stark reminder that there's still a lot of shoppers who don't even know what these devices are or why they should want them. Some even expressed sticker-shock when we told them how much a foldable costs. 

So what's the real state of foldable phones? To find out, I interviewed the industry's leading experts for our first episode of Tom's Guide's Living in the Future video series. This includes Michael Fisher (Mr. Mobile), who has over 1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, where he often documents his daily experiences with foldable phones. 

We also sat down with executives from Samsung, Google and Motorola to hear from the companies directly about their forward-thinking foldable strategies. 

Our goal by 2025 is to have foldables be 50% of our global flagship mix.

Drew Blackard, Samsung

Samsung's Drew Blackard, for example, said that "our goal by 2025 is to have (foldables) be 50% of our global flagship mix." Perhaps a Samsung Z Fold FE would drive adoption? We asked Blackard about when such a device could arrive.

Meanwhile, the Google Pixel Fold has turned heads with its wide front display, but Google's George Hwang told us that the company is already exploring flip-style foldables.

And you can't talk about flip-style foldables without bringing Motorola into the mix. The company launched two flip-style foldables in 2023: the Motorola Razr Plus with a big cover screen, and the Motorola Razr 2023 for under $700.

Are foldables poised to break through with the masses and what's all the hype really about? Sit back, relax and come live in the future with me by watching the video above.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.