You’ll realise quickly from the marketing images for folding flip phones that they’re aimed at young people (teenagers, uni students and young professionals) as well as women.
Bear that in mind when reading my comments below as I’m a slightly over 40 year old guy, so not in either of those demographic groups.
Cons – Fold Crease & Screen Protector Durability
The mid screen fold crease is quite obvious to your finger when scrolling up and down the screen. You might get used to it easily or might hate it so try some folding phones out in a shop before buying.
Something else to be aware of with all folding flip phones is you cannot remove the screen protector, it is key to protecting the screen and fold crease from damage.
So what happens if you scratch the screen protector or accidentally peel off an edge a bit?
Pro – Selfies
Folding flip phones are best suited to people who take lots of selfies and videos of social occasions as well as looking at other people’s photos and watching their videos.
In this case the bigger the external screen the easier it is to take photos and videos with your phone.
The example selfie below was taken with the Moto Razr 40 Ultra which has a full size external screen.
Con – Price
While aimed at the young these phones are not for anyone with a tight budget because most of them tend to cost around $1500-$2000 in Australia, which places them well into the premium phone price range.
The exception is the recently launched Moto Razr 40 which is priced at $999. Still not in the budget phone range but definitely more affordable than other Android foldable flip phones.
Pro – Short Length When Folded
If your pockets are small or you have no pockets and need to store your phone in a small handbag then a folding flip phone could be just right for you.
My photo below compares the size of the Moto Razr 40 Ultra with a Moto Edge 30 Pro.
Con – Thick When Folded
It may seem like a Captain Obvious statement but as you can see in my photo below the trade off for being half the length when folded is that a folding flip phone is twice as thick as a regular phone.
Pro – Creative Photography Options
Having a second external screen opens up lots of creative photo taking opportunities which mean you can take photos with the phone unfolded, half folded or even totally folded.
As an example below the Moto Razr 40 Ultra is folded and I am using the large external screen to take a photo of the view above (hollow glass lined core of the 1 Bligh St skyscraper in the Sydney CBD).
The Oppo Find N2 Flip also has an external screen, albeit a smaller one about 60% of the outside display, compared to the Moto Razr 40 Ultra which is full size.
Con – Charging Speeds and Battery Life
Compared to their high end traditional “flat” phones which are capable of charging speeds of 60-80 watts or more, the Moto Razr 40 Ultra (33 watts) and Oppo Find N2 Flip (44 watts) are only medium fast.
This is an issue because you’ll have to charge a folding flip phone more often.
The Moto only has a 3800mAh battery and the Oppo a 4300mAh battery. These are respectively about 76% and 86% of the battery size of a similarly priced traditional flat phone.
Oppo wins in both comparisons with a faster charging rate and bigger battery.
Pro – Folding Enables Creative Uses
As demonstrated by the Moto Razr 40 Ultra below and its built-in guide to folding phones the ability to use a phone unfolded, half folded, upside down in tent mode or even fully closed opens up lots of use cases you can’t achieve with a traditional flat phone.
Con – Dusty External Screen
Whether a folding phone has a full size or partial size external screen its going to get dusty and may require frequent careful wiping before use.
Pro – Clear Sound
Open or closed both phones had very clear audio while I listened to podcasts, calls etc through their speakers.
The benefit of an external screen meant I could pause/play without opening the phone and getting distracted by social media.
Con – Patchy Second Screen Support
Folding flip phones are a small percentage of Android phones so you’ll find that some of your favourite apps won’t support the external screen properly if you close the phone while doing something in that app.
Personally I wouldn’t buy one because I prefer to spend less than $1000 on a phone, rarely take selfies or video but as I mentioned the target market is women and people half my age who take lots of social photos and videos.
For those people folding Android flip phones have several unique strengths compared to a standard flat phone, just be aware of the pros and cons I’ve outlined.