Smartphone technology moves at a blistering pace, at least, on the Android side of things. Folding smartphones have been around for several years, but Samsung It has become the face in India though brands like Motorola, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are also experimenting in this segment. In the last two years we have seen a few Chinese clamshell foldables launch in India. This is mainly because Samsung is the only smartphone brand that has brought every single foldable model announced globally to India.
Another smartphone brand that has been moving into the premium segment for a while now OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone maker has time and again proven that it can deliver immense value with its products, but has always stayed away from the ultra-premium (from Rs 80,000) smartphone segment. So, what happens when a competing brand like OnePlus comes out with a foldable? i am using OnePlus Open Over a week and here’s why I think it’s a tough competitor to Samsung in this segment in India.
The OnePlus Open certainly looks the part and makes a solid first impression when you hold it. I got the Voyager Black Edition with a faux-leather textured back and a slate-gray matte finished frame that immediately reminded me of a retro-looking, premium compact camera. The large, cookie-shaped camera protrusion around the back (which is almost as thick as the phone when unfolded) is a sure indicator that OnePlus is serious about these foldable cameras. And if that’s not enough, there’s a Hasselblad ‘H’ logo on top of the raised camera module to reiterate its importance on the same.
The overall design is quite modern and minimalistic although this version (with the leather back) gives off a bit of a retro feel. The bezel around the outer display is quite thin and the same can be said about the inner folding display. Both displays have embedded hole-punch selfie cameras that are visible and not hidden from view Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5,
It is quite thin and light. When folded, the OnePlus Open is 11.9mm thick (excluding the camera bump) and when unfolded, it’s quite thin at just 5.9mm. Both of these measurements are downright impressive for a full-size foldable. Voyager Black Edition is quite light with a weight of only 239g. apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max, which this year is much lighter and simpler in terms of engineering, weighing 221g. In the foldable space, Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy Z Fold 5 weighs over a quarter kilo (253g) and feels much heavier and bulkier when I have usedindeed, it seems that OnePlus is setting some new standards and raising the bar when it comes to foldable smartphone design.
The phone has three speakers, which seems like an odd choice, but OnePlus claims it delivers better sound with them. The fingerprint reader sits inside the power button, and there’s also the iconic alert slider switch, which is available on OnePlus’ premium smartphones. It seems this foldable has been rated down to an IPX4, but it’s not really a ‘OnePlus smartphone’ if there’s no alert slider.
OnePlus seems to have matched its two displays in terms of color and power, so that users have the same experience when using both. There is a 6.31-inch 2K, 20:9 aspect ratio outer display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This results in an almost 1:1 aspect ratio main folding 2K display that measures 7.82-inches across and also offers a 120Hz refresh rate. Both AMOLED displays pack OnePlus’ ProXDR technology with LTPO 3.0 and offer a 240Hz touch sampling rate.
The phone packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, which is also available Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (Revaluation), however, has a 16GB LPDDR5X RAM (with RAM expansion up to 12GB) and 512GB UFS 4.0 storage. While all of this is to be expected from a top-end premium foldable, you have to remember that we’re only a few days away. announcement The next generation of this SoC, which should be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, will also feature a different architecture and better performance. Regardless, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is no slouch as we’ve seen OnePlus 11 5G between us Review,
As one can tell from the design of this foldable, the focus is on the camera experience, which is unlike any other foldables we’ve seen announced globally in the past. The primary camera is an attractive Sony LYT-T808 sensor with a 48-megapixel resolution (with OIS) and promises to bring in more light thanks to its new technology. The dual-layer transistor pixel technology (or pixel stacked) sensor allows it to be compact enough to fit into a slim body, but OnePlus also claims it delivers equally impressive performance, which I’ll examine in the full review.
The second camera is equally impressive on paper with the OmniVision IV64B with 3X optical zoom range, OnePlus claims up to 6X lossless zoom and a maximum range of 120X. Like the primary camera it also packs OIS. Finally, there’s the ultra-wide camera with a Sony IMX581 sensor with 48-megapixel resolution and 114-degree field of view. Since it has autofocus you also get a solid macro capability, which is larger than normal resolution. There are two selfie cameras, both of which are of the fixed-focus variety, and offer 20-megapixel and 32-megapixel resolutions.
The device is powered by a 4,805mAh dual-cell battery that can be charged at 67W. Charging is cable only. And the omission of wireless charging is likely a result of such a thin design. As for software, there’s OxygenOS 13.2, which is a bit strange because I expected it to run Android 14 out of the box.
Android 14-based software is said to be made available at a later date. OnePlus has some tricks up its sleeve with OxygenOS like a cool Recents folder in the taskbar that lets you copy and paste things around and between apps like on the desktop. There is also a feature called Open Canvas that allows one to run multiple apps at once, but more on that in the review.
OnePlus is new to the foldable space, though this product has been put together with help from Oppo. This kind of helps OnePlus start off on the right foot when competing with a brand like Samsung in a very niche but fast growing market segment. So far, everything sure looks impressive. OnePlus has managed to make its foldable thin and light, and it’s also packed an impressive set of cameras on paper, but it’s cut a few corners to get there. There’s no wireless charging (for a premium smartphone), no stylus support and it’s powered by, what will soon be, the latest processor in just a few months.
OnePlus has confirmed that its foldable is clearly a OnePlus device, but will these missing features affect its performance and put it at a lower level against the existing competition? There is also brand positioning to keep in mind. OnePlus, till now, has never sold an ultra-premium device in the Indian and global markets. Find out about all this and more in our detailed review coming soon.