I am absolutely impressed by the OnePlus Open. There are so many things that OnePlus got right with this phone, from its size and finish to its battery life to the multitasking experience to the Hasselblad-tuned camera. But most importantly, I’m happy that we now get a choice of foldables in the US. It’s also important to note that the Open’s 5G works on all major US carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, which hasn’t always been the case on previous OnePlus models.
- The front display is perfectly sized for doing everything you’d usually do on a slab smartphone
- $100 less than the Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 with twice the storage
- Thin and light design
- The hardware is immaculate and feels very polished
- You can multi-task with three easily accessed and resizable windows
- Excellent battery life
- Built-in IR remote
- 67W wired fast charging with the necessary cable and charger included in the box
- Factory-installed screen protector
- Included protective case
- Four years of Android OS updates and five years of security patches
- 5G works with all major U.S. carriers
- In the U.S., you can trade in any device in any condition for a minimum of $200 off the purchase price
- Only offers IPX4 water resistance when the competitors are offering IPX8
- No inductive charging
It’s only been a few weeks since my review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, which included a comparison of the Z Fold5 to the Google Pixel Fold. With the launch of the OnePlus Open, we now have a third 2023 full-size foldable to explore. Finally, we are getting real U.S. market competition in this exciting smartphone-to-tablet category! Offering impressive specs that include highly capable cameras, the largest foldable inner and main displays in their class, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, and the current top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, the Open offers more for less with little compromise.
I’m going to warn you upfront that this review is long. So grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable. I’ll wait.
Ready to begin?
Until I got my hot little hands on an early release OnePlus Open, if you had asked me about which foldable smartphone made the most sense to buy this year, I would have had to pick the Z Fold5.
As much as I have always preferred the stock Android experience on Pixel phones and dislike the tall, skinny front display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, there really wasn’t any choice.
This was mainly because Samsung has had five generations to largely perfect the foldable experience. As wide and usable as the Google Pixel Fold’s front display is, the inner screen and the way some of the software behaves make it feel very much like a first-gen device.
As I said in the conclusion of my Z Fold5 review:
Long story short, the Samsung search Galaxy Z Fold5 may still be the foldable leader for now, but other competition is finally here, and more is coming. To stay ahead of the other similar form-factor foldables, Samsung will need to up the ante and offer more than annual hinge tweaks, the latest flagship chipset, slightly better battery life, and their tablet-friendly software suite. For now, though, what it offers is just compelling enough to keep it ahead.
That ends now.
To tell you why I feel that way, let’s compare the OnePlus Open to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Google Pixel Fold.
OnePlus Open Specifications Compared to Its Current U.S. Competition
Before any trade-ins or carrier discounts, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 starts at $1,799.99 for the 12GB RAM with 256GB storage version, which is in line with the $1,799 Google charges for the Pixel Fold with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.
While it is still not inexpensive, the OnePlus Fold jumps ahead of the pricing game with a full-featured foldable that sells for $1699.99 with double the storage offered by the other brands.
Of course, numerous incentives and discounts are being offered to sweeten the deal, and I’ll cover them later in this review.
On top of the 16GB RAM and 512GB storage that the OnePlus Open includes, it also has RAM expansion, so you can add up to 12GB to the 16GB RAM when there is enough storage space available on your phone.
The Galaxy Z Fold5 with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage and the Pixel Fold with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage are $1,920-ish before discounts.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Right out of the gate, the OnePlus Open offers you more value in a foldable, assuming the smartphone’s hardware and software are up to snuff.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 measures 6.1″ tall by 2.69″ wide by 0.52″ when folded; it is 6.1″ tall by 5.11″ wide by 0.26″ thick when open, and it weighs 8.92 ounces.
The Google Pixel Fold measures 5.5″ tall by 3.1″ wide by 0.5″ thick when folded; it is 5.5″ tall by 6.2″ wide by 0.25″ thick when open, and it weighs 9.8 ounces.
In contrast, the OnePlus Open measures 6.03″ tall by 2.64″ wide by 0.46″ when folded; it is 6.03″ tall by 5.65″ wide by 0.23″ thick when open, and it weighs 8.8 ounces. In other words, its folded dimensions put it right in the middle of its competitors, but it weighs less than both.
But that’s not the only way, for the most part, that the specifications for the OnePlus Open dominate the Pixel Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold5.
The outer display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is a 6.2″ HD+ (2316 x 904) Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 401 pixels per inch (ppi) and a 23.1:9 aspect ratio, which, as in versions past, makes for a long, skinny screen.
The Google Pixel Fold opts for a shorter, squatter design with a 5.8″ FHD+ (1080 x 2092) OLED with 408 ppi and a 17.4:9 aspect ratio.
In comparison, the OnePlus Open’s outer display is larger than both of its competitors, with its 6.31″ (2484 x 1116 (2K)) Super Fluid AMOLED (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) 3.0) with 431 ppi and a 20:09 aspect ratio.
This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it matters when you are doing most of your texting from the main display, as you can see by these screenshots of the comparative keyboards.
For their inner (or main) displays, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 offers a 7.6″ QXGA+ (2176 x 1812) Dynamic AMOLED covered in Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) with 374ppi, a 21.6:18 aspect ratio and 1,750 nits at its brightest.
The Google Pixel Fold is also 7.6″ (2208 x 1840), with an OLED covered in UTG with 380 ppi, a 6:5 aspect ratio and 1550 nits at its brightest.
Once again, the OnePlus Open dominates with the largest main display; it has a 7.82″ (2440 x 2268 (2K)) Flexi-fluid AMOLED (LTPO 3.0) covered in UTG with 426 ppi, a 1.0758:1 aspect ratio and 2800 nits at its brightest.
It pains me to say it because y’all know how much I love my Pixel phones, but next to the OnePlus Open and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, the bezels around the Google Pixel Fold’s inner display look positively outdated.
All three phones offer an adaptive display rate of up to 120Hz on their external and internal displays. Where the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Google Pixel Fold use Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on their outer displays, the OnePlus Open uses Ceramic Guard, which we’ll talk about more in-depth later in this review.
On top of that, the OnePlus Open includes a factory-installed screen protector film, which is something I appreciate about most, if not all, OnePlus phones.
Sure, you can peel it off if you prefer the smooth glass under your fingertips, but that extra layer of protection right out of the box is a thoughtful consideration.
All three phones can be unlocked via PIN, pattern, facial recognition, or the fingerprint reader embedded in their power buttons.
In the above photos, you’ll see that they all fold shut without a gap next to their hinges. When opened, they each have a slight crease in the center where the phone’s UTG folds, but the OnePlus Open’s crease is almost invisible to the eye and the touch.
The area where you would expect to see and feel the crease is shockingly smooth and barely registers as a slight bump to the touch. You can easily see what I’m talking about in this series of photos.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Google Pixel Fold do outshine the OnePlus Open with their IPX8-rated water resistance, which means they can handle being submerged in 3′ of water for up to 30 minutes. Not that you should ever do this!
The OnePlus Open offers an IPX4 water resistance rating, which is not as impressive on paper yet should still offer users confidence; it means that the Open can withstand heavy rain or splashes from any direction, although it should not be submerged.
OnePlus has taken steps to protect the important components inside the phone from water to ensure that if it does get wet, the water won’t enter the vital internal parts. On the hinge, they’ve also added drainage holes on both sides so that water can exit to help minimize the time and extent of water exposure.
As I said in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review, you should look at each device’s water resistance rating as more of a “peace of mind thing” versus an invitation to bring any of these phones into the pool or hot tub with you.
You should also keep in mind that none of these phones offer any dust resistance, so care needs to be taken that you don’t allow dirt or detritus to linger on those inner displays.
In other words, you should keep a microfiber cloth handy, regardless of which folding phone you might pull the trigger on.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 has a 4,400mAh battery with 25W wired and 10-15W inductive (wireless) charging, and the Pixel Fold has a 4,821mAh battery with 30W wired and 7.5W inductive charging. Neither phone has a charger in the box, so you must supply your own.
The OnePlus Open, on the other hand, has a 4,805mAh battery with 67W wired charging, but there is no inductive charging. I’ll talk more about this in the battery section of this review.
It’s worth noting, however, that OnePlus is one of the few smartphone manufacturers that still includes a wall charger with their phones. The Open comes with an 80W max SUPERVOOC charger in the box, which can even power many laptops!
Both the OnePlus Open and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 are powered by the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, while the Pixel Fold uses their in-house Tensor G2.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 has a 10-megapixel front display selfie cam and a 4-megapixel under-display selfie cam on the main display, and the Google Pixel Fold has a 9.5-megapixel front display selfie cam and an 8-megapixel inner display selfie cam.
In contrast, the OnePlus Open has a 32-megapixel front display selfie cam and a 20-megapixel inner display selfie cam.
The rear cameras on the Z Fold5 include a 50-megapixel wide-angle with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 10-megapixel telephoto with 3X optical zoom and OIS.
At the same time, the Pixel Fold has a 48-megapixel with OIS, a 10.8-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 10.8-megapixel telephoto camera with a 5X optical zoom and up to 20X super-resolution zoom with OIS.
The rear cameras on the OnePlus Open include a 48-megapixel Sony LYT-T808 “pixel stacked” complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) main camera with OIS and electronic image stabilization (EIS), a 64-megapixel OmniVision OV64B telephoto with 3X optical zoom and 6X in-sensor zoom and OIS and EIS, and a 48-megapixel Sony IMX581 ultra-wide with 3.5 cm macro; all three cameras have autofocus.
Finally, depending upon where you purchase them, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is available in Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray, and Blue; the Google Pixel Fold is available in Porcelain or Obsidian; and the OnePlus Open is available in Emerald Dusk or Voyager Black.
I know I’ve just thrown a lot of measurements and stats at you, so here’s a side-by-side chart of what each smartphone offers.
|Phone||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5||Google Pixel Fold||OnePlus Open|
|Measurements & Weight Closed:||6.1″ tall by 2.69″ wide by 0.46″ thick; 8.92 ounces||5.5″ tall by 3.1″ wide by 0.5″ thick; 9.8 ounces||6.03″ tall by 2.64″ wide by 0.46″; the green version is 8.8 ounces, and the black version is 8.43 ounces|
|Measurements Open:||6.1″ tall by 5.11″ wide by 0.24″ thick||5.5″ tall by 6.2″ wide by 0.25″ thick||6.03″ tall by 5.65″ wide by 0.23″ thick|
|Front Display:||6.2″ HD+ (2316 x 904) Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 401 pixels per inch (ppi) and a 23.1:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus||5.8″ FHD+ (1080 x 2092) OLED with 408 ppi and a 17.4:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus||6.31 “(2484 x 1116 (2K)) Super Fluid AMOLED (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) 3.0) that has 431 ppi and a 20:09 aspect ratio, Ceramic Guard|
|Inner Display:||7.6″ QXGA+ (2176 x 1812) Dynamic AMOLED covered in Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) with 374ppi, a 21.6:18 aspect ratio and 1,750 nits at its brightest||7.6″ (2208 x 1840) OLED covered in UTG with 380 ppi, a 6:5 aspect ratio, and 1550 nits at its brightest||7.82″ (2440 x 2268 (2K)) Flexi-fluid AMOLED (LTPO 3.0) covered in UTG with 426 ppi, a 1.0758:1 aspect ratio and 2800 nits at its brightest|
|Dront and Inner Display Refresh Rates:||Up to 120Hz||Up to 120Hz||Up to 120Hz|
|Front Display Camera:||10-megapixel||9.5-megapixel||32-megapixel|
|Inner Display Camera:||4-megapixel under-display||8-megapixel||20-megapixel|
|Main Cameras:||50-megapixel wide-angle with OIS; 12-megapixel ultra-wide; 10-megapixel telephoto with 3X optical zoom and OIS||48-megapixel with OIS; 10.8-megapixel ultra-wide; 10.8-megapixel telephoto camera with a 5X optical zoom and up to 20X super-resolution zoom with OIS||48-megapixel Sony LYT-T808 “pixel stacked” CMOS main camera with OIS and EIS; 64-megapixel OmniVision OV64B telephoto with 3X optical zoom and 6X in-sensor zoom, OIS and EIS; 48-megapixel Sony IMX581 ultra-wide with 3.5 cm macro|
|Processor:||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy||ROW10 COL3 CONTENT||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform|
|Wired Charging Speed:||25W||30W||67W|
|Inductive Charging Speed:||10-15W||7.5W||None|
|Accessories Included in the Box:||Type-C to Type-C charging cable and a SIM tool||Type-C to Type-C charging cable and a SIM tool||USB Type-A to Type-C cable, 80W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter, Protective case, Pre-applied screen protector, SIM tool, and OnePlus logo stickers|
|Memory & Price Before Any Discounts:||$1,799.99, 12GB/256GB
|$1,799, 12GB RAM/ 256GB
|Updates Included:||Four years of major Android OS upgrades/ five years of security||Three years of major Android OS upgrades/ five years of security||Four years of major Android OS upgrades/ five years of security|
|Colors Available:||Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray, and Blue||Porcelain or Obsidian||Emerald Dusk or Voyager Black|
And with that competitor hardware overview out of the way, let’s dig deeper into the OnePlus Open.
A Walk-Around the OnePlus Open
Like OPPO, Vivo, iQOO, and realme, OnePlus is a part of the BBK Electronics’ brand family. OnePlus and OPPO merged their Research and Development teams in 2021. While each brand maintains its own identity and continues to work independently, there have been and will continue to be some beneficial crossovers.
Due to the shared R&D with OPPO, you can see evidence of these crossovers in how OPPO is getting to use some of OnePlus’s innovations, like the alert slider we recently saw on the OPPO Find N3 Flip that Myriam recently reviewed. The OnePlus Open benefits from the R&D that went into previous generations of the OPPO Find N series folding smartphone series.
You can learn more about how this process worked in relation to the OnePlus Open from this segment of the Open Table Talk that Michael Josh Villanueva of GadgetMatch and I participated in with Marcel Campos of OnePlus after the Open’s launch event. This video is cued to start at that point.
So, while the OnePlus Open is technically a first-generation device, it really isn’t; the hardware and the software’s performance are a testament to that fact.
Inside the box are the device, a OnePlus red high-speed USB Type-A to Type-C cable, an 80W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter, a quick start guide, a welcome letter, a OnePlus Red Cable Club card, a protective case, a pre-applied screen protector, a SIM tool, a sheet of OnePlus logo stickers, and the safety information and warranty card.
The OnePlus Open measures 6.03″ tall by 2.64″ wide by 0.46″ when folded, and it weighs 8.8 ounces, which is 0.12 ounces less than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and a full ounce less than the Google Pixel Fold.
That’s a substantial one-ounce weight difference between the Open and the Pixel Fold. If you’ve ever experienced wrist fatigue while using a heavier device for extended periods, you know that every bit of weight you can shave off helps.
In fact, the OnePlus Open matches the weight of the iPhone 14 Pro Max from last year, even with its dual displays, larger battery, and larger camera module. As that was the iPhone I carried until getting the slightly lighter titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max, I find this pretty incredible.
The OnePlus Open has a 6.31″ 2K display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and a touch response rate of up to 240Hz. It can reach a peak brightness of 2800nits, and in high brightness mode (HBM), it goes up to 1400nits; the result is bright, smooth, and responsive visuals in any lighting.
The OnePlus Open’s main display is covered in Ceramic Guard, which OnePlus says is a “proprietary ion exchange treated glass-ceramic.”
They say that at the same size and thickness, “Ceramic Guard is 20% more robust than Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.”
I still have the factory-installed protector on mine, so I can’t really comment on Ceramic Guard’s durability. If I ever remove the protector and don’t immediately replace it with another, I’ll update this review with my experience.
I’ve been using foldable smartphones for several years now, and here’s what I have learned about using book-style smartphones, which fold rather than flip:
Much, if not most of the time, you’ll likely find yourself using the folding phone’s main display, which is why its size and day-to-day usability are so important.
Having a front display that is similarly sized to the slab phones you’re used to using is important! And the OnePlus Open’s front display is one you’ll be able to use without any caveats.
Whether you are replying to a text, answering an email, or doing any of the other things you usually do on your smartphone, everything can be comfortably done on the OnePlus Open without even opening the device.
At the top of the front display is the 32-megapixel selfie cam and a very slim ear speaker.
When the OnePlus Open is folded, you’ll see a microphone, a speaker, and two antenna bands on each top half.
The OnePlus Open uses a Flexion Hinge, which is designed to be a simple and strong structure that’s more efficient and robust than the typical three-part hinges used in most folding devices.
This hinge design allowed OnePlus to use fewer parts without sacrificing quality and durability — there are just 69 instead of the usual 100+ — which results in a stronger, lighter hinge and a lighter device overall.
OnePlus says that the Open has been tested to withstand one million folds, which is significantly higher than the 200,000-fold claim made by Samsung and Google.
I’ve found that the hinge keeps the display rigidly in place from about 45º to ~50º. Anything less than 45º, which would be unrealistic for use when in a video call or when watching a movie, and the display will snap shut.
Setting it at anything above ~50º causes the phone to need to be held in place so it won’t tip backward, and after about 70º, it will simply open fully.
On the bottom edge of the folded OnePlus Open are a microphone and a speaker on the top half. On the bottom half, there is a dual nanoSIM tray, a USB-C port, and another speaker, with dual antenna bands on each half.
I want to point out that this is the first dual nanoSIM tray we have seen in a U.S. OnePlus device in several generations, and I am thrilled to see it return. The Open also supports eSIM, so you have the option of using that, as well.
OnePlus uses a unique triple spatial speaker setup in the Open, which they tout as a first in the foldable smartphone world and among smartphones in general.
These spatial speakers share similarities with the audio systems found in high-end laptops; they work in conjunction with a custom spatial audio algorithm to enhance special content, including Dolby Atmos formats, and the result is three-dimensional, immersive sound. This audio experience also applies when you’re using wireless earbuds.
Using either method, I’ve found the sound produced by the OnePlus Open excellent.
On the right side, where the two outer edges of the displays meet when folded, OnePlus fans will be happy to see the ridged alert slider is present, which, when moved up or down, allows you to set the phone to Silent, Vibrate, or Ring.
On the bottom edge is a power button with a built-in fingerprint reader and a volume rocker button.
As you’ve likely noticed, I have the Emerald Dusk OnePlus Open, which has a smooth back cover of frosted glass. It has an eye-catching finish that shimmers when light is shone on it directly; otherwise, it just looks like a lovely matte green glass.
It’s quite beautiful, but I won’t get to enjoy it very often as I’ll be keeping the Open in its included case.
The OnePlus Open’s protruding camera module is the visual highlight on the rear; I think it looks impressive, and though it takes up about a third of the back and might seem like it could get in the way when you’re using the OnePlus Open, that hasn’t been an issue at all.
The camera’s module is designed so that the camera sensors are under an outer glass cover. This protects the lenses and creates a space similar to the intricate layering in high-end watches.
Adding to its distinctive styling is the light-reflective CD pattern etched into the dial surrounding the camera lenses; it catches the light and adds visual interest.
Suppose you prefer something a little less colorful. In that case, the Voyager Black version comes with a rear cover made of pebbled vegan leather, giving it a classy, high-end appearance and a different tactile experience when held.
When you’re ready for a more immersive experience, all you have to do is (oh no, here comes the pun) open the Open.
Inside, you’re greeted with the large 7.82″ main display, which boasts an impressive 89.6% screen-to-body ratio, a refresh rate of 1-120Hz, and a touch response rate of 240Hz. The upper right corner has a 20-megapixel punch-hole selfie cam.
Unlike my Google Pixel Fold, which did not open flat for the first month or so and still sometimes won’t do so without an extra push, the OnePlus Open is perfectly flat and balanced in hand when unfolded, just as you would expect it to be.
Having a moment to read, surf, play a game, watch videos, or multitask and take advantage of the larger inner display makes foldables so exciting. There’s no need to carry another device when your phone can open into a tablet.
This main display matches the quality of the front display, and it supports a brightness of up to 2,800 nits. The flexible OLED screen sits atop a carbon fiber display support and is protected by an Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) layer.
On top of these, a layer of TPU shields the display from physical impacts, and finally, there is an anti-reflection screen protector applied to prevent glare and everyday wear and tear.
Using the OnePlus Open outside, both displays will immediately brighten for readability, and I found that it would stay brighter for longer than the Samsung Galaxy X Fold5 or the Google Pixel Fold, as both of their displays would lower their brightness after a few minutes, presumably to prevent overheating.
The OnePlus Open is the first foldable smartphone to support LTPO 3.0 on dual displays. LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) 3.0 technology intelligently reduces power consumption by dynamically switching between refresh rates to get smooth visuals at up to 120Hz.
One personal thing to note: I really like the satisfying “snap” you get when you close the OnePlus Open.
The OnePlus Open Cameras
One of the most distinctive features of the OnePlus Open is its rear camera module, which protrudes 5mm from the back of the device.
Starting at the top and going counter-clockwise in the camera module is the 48-megapixel Sony LYT-T808 “pixel stacked” CMOS main camera, which has optical image stabilization (OIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS).
Next, there is a64-megapixel OmniVision OV64B telephoto with 3X optical zoom and 6X in-sensor zoom and OIS and EIS, and a 48-megapixel Sony IMX581 ultra-wide with 3.5 cm macro. All three cameras have autofocus.
On the upper left, there is a very bright LED flash.
The LYT-T808 main camera features Sony’s new LYTIA “Pixel Stacked” image sensor, a first for foldable smartphones. Despite its small size, this 1/1.43-inch “Pixel Stacked” CMOS sensor delivers image quality that’s on par with the 1″ Sony IMX989.
To keep the phone slim and lightweight, a customized OV64B telephoto image sensor was specially designed for the OnePlus Open. Combining the lens motor and barrel into a single module, OnePlus made the OV64B telephoto sensor 12% smaller, reducing its size by 0.4mm.
Photos Taken with the OnePlus Open
I will preface showing you these photos by saying that I’ve had the OnePlus Open since September 28th, but the camera’s software wasn’t updated until October 16th to include optimization to overexposure in certain scenes and to enhance the clarity of telephoto night scenes.
Even so, it is obvious that OnePlus’s partnership with Hasselblad has come into its own.
The OnePlus Open’s cameras are exceptional, and they have really impressed me over the past few weeks, so much so that I feel that this device is as good or even better than the Pixel I have long touted as having the best cameras on a mobile device!
Take a look for yourself, and see what you think. I have included more photos than usual in my reviews, which is a testament to how much I enjoy using the OnePlus Open’s cameras.
[If you’d like to see the larger version of any of these photos, right-click in the slide show and select “open image in a new tab.”]
I have found the OnePlus Open’s cameras to be some of the best I’ve ever used, and it’s impressive to have such fantastic cameras available on a foldable!
OnePlus Open Software
Making the apps that you use every day look good on a folding phone’s display isn’t just a matter of stretching out the experience you’d get on a smaller screen. And what’s the point of having all that extra screen real estate if you can’t be more productive when the need hits?
About 95% of the apps you use daily will work smoothly on the inner, larger display, and they won’t require any odd visual adjustments or resizing.
I mean, look at the comparison of what Instagram looks like between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, the Google Pixel Fold, and the OnePlus Open when using the foldables open and in landscape orientation!
The Z Fold5 and the Open handle it well, but the Pixel Fold has to be held in portrait orientation to look like it is using as much of the display as possible, which is disappointing.
OnePlus recently released OxygenOS 13.2 with Open Canvas, which focuses on enhancing everyday productivity; with it, multi-window tasks and split-screen usage are not confined to the screen’s physical size.
You can freely stretch and resize active windows, with secondary windows smoothly sliding in and out of view as needed, giving you quick access to the apps you need.
On the OnePlus Open, you can have up to three app windows on the screen simultaneously, in either vertical or horizontal orientation. These split-screen windows can be easily moved and resized as needed.
You can save up to nine multi-app presets, so you’ll always have instant access to your favorite multi-app combinations, allowing you to create a more personalized workspace.
With OxygenOS 13.2 for the OnePlus Open, there is a taskbar near the bottom of the large inside screen, providing a desktop-like experience for quick access to both recent and preset applications.
You can make the taskbar go away or come back when inside any app by pressing on the bottom right of the inner display. You can also set it to show by swiping it up from the bottom of the screen, and it will go away if you haven’t used it in a few seconds.
The OnePlus Open also has a “Recent” folder on the taskbar, which gives you quick access to recent photos, saved images, and edited documents. You can also easily share files by dragging them directly into compatible instant messaging apps like WhatsApp for quick sharing.
Among all the baked-in OxygenOS 13.2, you’ll also find a Smart Sidebar that you can load with your most used apps, keeping them handy for quick access from any screen and in any app.
One thing that might concern current Samsung Galaxy Z Fold users is that no stylus capability is being marketed to use with the OnePlus Open’s inner display.
However, if you dig around in the settings a bit, you’ll find that quite a few are devoted to stylus use! Hm.
While the stylus that works with the OnePlus Pad is not compatible with the OnePlus Open, I have it on good authority that the OPPO stylus that works with the OPPO Find N2 will work on both the outer and inner displays, so if a stylus is important to you, keep that in mind.
Unfortunately, I own that particular stylus, or I would have given it a try.
One more cool thing about the pen is the built-in IR Remote! I have a TCL television in my office that has a remote that seems to gobble batteries, so every other time I go to turn it on, I find that the remote is dead, which is really annoying! With the OnePlus Open’s IR remote, I was able to program in my TCL TV, and now it can be controlled by my phone.
This may not be a big deal for many, but I think it’s huge! All you have to do to set it up is add your device by type (in my case, TV), select the brand (TCL), and then it will ask if the TV is on or not (in my case, it was not). Hit the correct answer, and then it will walk you through finding the right IR magic to work on your particular item.
And just like that, my office TV’s battery-eating remote has been retired to a drawer!
It’s also worth mentioning that the OnePlus Open will receive major Android version upgrades for four years and security upgrades for five years. Additionally, OnePlus will collaborate with partners like Google to enhance the user interface and experience for an extended duration.
OnePlus Open Performance and Battery Life
The OnePlus Open is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, and it comes standard with a whopping 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, Wi-Fi 7 support, and dual 5G dual SIM connectivity. While the OnePlus Open does not have mmWave capability, it is compatible with all major US carriers.
As expected, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform lends itself to snappy performance; I haven’t experienced any lags or stutters when using the OnePlus Open, and I have zero complaints about its performance.
The heat dissipation system in the OnePlus Open is designed specifically for their first foldable phone to dissipate heat from the chipset, display, cameras, modem, and other major heat sources, ensuring the device remains cool and smooth even during demanding tasks.
I have noticed that the OnePlus Open doesn’t get as hot in my hand while doing intensive tasks, which I have repeatedly experienced on the Pixel Fold.
Since the Open doesn’t use inductive charging, there is no heat buildup when it’s on a “wireless” charger, which you will experience with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Google Pixel Fold.
Less heat is a good thing.
Heat is a killer in a smartphone; it puts pressure on the battery and shortens its life, but it can also cause the liquid crystal structures in LCDs to break under concentrated heat points, and it can even weaken the soldering points on the smartphone’s mainboard.
The OnePlus Open also offers a long battery life; I keep the always-on display going all the time, and yet I can easily go from morning until bedtime with moderate use.
On days when I am using the OnePlus Open heavily, and I start getting “range anxiety” — let’s say the 4,805mAh battery has fallen below 50% before 8 p.m. and my evening is just getting started — that’s where the 67W charger comes in handy.
With it, the OnePlus Open can go from 1% to 100% in about 40 minutes, so top-offs from 30% and up are quickly handled.
I completely understand that not having inductive charging on the OnePlus Open will be a pain point for some people, especially if they are used to plopping their device on a wireless charger in their car or at night.
To that point, you can hear Marcel Compos talking more about the decision not to include inductive charging on the Open during the Open Table Talk. This video is cued to start at that point.
Some of the main reasons for not including inductive charging include that it would have made this device heavier and thicker if they had kept the same battery size, or they would have had to reduce the battery’s size to keep the weight and thickness down.
As you just heard in the video, OnePlus isn’t ruling out adding inductive charging in future devices. Still, I think they made a solid compromise in this case, as the OnePlus is a perfectly manageable thickness and weight.
I appreciate the inclusion of such a capable and large battery. Even so, I will note the lack of inductive charging as a con because it is something people have come to expect on a flagship device.
Should You Buy the OnePlus Open?
I carry two phones on me every day — an iPhone (currently the 15 Pro Max) and an Android, which helps me remain device agnostic — and the Open has become my Android device of choice.
In case it’s not obvious by this point, I am absolutely impressed by the OnePlus Open. There are so many things that OnePlus got right with this phone, from its size and finish to its battery life to the multitasking experience to the Hasselblad-tuned camera.
But most importantly, I’m happy that we now get a choice of foldables in the U.S. It’s also important to note that the Open’s 5G works on all major U.S. carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, which hasn’t always been the case on previous OnePlus models.
One point of concern might be that you can’t buy the OnePlus Open directly from a U.S. carrier store. While I can understand that issue, I have to admit that I am relieved in a way that they didn’t tie themselves to a particular carrier because, in the past, especially when they were tied to T-Mobile in the U.S., that has resulted in sacrificing the dual SIM capability or 5G with other carriers.
With the fully unlocked Open, you can enjoy 5G service from any carrier while using multiple carrier SIM cards or eSIM simultaneously, which equals more freedom of choice for us!
When building a new phone, most companies focus on doing one big thing better than the competition. OnePlus took a different approach: focus on the little things. The result is truly magical. The Open is a class-leading phone that should entice anyone with a Galaxy Fold (or the Pixel Fold).
The OnePlus Open isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. Each foldable right now has major flaws, whether it’s in design, performance, or cameras. OnePlus excels in all these categories while also setting charging, battery life, and value benchmarks for foldable phones in Western markets.
The first Galaxy Fold ushered in a new era, the Pixel Fold raised the stakes for foldable cameras, and now OnePlus has built a foldable that surpasses everything on the market. We’ll see how the competition responds, but for now at least, the OnePlus Open is the best foldable phone.
And if you’d like another take, be sure to check out Michael Josh’s video review of the OnePlus Open:
We’re still not quite to the point where foldables are an affordable option for everyone, but if you are in the market for a flagship device, the OnePlus Open is certainly an option to consider, especially when you look at the incentives and discounts offered at purchase.
Finally, I want to say that it is not often that I call any product the best, but in this case, I feel very comfortable saying that the OnePlus Open is the best 2023 foldable smartphone you can buy in the U.S.
Special Offers, Incentives, and Where You Can Buy the OnePlus Open
If you subscribed for updates on the Open between October 12th and October 19th, you’ll receive a $50 coupon.
Pre-orders made between 11 a.m. EST on October 19th and 11:59 p.m. EST on October 25th will receive a $200 trade-in credit with any phone in any condition, up to $1000 off with an eligible trade-in and a pair of free limited to 5,000 edition of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, 24 months of 0% APR financing will be offered.
You’ll also receive three months of YouTube Premium and six months of Google One 100GB membership.
After midnight on October 26th, you’ll be eligible for a $200 trade-in credit with any phone in any condition and up to $1000 off with an eligible trade-in.
You will also receive a pair of limited edition Buds Pro 2 earbuds in white, 24 months of 0% APR financing, three months of YouTube Premium, and six months of Google One 100GB membership.
If you pre-order between 11 a.m. EST on October 19th and 11:59 p.m. EST on October 25th, you’ll receive a $200 Amazon gift card, 12 months of 0% APR financing, three months of YouTube Premium, and six months of Google One 100GB membership with your pre-order.
Open sales will start at midnight EST on October 26th; you’ll get 12 months at 0% APR financing, three months of YouTube Premium, and six months of Google One 100GB membership with your purchase.
If you order between October 26th and November 5th, you’ll also receive a $200 Amazon gift card.
Availability on Amazon CA will be unveiled at a later date.
Open sales will begin at midnight EST on October 26th.
Depending on the device, They will offer enhanced trade-ins of up to $800, with a $200 bonus based on the original eligible trade-in and $300 to $400 off with activation offers. On top of that, you’ll get three months of YouTube Premium and six months of Google One 100GB membership.
BestBuy Canada (online and on display in 48 locations)
Open sales will begin at midnight EST on October 26th.
If you pre-order between 11 a.m. EST on October 19th and 11:59 p.m. EST on October 25th, you’ll receive three months of YouTube Premium and six months of Google One 100GB membership; during this pre-order period, you’ll also receive a $300 (CAD) gift card.
Open sales will begin at midnight EST on October 26th. You’ll get three months of YouTube Premium and six months of Google One 100GB membership; if you purchase the OnePlus Open between October 26th and November 5th, you’ll also receive a $300 (CAD) gift card.
All phones received for trade-in will be recycled in partnership with The Wireless Alliance. They will take in the phones and either donate their equivalent amount or refurbish and donate the devices.
The OnePlus Open sells for $1699.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: The front display is perfectly sized for doing everything you’d usually do on a slab smartphone; $100 less than the Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 with twice the storage; Thin and light design; The hardware is immaculate and feels very polished; You can multi-task with three easily accessed and resizable windows; Excellent battery life; Built-in IR remote; 67W wired fast charging with the necessary cable and charger included in the box; Factory-installed screen protector; Included protective case; Four years of Android OS updates and five years of security patches; 5G works with all major U.S carriers; In the U.S, you can trade in any device in any condition for a minimum of $200 off the purchase price
What Needs Improvement: Only offers IPX4 water resistance when the competitors are offering IPX8; No inductive charging