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OnePlus Open: A Foldable Smartphone Review

Samsung pioneered the foldable phone, but now OnePlus has entered the arena, posing a challenge. The OnePlus Open offers larger displays, a sleeker build, and innovative multitasking with Open Canvas software. Notably, it pressures foldable phone prices, starting at $1,700, $100 less than competitors, with a trade-in deal slashing an additional $200. Amid Google’s debut in foldables, OnePlus Open adds further buzz to the market.

OnePlus Open Review: Display

The OnePlus Open boasts two displays akin to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold line: a 6.3-inch exterior screen and a 7.8-inch flexible panel. Both surpass the Z Fold 5 in size and offer 120Hz refresh rates. Notably, OnePlus emphasizes brightness, reaching up to 1,400 nits in standard use and an astonishing 2,800 nits in specific scenarios, such as outdoor HDR content viewing. While these claims couldn’t be fully verified due to maxed-out colorimeter readings, brightness was consistently impressive and never posed an issue.

image credit: Oneplus

OnePlus Open Review: Design

OnePlus adheres to an inward folding design akin to Samsung’s, prioritizing weight and dimensions. The black model, featuring a vegan leather back, weighs a mere 239 grams, slightly lighter than an iPhone 14 Pro Max, while the emerald dusk variant with a glass back weighs 245 grams. Impressively sleek at 11.7mm thick, thinner than the Pixel Fold, it boasts a wider exterior display for enhanced typing without added bulk.

Addressing key concerns, OnePlus handles the hinge and crease adeptly. A subtle groove runs along the main display, noticeable only at certain angles. The hinge offers smooth operation with a spring-loaded action, unlike competitors. Notably, the device closes flush, preventing foreign objects from entering. However, it holds an IPX4 water resistance rating, falling short of the IP68 standard of competitors.

OnePlus Open Review: Performance

The OnePlus Open, equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, offers performance akin to the Galaxy Z Fold 5, with minor differences favoring Samsung in benchmarks like Geekbench 6. However, in real-world usage, the variance is negligible. Notably, the Open boasts 16GB of RAM and 512GB of base storage, double that of its competitors.

What sets the Open apart is its multitasking prowess. With Open Canvas software, users can effortlessly manage three apps simultaneously, utilizing intuitive tabs for seamless navigation. This system streamlines multitasking, offering swift access to recent files with a dedicated icon, enhancing productivity.

Despite these strengths, some users may find the UI design lacking, especially following OnePlus’ merger with Oppo. The interface, characterized by rounded rectangle buttons, appears somewhat uninspired, albeit functional, particularly in the quick settings.

OnePlus Open Review: Cameras

With the Hasselblad partnership, OnePlus has significantly enhanced its camera capabilities, resulting in larger camera modules on its phones. The OnePlus Open features a substantial camera bump housing a sizable 64-MP LYTIA T808 main sensor from Sony, boasting enhanced low-light performance. While OnePlus claims top-tier image quality among foldable, it falls slightly short of Pixel Fold’s standards, particularly in low-light processing compared to Google’s Night Sight. Nonetheless, the Open’s photos exhibit sharpness, detail, superior dynamic range, and minimal sharpening artifacts when compared to the Z Fold 5.

OnePlus Open Review: Battery life

While OnePlus introduced wireless charging with the OnePlus 8 Pro in 2020, subsequent models like the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro, and 10 Pro supported this feature. However, wireless charging was omitted in the OnePlus 10T, and 11, and notably absent in the OnePlus Open.

The exclusion of wireless charging in a flagship foldable priced at $1,000 is disappointing, potentially attributed to concerns over thickness and design aesthetics. Despite this setback, wired charging impresses with speeds up to 67 watts, reaching 80 watts in Europe due to the higher power standard. However, proprietary charging limits fast charging to OnePlus’ included adapter, reducing speeds to approximately 30 watts with third-party adapters.

On a positive note, battery longevity excels, with the Open enduring 25.5 hours on the video rundown test with the exterior display, outperforming the Z Fold 5 by 1.5 hours. Similarly, with the main display, it lasts over 19 hours, showcasing commendable endurance.

OnePlus Open Review: Pricing

The OnePlus Open enters the foldable market at $1,700, undercutting competitors like the Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold by $100. Additionally, OnePlus offers a remarkable $200 discount with any phone trade-in, applicable to all devices regardless of age or condition. This brings the effective price down to $1,500, a significant saving compared to rivals. However, this discount is exclusively available through OnePlus directly.

OnePlus Open: A Foldable Smartphone Review

Concluding Thoughts: The OnePlus Open and Its Implications

Initially uncertain about OnePlus’ venture into foldable, the Open impresses with its robust hardware and innovative multitasking approach. Its cameras rival or even surpass those of the Z Fold 5, accompanied by larger screens. The design of the Open introduces refreshing features absent in Samsung’s incremental updates post-Z Fold 3 release.

Notably, the Open is also marketed as the Oppo Find N3, sharing identical specifications under different branding. Both variants promise four years of Android updates, five years of security patches, and compatibility with major US carriers. However, availability is restricted to online retailers, and servicing requires sending the device in, posing potential inconvenience for users, especially considering common issues like screen protector bubbling. Nonetheless, OnePlus’ debut in the foldable market is commendable.

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