Samsung dominates the Android market for foldable smartphones, with their devices leading sales in the category. The company’s success in this space can be attributed to several factors, including the innovative features offered by their foldables and their reputation as a premium smartphone brand. Samsung has consistently delivered high-quality foldable offerings in India, demonstrating their commitment to excellence in both hardware and software aspects. Their focus on details such as customer support and after-sales service further highlights their dedication to ensuring a seamless user experience for their customers.
For years, OnePlus has been trying to catch up to Samsung in the high-end smartphone market. Starting out as a disruptor with affordable “flagship killer” devices, OnePlus has since evolved into a respected brand known for its premium products that compete directly with industry giants like Samsung and Motorola. Along with offering great value, OnePlus has also focused on delivering optimized software experiences. Over time, the Chinese smartphone maker has even developed its own ecosystem of devices, including audio accessories, tablets, TVs, and more, putting it on par with Samsung and Apple.
Now, let’s see what happens when a brand as ambitious as OnePlus takes on the one area that has been Samsung’s forte for the past four years – foldables. Can OnePlus surpass Samsung’s expertise in this domain? Will consumers be interested in taking a chance on a new player in the foldable smartphone market, which has been dominated by Apple and Samsung? Keep reading to find out
OnePlus Open Review: Design
OnePlus smartphones are typically known for their high-end and curved designs. However, the company’s more affordable Nord series of devices has recently been given a different design treatment, featuring flat sides and sharp edges that appeal to younger users. The OnePlus Open, on the other hand, marks a significant departure from the usual design language found in premium OnePlus smartphones.
The OnePlus Open’s design is truly eye-catching, particularly the Voyager Black version, which boasts a camera-like appearance that’s reminiscent of retro cameras. The faux leather-based textured backing not solely gives a novel look but additionally supplies a comfortable grip. The smooth-end metal frame in gray adds a touch of luxury and professionalism, paying homage to high-end skilled cameras. The elevated digicam module on the again completes the look, together with the placing of the flash unit exterior the digicam module. General, the OnePlus Open exudes a way of exclusivity and premium high quality, setting it aside from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5, which has a extra conventional smartphone design.
When folded, the hinge sits on the left aspect of the cellphone, which could possibly be a bit uncomfortable as it pokes into the hand. Nonetheless, this solely occurs when holding the cellphone within the left hand; it doesn’t make contact with the hinge when held within the proper hand.
One other thing to note is the placement of the buttons. The highest half of the machine has the Alert slider switch, whereas the underside half has the facility button and quantity controls. That is reverse to the standard OnePlus layout, which locations the Alert slider and energy button on the appropriate aspect and the amount rocker on the left. It might require some getting used to, however total, the OnePlus Open’s design is a refreshing departure from the norm.
After using the OnePlus Open for several weeks, I still find myself struggling to locate the volume button, which is placed slightly too high up on the right side of the phone. Additionally, when you “open” the Open, the Alert slider moves to the left side of the phone, which is different from the traditional OnePlus layout. While I understand that the Open is not a typical OnePlus smartphone, I think the company should have stuck with its usual format for all three buttons instead of doing something different.
Another issue that comes to mind when considering a foldable phone is weight. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold phones have typically weighed over 250 grams, while Google’s Pixel Fold is even heavier at 283 grams. In contrast, the OnePlus Open weighs between 239 and 245 grams, depending on the finish chosen, and is significantly slimmer when unfolded. This is impressive given the phone’s size and features, and it’s even lighter than last year’s iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The OnePlus Open has a unique hinge design that allows it to be very slim and compact, but it’s important to note that this phone lacks wireless charging capabilities, which are offered by both Samsung and Google’s foldables. This may be a trade-off for some users who prioritize convenience and ease of use.
Finally, while the OnePlus Open is a premium device with a high price tag, it’s good to see that the company has included basic water resistance features. The phone has an IPX4 rating, which means it can withstand splashes of rain and provides some protection against water damage. However, Samsung’s foldables offer better water resistance with an IPX8 rating.
OnePlus Open Review: Specifications and software
OnePlus has spared no expense when it comes to hardware with its Open foldable smartphone. It features a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, there’s no microSD card slot for expandable storage, but you do get dual SIM card slots, which will be useful for power users.
The Open boasts two impressive displays: a 7.82-inch main AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,268 x 2,440 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate, and a smaller 6.31-inch cover display with a resolution of 1,116 x 2,484 pixels and a 20:09 aspect ratio. Both screens have a 120Hz refresh rate and LTPO 3.0 technology, and the main display also features a 240Hz touch sampling rate, making it ideal for gaming.
Other notable features include an embedded fingerprint reader in the power button, reliable during the review period, and robust connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and support for various global positioning systems. The Open also sports a USB Type-C port with USB 3.1 support and an infrared port at the top for controlling other devices or appliances.
As OnePlus’ first foldable device, I was eager to try out OxygenOS 13, which has been optimized for this specific device. However, I was a bit disappointed to find that OnePlus has yet to officially roll out OxygenOS 14, based on Android 14, especially since Samsung has already started its Android 14 rollout for its Galaxy Z Fold 5 and other recently released devices.
Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the customizations in OxygenOS 13 were similar to those on the OnePlus Pad, a premium tablet released by the company. The app layouts are also similar, but OnePlus has added a new feature called Open Canvas, which allows me to run three apps side by side in a split-screen format.
Samsung’s One UI also offers a similar feature, but it tends to favor the first app, giving it half of the main screen while the other two apps share the remaining quarter. Open Canvas, on the other hand, allows me to open two apps side by side and then easily switch to a third app by tapping on a small strip at the edge of the screen. This expands the display to reveal all three apps simultaneously.
Additionally, I can use a four-finger pinch gesture to view all three apps at once and a four-finger spread-out gesture to exit Full View mode. Overall, Open Canvas makes it easy to run multiple apps at the same time, maximizing the potential of the foldable display’s unusual 1:1 aspect ratio.
OnePlus Open Review: Performance
The OnePlus Open offers a seamless multitasking experience, with no lag or stuttering while switching between apps. However, some apps don’t rotate properly in landscape mode, requiring manual adjustments to enjoy the full tablet-like experience. Most messaging apps work well in split-screen mode, but videos on platforms like YouTube may appear letterboxed due to their varying aspect ratios. The phone’s primary display can be used in a Flex-mode-like way for comfortable video watching without needing a stand or case.
The cover display is almost as wide as a regular smartphone display (20:9), providing a comfortable typing experience for playing games. Its 240Hz touch sampling rate is superior to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5, making it ideal for mobile gamers. Additionally, the phone includes optimization features like a Pro Gamer mode and Championship mode, ensuring an uninterrupted gaming experience.
Both displays support HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats, perfect for streaming services offering supported content. The unique three-speaker system delivers excellent spatial sound with decent bass, surprising for a device of its size. Although the OnePlus Open supports stylus input (Oppo Pen), OnePlus hasn’t released its own accessory.
In terms of battery life, the OnePlus Open exceeds expectations, lasting over a day and a half with casual usage and still maintaining 40% battery life after intense usage including gaming, video streaming, and photography. It lacks wireless charging but compensates with rapid 80W wired charging, reaching 67% in 30 minutes and fully charging in just 53 minutes – significantly faster than the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
OnePlus Open Review: Cameras
The OnePlus Open boasts an impressive camera system for a foldable device, featuring a 48-megapixel main camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a 64-megapixel telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom and OIS, and a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 114-degree field of view. Additionally, there are two selfie cameras: a 32-megapixel camera integrated into the cover display and a 20-megapixel camera embedded into the main folding display. Notably, the main camera’s sensor belongs to Sony’s new LYTIA series, which is an upgrade to its ExmorRS sensors. This new sensor has larger photodiodes that collect twice as much light, making it more efficient in low-light conditions. Its stacked design also allows it to fit within the thin frame of the foldable while delivering performance comparable to larger sensors.
The camera interface is user-friendly, offering customizable shooting modes, and benefits from OnePlus’ collaboration with Hasselblad, resulting in distinctive color treatment for photos. The XPan mode is also available, allowing users to capture images in a wider-than-usual 35mm panoramic format. Furthermore, users can preview images in a split-screen view while shooting, thanks to the phone’s ability to open the main display.
Image quality across the board is impressive, especially after recent software updates that brought significant improvements to the portrait mode and telephoto camera. The main camera takes high-quality photos with good contrast and plenty of resolved detail in various lighting conditions. The photos have a slightly saturated color palette and a contrasted look, courtesy of Hasselblad’s color inputs. While some may prefer more natural-looking colors, the author finds Hasselblad’s contributions to the camera system appealing.
The OnePlus Open’s camera system is a highlight of the device, particularly the telephoto camera, which delivers high-quality images at 3X optical zoom and can shoot up to 6X in-sensor zoom with minimal loss in image quality. The camera performs well in various lighting conditions and produces sharp images with a natural bokeh effect. However, it struggles with fast-moving subjects such as pets or children. The ultra-wide-angle camera captures images with good detail and dynamic range, but exhibits purple fringing in brighter areas. Low-light images taken with the ultra-wide-angle camera appear somewhat soft.
Selfies taken with the rear cameras using the cover display as a viewfinder turn out sharp and clear in all lighting conditions. Videos recorded in daylight are sharp and noise-free, but low-light videos exhibit some noise, even when captured under good indoor lighting. Enabling Dolby Vision recording results in a noticeable decrease in video quality, which falls short of what’s possible on an Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, the telephoto camera does a great job of capturing noise-free and stabilized video in daylight.
Overall, the OnePlus Open sets a new standard for foldables, offering a high-resolution cover display, large foldable display, top-notch performance, and quality cameras, making it a strong contender against traditional premium flagships. With the Open, OnePlus has raised the bar and distanced itself from Samsung, offering a device with little to no compromises compared to other high-end smartphones.
OnePlus Open Review: Verdict
OnePlus has raised the bar certainly. The Open has little to no compromises made when in comparison with common premium flagship smartphones. And that itself speaks volumes about how a lot OnePlus has distanced itself from Samsung. The OnePlus Open provides a high-resolution cowl show which can be utilized like a daily smartphone, a big foldable show with well-optimised software program, the similar degree of efficiency that is anticipated from an ultra-premium flagship and for as soon as high quality cameras on a foldable.