Review of OnePlus Open: Lifting the Standard

The first foldable smartphone from OnePlus not only lives up to but surpasses expectations.

When it comes to foldable, Samsung is currently the clear market leader in India. There’s no denying Samsung’s consistency in introducing each and every foldable product it has introduced to the market in India, regardless of the features that these devices offer or the company’s reputation as a premium smartphone brand. In fact, this also says a lot about Samsung’s dedication to the smaller things that count—like software support and post-purchase servicing—when it comes to foldable.

For the past few years, OnePlus has been pursuing Samsung in the high-end market. Initially aiming to revolutionize the software and hardware industry with its reasonably priced “flagship killers,” the brand has now developed into a sort of swan, offering high-end devices that can compete with major names in the industry like Samsung, Motorola, and others. In addition to being incredibly affordable, OnePlus devices prioritize a software experience that is optimally optimized. The Chinese smartphone company has even been able to create its own ecosystem of products over time, including TVs, tablets, audio accessories, and more, putting it on par with, if not better than, Samsung.

What then occurs when a company as fiercely competitive as OnePlus chooses to challenge Samsung in the one area in which it has excelled for the previous four years? Is it able to surpass Samsung’s foldable experience? Will consumers or fans be willing to take a financial risk in the Apple and Samsung-dominated smartphone market? Continue reading to learn more!

India’s OnePlus Open price

In India, the OnePlus Open costs Rs. 1,39,999 and comes with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. There are two finishes for the device: Voyager Black and Emerald Dusk. The Voyager Black unit was sent to me for evaluation. OnePlus includes a USB Type-A to Type-C cable for data transfers and charging, a two-piece polymer protective case, and an 80W charger in the box.

OnePlus Open Evaluation: Style

OnePlus phones are typically regarded as having elegant, rounded designs. It’s limited to OnePlus’s reasonably priced Nord line of smartphones, which, in an effort to attract younger consumers, have recently been given chiseled designs with flat sides and sharp edges. The Open significantly deviates from the standard aesthetic that we have become accustomed to seeing on high-end OnePlus handsets.

I adore how the Voyager Black finish looks like a camera it will make anyone instantly think of a vintage camera. The phone’s back has a lovely faux leather texture that not only gives it a distinctive look but also provides a ton of grip. Luxurious professional cameras come to mind when I look at the soft-finish grey metal frame. The large, raised camera module at the back completes the design. Another highly distinctive feature is the flash unit’s positioning outside the camera module. Overall, the OnePlus Open has a luxurious and unique feel to it, in contrast to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5, which primarily looks like a typical smartphone.

The hinge of this foldable, like most others, rests on the left side of the phone when it is closed. While the largely rounded design of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 does a good job of hiding it, the OnePlus Open’s flawlessly polished hinge does stick out into my hand, which is a little uncomfortable. This only occurs when I hold the phone in my left hand; when I hold it in my right, I manage to avoid making contact with the hinge.

The location of the buttons is another element that takes some getting used to. The device’s power button and volume controls are located on the bottom half, while the iconic Alert slider switch is located on the top when folded. The volume rocker is usually located on the left side of OnePlus smartphones, while the alert slider and power button are located on the right.

The volume button on this smartphone is a little too high up on the right side, and even after using it for a few weeks, I still can’t seem to find it. Additionally, your Alert slider moves to the left side of the phone when you “open” the Open. Although I recognize that the Open is not a typical OnePlus smartphone, OnePlus ought to have stuck with its standard arrangement for all three buttons.

Weight is another issue that comes up a lot when selecting a foldable. Samsung Galaxy Z Folds aren’t afraid to admit this many of them weigh more than 25 kg. Even though Google’s Pixel Fold has a slimmer design, its weight of 283g means you will notice the bulk in your pocket. OnePlus has performed admirably in this context. Considering what we have been accustomed to from Samsung’s bulkier foldables over the past few years, it weighs as much as last year’s iPhone 14 Pro Max, weighs between 239 and 245g (depending on the finish you choose), and is much slimmer when unfolded.

When contrasting these foldables, it’s important to note that OnePlus has left out the wireless charging capability, which is a feature that both Samsung and Google’s foldables have. And the Open’s lighter and slimmer-than-usual design is likely due in part to this.

Finally, I’m happy that OnePlus has included the barest minimum of IP ratings for a phone that costs as much as the Open given how thin they have managed to make it. The OnePlus Open has a basic water resistance rating of IPX4, making it suitable for light rains. Samsung has an IPX8 rating, which makes it better.

OnePlus Open Review: Features and Apps

It’s good to see OnePlus prioritize hardware over anything else with the Open foldable. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is present. Although the SIM card tray does not have an expandable storage slot, it does have room for two SIM cards.

The main 7.82-inch 2,268 x 2,440 pixel AMOLED display has an aspect ratio of 1.0758:1 (nearly 1:1), a refresh rate of 120 Hz, and support for LTPO 3.0. An ultra-thin glass (UTG) solution shields it. The cover display is 6.31 inches in size, features an aspect ratio of 20:09, an AMOLED resolution of 1,116 x 2,484 pixels, and a refresh rate of 120Hz with LTPO 3.0. Another noteworthy feature of these screens is the 240Hz touch sampling rate that OnePlus provides, which is helpful for demanding games.

Throughout the review period, the fingerprint reader—which is integrated into the power button—performed dependably. Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and compatibility with multiple global positioning systems are among the connectivity options.

I was pretty excited to test out OxygenOS 13, which has been tailored for this foldable, as it is OnePlus’ first foldable. It is a little disappointing that OnePlus has not yet formally released OxygenOS 14, which is based on Android 14, considering that Samsung has started to roll out Android 14 for its Galaxy Z Fold 5 and other recently released devices.

Remarkably, the customizations bear a striking resemblance to my experience with the OnePlus Pad, the company’s recently released high-end tablet (Review). The app layouts are also comparable, but with OnePlus’s new Open Canvas software feature, I can run up to three apps simultaneously in a format akin to a split screen.

Samsung’s One UI typically allows the first app to occupy half of the main display and the other two apps to share a quarter of the remaining half, even though Samsung also permits me to do the same. When using Open Canvas, two apps can be opened side by side in a dual-split layout, each taking up half of the main display. This creates room for a third app to run at the side, with just a small portion of it visible in a triple-split layout. All I have to do is swipe that strip to make the second and third apps fully visible on the side of the screen.

I can even view all three apps at once with a four-finger pinch, and I can exit Full View mode with a four-finger spread-out gesture. Despite its peculiar 1:1 display aspect ratio, Open Canvas does, in fact, offer a hassle-free way to run three apps at once and make good use of the primary folding display.

The Recent Folder, located at the bottom of the taskbar, is another useful piece of software. When you tap on it, recent images, screenshots, files, and other items appear. You can drag and drop these items into applications that support this feature. The Recent folder and the triple-split app layouts create a layout that is very desktop-like and effectively utilizes the primary display.

OnePlus Open Evaluation: Capabilities

The OnePlus Open’s multitasking capabilities are impressive because they operate flawlessly. Using the device, I encountered no lag, hiccups, or stuttering.

I was primarily dissatisfied with a detail that had to do with how Android functions. Most apps that are compatible with a tablet-like layout will typically only show an app in that mode when it is rotated into landscape orientation. The Google Pixel Fold’s passport-like wider cover display and main display allow the foldable to open directly into its landscape model.

There is a benefit to opening the main display when watching Netflix shows because the content appears larger than it does on the cover display. This isn’t true, though, for applications like YouTube and other over-the-top (OTT) apps, which house films or other media that have been produced in larger formats with different aspect ratios. With so much letterboxing, these look pretty strange. In fact, they look better on the cover display or a standard 19.3:9–19:5:9 aspect ratio display, which are found on the majority of mainstream flagship smartphones. Some video apps have support for Samsung Flex-mode, which allows one-half of the main display to stand up while the other half holds the phone, which pleased me.

Review of OnePlus Open: Cameras

Impressively, for a foldable device, the OnePlus Open has a powerful set of cameras. There is a 64-megapixel telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom (also with OIS), a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 114-degree field of view, and a 48-megapixel primary camera. Two selfie cameras are included, as with any horizontal foldable: a 32-megapixel camera built into the cover display and a 20-megapixel camera integrated into the main folding display. As the eagerly anticipated successor to Sony’s ExmorRS sensors, the sensor located behind the primary camera is unique. It is a member of the LYTIA series. Since its photodiodes are bigger, it can effectively collect twice as much light.

The phone can record videos at up to 4K 60 frames per second, but it can also record videos in Dolby Vision, though at up to 4K 30 frames per second. The OnePlus camera interface is characterized by customizable shooting modes and a distinctive color scheme that results from the brand’s partnership with Hasselblad, a maker of cameras. The XPan mode, which allows you to take pictures in a wider-than-usual 35mm panoramic format, is also included. Additionally, you can preview photos in a split screen-like view while shooting because you can shoot with the main display open.

Overall, the image quality is very good, especially in light of recent software updates that significantly enhanced the telephoto camera and portrait mode. The primary camera produces sharp, well-contrast images.

Review of OnePlus Open: Conclusion

OnePlus’s Open has significantly altered my viewpoint on foldables. No longer do horizontal foldable have mediocre cameras, respectable battery life, take a long time to charge, and weigh more than 25 kg. Finally, a foldable has been released that allows you to do away with these drawbacks that, over the past few years, we have either grown accustomed to or accepted as the standard.

Indeed, OnePlus has raised the bar. When comparing the Open to other standard premium flagship smartphones, very few to no compromises have been made. And that alone tells you a lot about how far OnePlus has moved away from Samsung. The OnePlus Open features a large foldable display with software optimized for it, as well as a high-resolution cover display that can be used like a regular smartphone.

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