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OnePlus Open preview: A strong opening gambit

OnePlus Open preview - Phone on table in front of woman

OnePlus’ first foldable has Hasselblad cameras and promises the most durable hinge on the market

After a brief tease last week, the OnePlus Open has now been officially unveiled. As the naming suggests, the Open is OnePlus’ debut entry into the folding phone arena but make sure you don’t actually call it a folding phone.

The marketing makes clear that this isn’t a standard smartphone that folds into more portable dimensions, but rather a regular phone that opens out into something more.

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Despite OnePlus’ protestations, however, it’s anything but different from what we’ve already seen. To use the industry vernacular, it’s a book-style folding phone along the lines of the Google Pixel Fold, the Honor Magic Vs and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

That doesn’t mean the OnePlus Open isn’t worth getting excited about, though. If the numbers are to be believed, this could well be the most durable and reliable hinge on a folding phone to date, and the same goes for the claimed peak brightness on all three displays.

More technical pros and cons will have to wait for the full review, but for now we’ve got a good idea of the specs, so let’s see what we’re working with.

OnePlus Open preview: Specifications, price and release date

  • Internal displays: 7.82in, 2,440 x 2,268, 120Hz, LTPO 3, dual ProXDR
  • External display: 6.43in, 2,484 x 1,116, 120Hz, LTPO 3
  • Octa-core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 512GB of storage
  • Triple rear camera: 48MP (f/1.7), 64MP (f/2.6) telephoto, 48MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide
  • Internal selfie camera: 20MP (f/2.2)
  • External selfie camera: 32MP (f/2.4)
  • Dual batteries: 3,295mAh + 1,510mAh
  • 67W fast charging
  • 153 x 12 x 73mm (folded), 153 x 5.8 x 143mm (unfolded)
  • 239g (black), 245g (green)
  • Voyager Black and Emerald Dusk
  • UK release date: 26 October
  • UK price: £1,599

OnePlus Open preview: Design and key features

At first glance, the OnePlus Open looks a bit like two Honor Magic 5 Pro handsets piled on top of one another. This is due to the similar camera module, with both phones organising their lenses in a large circular housing sitting centrally on the rear panel. The colour doesn’t hurt the comparison either. Aside from the standard black, both models come in a subtle green colourway that, while not exactly the same shade, are close enough to feed into the deja vu.

This isn’t a bad thing, of course, the Honor Magic 5 Pro was a good looking phone, and the OnePlus Open most definitely follows suit. Folded, the OnePlus Open measures 153 x 12 x 73mm (HDW) – with no gap around the edges. Opened out, you’re looking at 153 x 143mm (HxW) and it’s wonderfully thin at 5.8mm (green) or 5.9mm (black). The weight also depends on which colour you pick – go for the aforementioned green and the rear plate is coated with sleek glass, bringing the weight to 245g. The black swaps that glass for vegan leather, and comes in a little lighter at 239g.

Along one of the long edges, you’ll find a Flexion hinge, similar to those used on Oppo’s folding Find series. That’s not particularly surprising, as OnePlus is not only a subsidiary of Oppo, but it also developed the OnePlus Open and Oppo Find N3 in tandem. In something of a parent-company-trap situation, these two identical phones, having been separated at birth, are now facing off in the increasingly competitive foldable market.

OnePlus Open preview - Phone folded open in hands, taking a selfie

How well this approach works out for the two companies remains to be seen but it certainly sounds like both models will have an impressive hinge, at least. The water drop design results in a gapless fold, and OnePlus says it’s the industry’s lightest, most durable hinge. The latter claim is backed up by TÜV Rheinland, which tested the fold 1,000,000 times. This would make it the most durable foldable on the market by quite a way – the Galaxy Z Fold 5, for instance, is rated for 200,000 folds.

Something else that won’t shock you is that the OnePlus Open is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and this is backed up by 16GB of RAM and 512GB of UFS 4 storage. There are two batteries – one with a capacity of 3,295mAh the other with 1,510mAh – and 67W fast charging is also supported. OnePlus claims just ten minutes plugged in will take the battery from empty to 37%.

OnePlus Open preview - Phone in both folded and unfolded horizontal forms

On the features front, the alert slider carries over from plenty of other OnePlus phones, giving you a quick and tangible toggle for jumping between loud, vibrate and silent modes, and there are three speakers dotted around the phone – one on the bottom and two on the top – all of which support Dolby Atmos. The layout of the speakers is apparently designed to ensure that you can get the best stereo playback, no matter which way you’re holding the phone.

OnePlus Open preview: The displays

With the phone folded, you’ve got a 6.31in LTPO 3 exterior display, with a fairly standard 20:9 aspect ratio, a crisp 2,484 x 1,116 resolution and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. A 32MP (f/2.4) selfie camera sits centrally near the top of the display, and the whole panel is covered with a layer of “Ceramic Guard” glass, which OnePlus claims offers better protection against scuffs and scratches than Gorilla Glass Victus. There’s also HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support, 1,440Hz PWM dimming, and a claimed peak brightness of 2,800 nits which, if true, would make the Open the brightest foldable by quite a margin.

As you’d expect, the 7.82in LTPO 3 interior display offers the same features as the exterior, peak brightness included, but at double the width. These “Dual ProXDR” panels combine to create what OnePlus is calling a “Hyper-Light Dual Screen”, with the same impressive peak brightness as the exterior display. The screen-to-body ratio of this interior panel is 89.6%, which is a little behind the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (91%) but still ahead of the Google Pixel Fold, which sits at 82.7%.

OnePlus Open preview - Phone folded and unfolded vertical

The 2,440 x 2,268 resolution yields a pixel density of around 426ppi and you’ve once again got a 120Hz refresh rate, PWM dimming up to 1,440Hz and support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. In the top right corner is a 20MP (f/2.2) selfie camera, and on the protection front is a layer of ultra thin glass coated in TPU for impact protection and an AR screen protector to limit scratches. OnePlus claims the phone was able to survive a 1.5m drop in testing, but if you do end up with scratches, you can get the inner display fixed for free during the warranty period.

As with the brand’s other recent efforts, the OnePlus Open operates over Oxygen OS 13.2, and there are a few interesting features here designed to make the best use of the larger screen. First of all, multitaskers can open up to three apps at once with the triple split-screen function, and the global taskbar gives quick and easy access to your favourites.

The new Open Canvas view, meanwhile, is designed to optimise any apps that don’t support split screen, allowing you to adjust the ratio of the split and move windows around, even offscreen, to fit everything you need in view.

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OnePlus Open preview: Cameras

In addition to the two selfie cameras, you’ve also got a solid three camera units on the rear of the phone. As we’ve seen with other recent OnePlus phones, including the OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 10 Pro, all three rear lenses were developed in partnership with the professional camera manufacturer, Hasselblad.

Leading the pack is a 48MP (f/1.7) main camera from Sony LYTIA. Despite measuring 1/1.43in, OnePlus claims this sensor is equivalent to a 1in alternative. I don’t know how much I buy that, but the promised tech sounds impressive. The main lens is supported by 5-axis OIS+, for keeping things stable, and pixel-stacked CMOS tech, which apparently produces deeper photo sites, resulting in brighter, less noisy photos that are packed with detail. Another benefit, says OnePlus, is improved high dynamic range.

OnePlus Open preview - Phone in tent mode

Up next is a 64MP (f/2.6) periscope telephoto lens that’s capable of a 3x optical zoom, as well as, apparently, a 6x “lossless” digital zoom. We’ve encountered this claim before, with the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, and it didn’t quite live up to the lossless standard there, so chalk me up as sceptical here. Regardless of how well the 6x zoom shots turn out, you should be able to take some stunning portraits with the optical zoom, as this lens is purportedly capable of simulating the bokeh effect of Hasselblad’s 30mm, 65mm and 90mm XCD lenses.

There’s not that much to say about the final lens thus far, other than that it’s a 14mm ultrawide sensor with a pixel count of 48MP and an (f/2.2) aperture. Rounding out the rear camera capabilities, video recording supports Dolby Vision filming in 4K at 30fps, or you can jump back to SDR to get 4K footage at 60fps. If you want to tweak the grading in post, there’s also a flat log colour mode, although that will be of interest only to those using the camera to film in a professional capacity.

OnePlus Open preview: Early verdict

The world of folding phones has quickly become so populated that it takes a fair bit of effort for a new arrival to stand out from the pack. I’m not completely convinced that the OnePlus Open is as revolutionary as the marketing would suggest but there’s definitely enough here to pique some interest.

The design is as attractive as you’d expect for a premium device of this type, the displays all show plenty of promise and the durable hinge should serve as a comfort to anyone who is cautious about investing in a folding phone.

Whether the performance, camera quality and colour accuracy can measure up to the industry’s heavy-hitters remains to be seen. We’ll be getting our hands on a review sample in the near future, so be sure to check back in soon to see if we think that the OnePlus Open is the market disruptor it’s aiming to be, or if it’s just more of the same.

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