Who knew that the most exciting OnePlus smartphone would be a foldable? It’s also a huge step in the ultra-premium segment for the brand and it only makes sense to kickstart it by folding things the right way. It may have dropped its flagship killer moniker for a more sophisticated approach but it’s in no way a half-baked effort. There are premium insides, outsides and, well, foldable sides. If you’re in the market for a foldable smartphone and are holding Ambani’s credit card, it doesn’t get better than this.
OnePlus Open review
Opening the best
Hold it once and you’ll be convinced that this has a proper smartphone cover display, something the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 lacks with its narrow proportions. The OnePlus Open doesn’t pull any such unnecessary theatrics. It’s a standard 6.31-inch display with a 20:9 aspect ratio hiding a big 7.82-inch inner display within its curvy confines.
The weight and size are also very manageable. At 239g the OnePlus Open is barely heavier than the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and it never really feels like you’re holding a sandwiched foldable. If you’ve never used an iPhone Pro Max or Galaxy S23 Ultra, the weight might irk you a bit but if you’re used to big phones, the OnePlus Open will fit right into your daily life.
The squared-off sharp edges are something I never liked about any new smartphone. It’s a finger-slicing ergonomic nightmare on the iPhone, the Samsung Fold and now the OnePlus. You get a protective case in the box and there’s a scratch guard on the front display as well. There’s no Gorilla Glass Victus here but OnePlus says that the ‘Ceramic Guard’ on the cover display is 20% more robust than GG Victus. We’re not brave enough to let this display have a touchy relation with the pavement so use the protective cover if you have butter fingers.
However, the vegan leather back married to the surgical-grade stainless steel frame on the Voyager Black variant absolutely oozes of premium feel. It’s going to seduce your palms into leaving the protective case in the box and using it without protection. OnePlus has nailed the design and we haven’t even got to the hinge yet!
The reason why the OnePlus is lighter is because the hinge uses fewer moving parts to get the job done. It’s also a waterdrop hinge which basically lets the Open snap shut without any gap thereby reducing thickness and avoiding an embarrassing bulge in your trousers.
There’s no crease. Well, there is, but you can barely feel it or see it. Once you open the smartphone, it’s as good as a flat display to work and watch content. This is probably the only foldable in the Indian market to get the design, materials and hinge right in the first attempt. If you can ignore the fact that this is rebadged Oppo Find N3. Oh, and Alert Slider makes a return.
Business in the front, party at the back, that’s pretty much the approach with the OnePlus Open. There’s a colossal triple-lens camera module with a light-reflective CD pattern inside the module to give it a premium look. Every time you see the OnePlus Open from the back, you and everyone else will be reminded of the six-digit figure you paid for it.
There’s a 48MP main camera with OIS, a 64MP telephoto camera with OIS and 3x optical and 6x in-sensor zoom and finally a 48MP ultra-wide camera with a 114° FOV.
The primary camera has the 48MP Sony LYTIA-T808 sensor which uses a new ‘Pixel Stacked’ technology to rearrange the photodiode on top of the pixel transistor to allow more light without increasing the sensor footprint. In theory, it’s supposed to be closer to the flagship Sony IMX 989 sensor when it comes to performance. In practice, the sharpness, light control and saturation are all very impressive. It’s not going to give Tim Cook or even the Korean giant a sleepless night but this camera is very good. Where it does lack a bit, and this is us nitpicking, is in the software tuning. If OnePlus wants more than a lakh for this, it has to be prepared to not skimp on the consistency and colour uniformity between the lenses.
Compared to the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, the OnePlus Open can hold its own. In fact, in some indoor lighting conditions, the OnePlus Open keeps the scene-specific colour temperature of the lights and tones meanwhile the Pixel tries to aggressively match the colour tone of everything. We like the OnePlus Open’s camera more in these instances. In outdoor lighting, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between the two cameras. There’s very little difference between the OnePlus Open, iPhone 15 and the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.
Portraits and faces are another story. The OnePlus still likes to brighten up faces but has come a long way from whitewashing your mug. Blemishes and textures are handled impressively. The bokeh fall-off is also sublime.
The telephoto 6x in-sensor zoom is not sharper than the Samsung S23 Ultra’s but it’s good enough when you feed it proper light. In low light, it might struggle with over-smoothing of dark surfaces. Again, this is us nitpicking. This is in no way a bad camera. The 3x telephoto is crisp and has a very natural sharpness. Very similar to what the Vivo X90 Pro does. It’s not gritty like the Google Pixels and the S23 Ultra and neither is it too soft like the base iPhones. It’s just perfect. We wish the OnePlus Open could do 5x or 10x optical because the camera module is thick and it feels overly bulky for just 3x optical zoom.
Hasselblad’s partnership is in the camera colour tuning and the three filters. It’s nice but nothing new. The OnePlus 11 also has these features and we wish this partnership was more than just branding. Vivo’s X90 Pro has a Zeiss partnership with not just lens coating but also colour, bokeh and display colour. All stages of imaging and optics are taken care of and it really adds that Zeiss touch to its camera chops when you start shooting with the X90 Pro.
The ultra-wide camera has a special trick called Xpan mode. It’s been around since a few generations of OnePlus flagship smartphones but with the 114° FOV photos really come alive. It’s by far our favourite feature on the camera and if you know what you’re shooting, the results are really good.
The cover display’s 32MP camera and the 20MP selfie camera in the main display are adequate. It still has a wee bit of smoothening and yes, skin tones are usually brighter than they should be.
Moving over to videos, and here’s where the OnePlus Open still need some work. Especially while zooming. There’s a slippery video zoom toggle that tries to be delicate and artificially smooth while zooming in but does a half-baked job. Even the Xiaomi 13 Pro has this issue. It’s neither quick nor can it hide the lens shift from ultrawide to wide and telephoto lens.
The video quality is average at best. If you’re walking while shooting, there’s a lot of judder in the scene and the mic quality makes everything sound tinny with very little wind noise cancellation. You can also shoot Dolby Vision HDR content on the main wide camera and the 3x telephoto.
Display and audio
OnePlus Open has a new brighter display called ProXDR display. Sounds familiar? It won’t be the apple of your eye but it’s plenty bright. Both, the cover and the inside displays have 2,800nits of peak brightness. The photos clicked in 10-bit HDR that have bright whites in the scene look very good on this ProXDR display. It looks very natural too. However, if you edit the photo or crop it, it will lose the ProXDR brightness boost. You can go into Lightroom and lift the whites back up but… that’s a workaround for people serious about photography.
Both displays have a 120Hz refresh rate and are very good. The colour and tone for SDR content is not as good as the iPhone but HDR content is impressive.
The inner display is sadly a fingerprint magnet. It’s good at cutting reflections but wiping your fingerprints is a task here. Especially when you’re watching a movie after furiously multitasking.
OnePlus Open supports Dolby Atmos too but the quad grilles are not really throwing audio from four speakers. Only the top two speakers grilles next to the power button throw audio and the bottom right does half the job while the bottom left is not doing much. So it doesn’t really sound as spacious as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 or the S23 Ultra.
Performance and battery life
There’s a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 here with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. That’s plenty powerful for a true flagship performance and the OS is here to match. Based on OxygenOS 13.2, the OnePlus Open has some of the best multitasking features on a foldable device. You can split the inner display into three on a single screen or you can have zones. Let's say Pokemon Unite opens in full screen, I can swipe down from the top and have a Discord chat open and WhatsApp on the other side as well. It manages multitasking beyond the boxy confines of its frame and keeps apps on the edges to be pulled in or pushed out when in need. It’s a really smart way of multitasking and for power users, it doesn’t get better than this.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 isn’t as slick and speedy as the Apple processors but it’s enough to get the job done. Samsung Z Fold 5’s overclocked SD 8 Gen 2 had more gusto in loading files and processing images.
Speaking of which, the shutter speed and photo processing take a while here. Like a good second but it’s not exclusive to the OnePlus. We’ve seen image processing delays on the newer iPhones and Google Pixels too. There’s just too much computation doodahs on these cameras nowadays.
The 4,805Ah battery can be charged from 1-100% in around 42 minutes with the bundled 67W charger. We got around a full day’s of use with a full battery with camera and multitasking use.
The OnePlus Open is a great first foldable from the brand and it’s also a fantastic flagship device. It’s hard to find faults with the OnePlus Open because everything is prim and proper for a flagship smartphone experience. The camera and display colour tuning might be the only gripe we have but since there are very few premium foldable players in the market right now, the OnePlus Open stands taller than everyone else.
It gets the basics right and doesn’t falter with dimensions, size and weight. More impressively, it manages to introduce a unique way of multitasking for power users and does an excellent job.
The foldable to beat, this is the best foldable money can buy!