The OnePlus Open is the first folding phone from the Chinese brand that immediately meets a number of important requirements. But are those aspects convincing enough for a recommendation, and if so: will you choose a foldable device or a regular smartphone? The Open has a suggested retail price of 1,799 euros, a price that is just below the available competition.
A true premium smartphone
Solid build quality
Not heavy or bulky
Folding feels nice
Processor and other specs
Quality of the screens
No wireless charging
High purchase price
Not suitable for every app
Cannot be placed in every corner
Bottom line, we are very enthusiastic about the OnePlus Open. Perhaps even more excited than about the Z Fold 5, because this is technically OnePlus’ first attempt. The device meets all kinds of requirements in terms of design, speed, hardware, software and cameras. In that respect, it is nice to know that you are not just spending money on the folding mechanism when you get the OnePlus Open. You’re actually paying for a high-end smartphone experience, which has very little competition at the moment. But then the question remains: how good is good enough? Foldables are mainly embraced by power users and early adopters. With prices of at least 1,799 euros, the Open is not accessible to everyone. In addition, the folding device makes a lot of things easy and fun, but we are not yet convinced that the experience is necessarily better than that of flat smartphones. This does not alter the fact that the foldable has made great strides in the last five years, and the OnePlus Open is the best example of this.…
Although we have been seeing all kinds of folding phones for five years and they are getting better every year, a major breakthrough is still pending. For example, how often do you actually see someone walking around with a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5? These types of smartphones are currently aimed at business users and power users, making the target group relatively limited. Those other folding phones, those folding phones with a horizontal fold line, do a little better. We have certainly encountered them ‘in the wild’.
The challenge for OnePlus Open
That means a big challenge for the OnePlus Open. To have a serious chance in this young market, you have to come from a good background right away. Not that Samsung’s devices are bad (colleague Rens Blom was quite pleased with the Z Fold 5), but the South Korean company has already had five years to refine the formula of this type of smartphone. This Open is the Chinese brand’s first attempt to release a foldable phone (which is very similar to the Oppo Find N3, a device from the sister company that is releasing its third foldable).
In our first week with the folding device, we have been positively surprised (and we make direct comparisons with market leader Z Fold 5). And fortunately we no longer had to let go of those positive impressions. We are particularly pleased with the fact that the fold line in the middle of the unfolded screen is virtually invisible. During normal use you simply don’t see that line. If the light falls slightly differently, the line sometimes still shows itself, but that is because the wrinkles cannot yet be completely removed. Nevertheless, this is minimal with this device.
The folding/closing process itself still feels satisfying after almost a month of use. It takes very little effort to open and close the device, because the OnePlus Open takes care of the work for you after a certain angle. Then it suddenly opens (or closes), without startling you. This happens gradually but smoothly. Unfortunately, this also means that you cannot unfold the device in every corner. After a certain number of degrees, the hinge needs to be completely folded. So you can’t place the screen in any angle you want, and that’s quite a shame.
Solid, sturdy and… reliable?
In any case, it is not due to the build quality. Folding phones have a reputation for being fragile. And yes, compared to traditional smartphones, there is potentially more that can go wrong, but you have to be careful with your smartphone anyway. In any case, the OnePlus Open has a metal frame to protect the special hinge, among other things. That hinge also ensures minimal openings. This means that there is a very small chance that dust or other dirt will get into the device, which could possibly damage the folding mechanism.
The screen also has a protective layer on the inside that you should not remove. That’s more than a simple screen protector. We also encounter the same types of layers in the competition, so these are not strange practices. Fortunately, the OnePlus Open looks incredibly premium. Not only because of the metal chassis, but also because of the green color variant that we have been using for weeks now. At approximately 250 grams, the device also weighs much more than other devices of this size. In any case, OnePlus seems to have the basics perfectly in order in terms of design, experience and hinge.
The big question now is: how reliable is the device? As in: how long will it last and when can you expect problems? OnePlus promises that the hinge is able to survive at least a million folds. That’s enough for ten years of use, since you don’t open and close the device hundreds of times every day. Of course, problems can always arise, but we do not feel that they are commonplace. The device feels too solid for that, and – since this is in fact already a third iteration – we want to give the company the benefit of the doubt.
Two screens, one phone
That OnePlus has the basics in order is also evident from daily use with the OnePlus Open. It is very nice that the screen on the front is 6.3 inches, for example. That’s slightly smaller than other premium smartphones, but still large enough for comfortable use. We can be brief about the quality of the screen: we rarely encounter more colorful and clearer ones. The viewing angle is large and everything looks finely sharp. The resolution is 1,116 by 2,484 pixels; With a pixel density of 431 pixels per inch (ppi), the quality does not surprise us.
The display inside is equally impressive. It is 7.8 inches in size and has a resolution of 2,268 by 2,440 pixels (and a ppi of 426). In both cases there is support for Dolby Atmos content and a maximum brightness of 2,800 nits. The screens can also switch between 1 and 120 Hz, depending on the content. OnePlus really wants to present a top-shelf premium device with the Open, and so far it has succeeded quite well: we are quite impressed. But hey, that’s what the price is.
Not every app is optimized
When you switch screens, the content moves happily with you. So if you have an app open on one screen, it is also available on the other screen. If you go from the inside to the outside, you still have to make a short swipe, but everything else is seamless. The only thing that can happen is that certain apps will be stretched if they are not optimized for tablet screens. An app like Instagram in particular is an eyesore, but you may not encounter that problem with the right apps.
But when do you really need such a larger image? We notice that reading articles is very enjoyable, and typing messages and emails is also easy on that wide screen. In addition, the multitask options are extensive and you can run two or three apps side by side. You can quickly switch apps in the handy overview, so you can get a lot done quickly. But although we can appreciate the speed (as does the processing power), the use is not really life-changing.
That gigantic camera hill on the back
Maybe that gigantic camera can change that. Because for many people a good camera is a must and determines their purchase. There are three lenses on the back: a 48-megapixel main camera, a 64-megapixel telephoto lens and a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. The system allows you to zoom in three times optically without loss of quality. It will come as no surprise that you can take beautiful photos with the cameras on the OnePlus Open under ideal conditions. Colors burst from the screen and details are finely captured.
Colors often look natural and lifelike, in contrast to the often somewhat artificial-feeling images of a Samsung (and yes, even Google or Apple). It’s also great that you can digitally zoom in up to 120x. But whether you want that is another matter. Somewhere after 20x digital zoom, the loss of quality becomes so great that photos become essentially unusable. Anyway, smartphones often have such functions ‘because they can’, and not because they are necessarily useful.
In addition, you should keep in mind that the wide-angle lens is the weakest camera. It lets in the least light and cannot zoom in very much without losing quality. The contrast is also somewhat disappointing, and therefore photos generally look a bit unnatural. The evening mode, on the other hand, is impressive, especially in combination with the main lens. The device is still able to capture details when it is completely dark somewhere. Furthermore, the quality of evening photography is comparable to other OnePlus devices.
Excellent software support
Finally, let’s take a look at Android. In any case, it is good to know that you can count on four Android upgrades; you will receive the latest Android versions until mid-2027. That sounds better than it is, since Android 14 is already around the corner and OnePlus supplies the device with Android 13. In terms of security updates, you can count on an extra year of support; that’s fine. This puts OnePlus on the same page as Samsung, which guarantees the same update policy. Excellent software support; so the OnePlus Open can last a long time.
Want to buy OnePlus Open?
Bottom line, we are very enthusiastic about the OnePlus Open. Perhaps even more excited than about the Z Fold 5, because this is technically OnePlus’ first attempt. The device meets all kinds of requirements in terms of design, speed, hardware, software and cameras. In that respect, it is nice to know that you are not just spending money on the folding mechanism when you get the OnePlus Open. You’re actually paying for a high-end smartphone experience, which has very little competition at the moment.
But then the question remains: how good is good enough? Foldables are mainly embraced by power users and early adopters. With prices of at least 1,799 euros, the Open is not accessible to everyone. In addition, the folding device makes a lot of things easy and fun, but we are not yet convinced that the experience is necessarily better than that of flat smartphones. This does not alter the fact that the foldable has made great strides in the last five years, and the OnePlus Open is the best example of this.