The OnePlus Open finds a happy medium between the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5 size-wise, but it’s too close in price to the mandatory foldable.
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OnePlus loves to tout its “no compromises” tagline, but in the case of its first foldable phone, a few more compromises would have been good.
The main problem is the price: $1,700. Is the OnePlus Open a phone that feels worthy of such a high price tag? In some ways, yes. The flat edges exude the iPhone in all the right ways. It’s thin for a foldable, without the chunkiness of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. And when you open it up, the crease down the middle of the inner screen all but disappears. It’s a lovely object to hold and use.
But the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold are each just $100 more and are IP-rated for full-immersion water resistance. They also include wireless charging, which OnePlus continues to treat as an optional feature on high-end phones.
- Thin and light for a foldable
- Great format that feels like a normal phone when it’s closed
- Good multitasking support
- Lacks full water resistance
- No wireless charging
- The price is too high considering the missing features
- There’s plenty to appreciate about the OnePlus Open’s hardware. There’s the handy alert slider, of course, and also the fact that the phone isn’t shaped like a remote control. It’s a happy medium between the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s portrait-first orientation and the Pixel Fold’s landscape-first format.
- The OnePlus Open’s outer screen measures 6.3 inches with a 20:9 aspect ratio, which is significantly wider than the Z Fold 5’s 6.2-inch, 23.1:9 cover screen. OnePlus calls it a 2K resolution screen — it’s 2484 x 1116 specifically — and it’s an LTPO panel with a 10 to 120Hz variable refresh rate. Unfolded, the OnePlus Open matches the Pixel Fold’s thickness of 5.8mm, though the “vegan leather” black variant of the OnePlus Open is 0.1mm thicker.
The camera “bump” on the Open is more of a mountain. It’s a raised circle that occupies over a third of the back panel, with three camera lenses and a subtle Hasselblad H for style. OnePlus is making a lot of noise about its design, which is meant to catch the light like a CD, and there’s a gap between the lenses and cover glass that’s supposed to remind you of the face on a luxury watch. It certainly commands attention, but I found its best use is as a kind of pop socket to prop the phone on my finger when I am using it one-handed.
On the inside, the display measures 7.82 inches, with a 2440 x 2268 resolution. It’s an LTPO panel, too, with variable refresh rates from 120Hz down to 1Hz, and OnePlus claims the screen can hit a peak brightness of 2,800 nits in high brightness mode. That’s incredibly bright, considering most flagship phones top out around 2,000 nits.
I saw it ramp up in direct sunlight, and I couldn’t tell you if it went all the way up to the top of that range, but it did keep the screen readable even on a bright day. It maintained that brightness longer than the Pixel 8 or iPhone 15 Pro, both of which tend to darken after a few minutes to prevent overheating.
The green variant Open that I tested weighs 245g, and the black version is 239g. They’re both a bit lighter than the incumbents: the Z Fold 5 is 253g, and the Pixel Fold weighs 283g. The overall effect is a foldable that feels almost like a normal phone when it’s closed. The lighter weight makes it more comfortable to hold for a long time than the Pixel Fold, and the wider format means the cover screen is more spacious than the Z Fold 5’s.
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OnePlus managed a neat trick with the crease, too. With the phone all the way open, it practically disappears unless you manage to catch a reflection at just the right angle. It’s less pronounced when you run your finger over it than on the Pixel Fold or Galaxy Z Fold 5.
I’ve never found the crease on either of those devices to be bothersome since they mostly disappear when you’re looking at them straight on anyway. But the crease does bother some people, and the OnePlus Open is proof that a nearly creaseless foldable is possible.
The Open’s hinge is a little less stiff than the alternatives, too. You need to open it to about 45 degrees to get it to stay open — anything less than that, and it snaps shut again. The same thing happens on the other extreme — after about 135 degrees, it flops all the way open.
The Pixel and Galaxy foldable may be heavier and creasier, but they come with IPX8 ratings
The firmer hinges on the Pixel Fold and Z Fold 5 will hold the phone open at almost any angle between zero and 180 degrees, which can come in handy. In use, I didn’t have any problem with the Open’s reduced flexibility, and it’s nice not to feel like I have to pry it open every time I want to use the inner screen. OnePlus says the hinge has been tested to withstand one million folding cycles, which is a lot more than the 200,000 folds advertised by the Pixel Fold and Z Fold 5.
There’s a catch. The Pixel and Galaxy foldable may be heavier and creasier, but they come with IPX8 ratings, meaning they can withstand full immersion in water. That is not the case with the OnePlus Open. It’s merely splashproof, with an IPX4 rating. On top of that, long-term durability is a concern with any folding phone. The technology is still relatively new, and it’s hard to say exactly how well they’ll hold up in the long run. Samsung and Google foldables have certainly experienced their share of problems, even with full water resistance. Not to mention that it’s a little unsettling to run around with a $1,700 that could meet an untimely end if it ever fell into a puddle or toilet bowl.
OnePlus built its brand on the idea of “never settling” for compromises from your phone. Its first foldable, the $1,700 OnePlus Open, certainly delivers on that premise with impressive hardware (even with a few bizarre omissions). But its software and value, particularly in the US, make it a hard sell compared to established foldables like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5.
After testing the phone for a few weeks, I commend OnePlus for a strong first effort, particularly when it comes to the hardware. But even with OnePlus’ aggressive trade-in offer that knocks a minimum of $200 off the Open’s price with a trade-in of any phone (even an old or broken one), it’s hard to compete with carrier discounts that cut $800 or more off of rival devices with a trade-in and financing plan. That’s a solid deal, especially considering Samsung’s software is far more optimized for foldable displays.
Those considering the Open should be encouraged to see OnePlus adding some much-needed competition to the US foldable arena. But they also may want to look elsewhere or wait for the second-generation model before spending so much money.
Note: Oppo, OnePlus’ sister company, has released a similar version of this phone internationally, dubbed the Find N3. While the devices are similar, this review is of the OnePlus version that will be available in the US.
What’s good: The hardware
Design-wise, the OnePlus Open is more of a hybrid between Google’s Pixel Fold and the Z Fold 5. The 6.31-inch front screen isn’t as wide as the Pixel’s 5.8-inch display, but it is significantly more comfortable to hold and use than Samsung’s 6.2-inch screen on the Z Fold 5.
There’s a 7.82-inch display on the inside, which is slightly larger than Google and Samsung’s 7.6-inch options. Both the front and interior screens are vibrant OLED panels capable of 2K resolution, and they each support variable refresh rates up to 120Hz. The larger tablet-size display is capable of going all the way down to 1Hz, which can allow for smoother scrolling and gaming, or more efficient battery life (the front display can go down to 10Hz).
What impressed me the most about the hardware is how thin OnePlus has made the Open, and how the company seems to have almost completely minimized the larger display’s crease.
The phone is thinner than both Samsung’s and Google’s foldables. While I can still feel the crease and can see it at certain angles, I generally didn’t notice it while browsing around Chrome, messaging in WhatsApp navigating with Google Maps during the day, or watching YouTube or Loki on Disney Plus at night.
I did notice that some videos seemed less sharp on the OnePlus Open’s display than watching on other devices like an iPhone 14 Pro Max, though turning on some additional video settings (like “video color boost” and “bright HDR video mode”) did help.
The Dolby Atmos-capable speakers are fine and clear, though I do wish they got a bit louder. And despite being thinner than its rivals (my emerald dusk green version measures 11.7mm thick when folded and weighs 245 grams, a voyager black variant measures 11.9mm and weighs 239g), OnePlus Open staples like the alert slider remain, and there is a fingerprint sensor integrated into the sleep/wake button on the right side of the device.
The OnePlus Open closes completely without any wedges, a feat that took five iterations for Samsung to accomplish.
Opening up the OnePlus Open is easy. The hinge doesn’t require the same amount of force I’ve had to use on other foldables, like the Pixel Fold or Z Fold 5. I’ve only had the phone for a few weeks and obviously can’t predict how this will last over months or years, but my early impressions are encouraging.
If your phone does have issues, OnePlus says you’ll need to reach out to them directly as opposed to using any specific repair shops in the US.
The company tells CNET that in addition to its normal warranty, “we will bring in insurance services like OnePlus Care and will introduce a new service of exchanging a device instead of repairing the original.” OnePlus adds that the new service will run $99 and that “if customers need any repairment under the standard warranty policy, OnePlus will replace it to a new or refurbished device.”
OnePlus will also be offering a “60% discount on this price when buying a device at launch on Oct. 26.”
Benchmarks, battery, and interesting hardware choices
Like the Z Fold 5, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor runs the show, though OnePlus Open ups the RAM to 16GB compared to Samsung’s 12GB on the Z Fold 5 (there is only one storage option for the Open, 512GB). Performance is zippy, with apps opening quickly.
The phone supports 5G on AT&T, Verizon, and, T-Mobile’s respective networks (though it cannot connect to the higher frequency millimeter-wave 5G that is found around larger venues like stadiums), and I had no issues when popping an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM card into the device.
For benchmark fans, here is how it stacks up in our tests:
Benchmark testing results
|Phone||Geekbench 6 single-core||Geekbench 6 multicore||3D Mark Wild Life Extreme|
|OnePlus Open||1,571||4,556||3,641; 21.80 fps|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5||2,014||5,419||3,708; 22.20 fps|
|Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra||1,892||5,009||3,802; 22.8 fps|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4||1,842||4,508||2,777; 16.60 fps|
|Google Pixel Fold||1,458||3,540||1,733; 10.4 fps|
Finally, OnePlus made a few interesting choices on the hardware side. First, there’s the battery.
The 4,805-mAh cell provided impressive battery life and regularly lasted throughout the day even when watching plenty of videos, snapping photos, and WhatsApp-ing. I often relied on the larger internal screen for most of these tasks.
In a bit of a break from the norm, OnePlus includes a 67-watt charger in the box (albeit one that is USB-A to USB-C). That wired charging took me from empty to 25% in under 8 minutes, around 43% after 15 minutes, and up to 50% in around 18 minutes. A 30-minute charge got me from empty to 76% and getting to 100% took less than 44 minutes.
Running CNET’s 45-minute endurance test — where I streamed YouTube TV, browsed TikTok, played a few races of Asphalt 9, did a WhatsApp video call, and browsed the web using the larger internal display and while connected to Wi-Fi — the Open fell from 100% to around 88%. This is on par with a similar test on the Z Fold 5, but worse than the Pixel Fold, which only had a 5% drop in battery.
OnePlus Open: 45-minute battery endurance test
|Phone||Battery loss over 45 minutes|
|Google Pixel Fold||5%|
|Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra||6%|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5||12%|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4||18%|
Lower percentages are better.
Now the odd parts. OnePlus does not support wireless charging on the Open, which is surprising given how commonplace that feature is on modern smartphones, particularly considering this phone costs well over $1,000. The Open’s lack of wireless charging feels like we’re back to the 2019 OnePlus days.
With an IPX4 rating, the Open is also less durable than Samsung’s Z Fold 5 when it comes to water, but it still can handle splashes. Samsung’s foldable is IPX8-rated, which means it can handle a water drop (though as neither foldable is suitable for dust, you shouldn’t rush to take them to the beach).
While OnePlus didn’t give Open wireless charging or more advanced water and dust protection, it did throw in one other odd feature: An IR blaster for using your phone as a remote control. OnePlus includes a handy IR Remote app on the phone that allows for easy setup of devices ranging from cable boxes and TVs to electric heaters and air purifiers.