OnePlus Open review: Foldable loaded with amplified smartphone experiences

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OnePlus Open is a foldable smartphone developed by the Chinese electronics manufacturer OnePlus, in collaboration with its sister company, OPPO. This partnership is noteworthy because while OnePlus is relatively new to the foldable device market, OPPO has been making significant strides in this category for some time. This experience has enabled OnePlus to deliver a fresh and innovative experience without straying too far from its smartphone roots. Essentially, the OnePlus Open offers a smartphone-first experience in a foldable form factor. Let us find out in whether this approach to making foldable devices is the right one:


Design


The OnePlus Open exhibits a degree of thickness and weight that may seem excessive when compared to traditional bar-shaped smartphones. However, in the context of foldable devices, it manages to maintain a relatively slim profile with a thickness of 11.9mm when folded and a lightweight construction weighing 239g. It features a premium metallic body and a textured vegan leather back cover in Voyager Black (review unit). It is worth noting that the thickness is impacted by the rear-camera bulge, which is as thick as the frame. While the rear-camera module is positioned at the top side, it can hinder the in-hand experience by obstructing hand and finger movements. In the folded state, the camera module elevates the phone at an angle but does not cause it to wobble on flat surfaces. However, when unfolded, it renders the phone nearly unusable on flat surfaces due to excessive play on all sides.


Despite these minor issues, the OnePlus Open offers a comprehensive user experience. The flexible hinge allows for easy folding and unfolding, and it closes completely without leaving any gaps between the two halves of the device, minimizing the risk of dust and debris entering the main display. The device is IPX4 rated, offering some water resistance but no dust protection. The hinge also effectively conceals the display crease, which, while present, is not as prominently visible as on other foldable devices. Completing the design is the alert slider key, located on the top half of the frame. Despite being positioned directly above the volume rocker keys in folded state, it does not create any obstructions and is easily distinguishable from the volume keys due to its textured finish.


Display


The OnePlus Open boasts two equally capable displays—an inward-bending main display and a cover display. The cover display is a 6.31-inch 10-bit 2K AMOLED panel with LTPO 3.0 for adaptive refresh rates ranging from 10Hz to 120Hz. The primary bendable display is a 7.82-inch 10-bit 2K AMOLED panel with the same adaptive refresh rate capabilities (1Hz-120Hz). Both displays are exceptionally bright and support Dolby Vision.


Notably, OnePlus has maintained the size and aspect ratio of the cover display to closely resemble that of bar-shaped smartphones, ensuring a familiar user experience. However, the main bendable display offers a unique experience in line with the foldable form factor. It features a near-square aspect ratio for a consistent experience regardless of orientation.


The main display mirrors the interface of the cover display, but optimised to handle multiple windows and apps more effectively. OnePlus has powered the main display with “Open Canvas” interface, which allows users to open three different apps simultaneously on the main display without interfering with each other. The active app window can be stretched, expanded, repositioned, and resized, and other windows can be easily brought back with a simple swipe gesture.


Additionally, OnePlus has optimised its own and select third-party apps to provide an intuitive experience on the large display. For instance, apps such as Outlook, LinkedIn, Recorder, IR Remote, and WhatsApp have different interfaces for the main display and cover display. This design facilitates multitasking, efficient app switching, and drag-and-drop functionality in supported apps.


Camera


The OnePlus Open features a total of five camera sensors—three on the rear, one on the cover display, and one on the main display. The rear camera setup comprises a 48-megapixel (Sony Lytia-808) autofocus sensor with optical image stabilization, a 48MP ultra-wide-angle sensor with autofocus, and a 64MP 3x telephoto with OIS and autofocus. The cover display houses a 32MP sensor, while the main display includes a 20MP camera sensor.


This on-paper flagship-grade camera system offers a mix of strengths and weaknesses. The primary camera sensor stands out, delivering consistent performance in various lighting conditions. It offers natural shallow depth-of-field, enhancing the quality of shots and ensuring accurate focus most of the time.


The ultra-wide-angle camera performs well in daylight conditions but struggles in low-light environments, exhibiting noise and difficulty capturing essential details like shadows, highlights, and contrast. Furthermore, it has different colour tuning, resulting in a lack of colour symmetry with the primary sensor. While it offers a wide field of view, it tends to soften the frame at the edges. The autofocus feature works best in good lighting conditions and from a close distance.


The 3x telephoto lens is decent, excelling in daylight but facing challenges in low-light conditions. The 32MP camera sensor on the cover display is good, conveniently placed in the center of the top side. However, the 20MP camera sensor on the main display is positioned at the top-right side in horizontal orientation, requiring users to adjust the frame and look directly at the camera for natural-looking photos. Despite this inconvenience, the camera compensates with impressive image quality, surpassing the under-display camera found in other foldable devices.


While the OnePlus Open camera system is not flawless, it offers several value-added features. Notable features include Hasselblad portraits at 1x, 2x, and 3x focal lengths, mimicking the bokeh effect of Hasselblad lenses, and Dolby Vision video recording in 4K resolution at 30fps. The rear camera setup can record videos in up to 4K resolution at 60fps from all three sensors. OnePlus has introduced a dedicated stabilisation mode, “Ultra Steady,” using the ultra-wide-angle sensor, limiting video resolution to 1080p at 60fps but providing effective stabilization. Overall, video quality from the rear camera sensors is good, though not the absolute best.


Performance


Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the OnePlus Open delivers a smooth experience with no lag or slowdown even during extended use. Core features such as Open Canvas for multitasking, Dolby Vision video recording, and drag-and-drop functionality work flawlessly. The device maintains top-notch performance with no thermal issues during typical use. However, power- and graphics-intensive tasks can cause the device to become slightly warm, particularly in the hinge and display areas. Nonetheless, thermal levels generally remain within acceptable limits and do not significantly impact overall performance.


Battery


The OnePlus Open excels in battery performance, providing an impressive screen-on time of approximately seven hours in mixed usage. This translates to a foldable device that can confidently last a full day before requiring a recharge. Speaking of charging, the device supports 67W fast wired charging with the included 80W SUPERVOOC charger, taking just over an hour to fully recharge the battery.


Verdict


In summary, the OnePlus Open offers a thin and lightweight design, premium build, stunning displays, smooth performance, and impressive battery life. While the camera experience has its strengths and weaknesses, it is generally superior to that of other foldable devices.


The OnePlus Open represents a successful first attempt at a foldable smartphone by OnePlus, in collaboration with OPPO. Priced at Rs 139,999, it introduces novel experiences that are not typically achievable with traditional bar-shaped smartphones, making it a compelling option in the foldable device market.

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