OnePlus Open Review – Magnum Opus - STORE ELECTRONIC

OnePlus Open Review – Magnum Opus


The OnePlus Open was first teased at MWC 2023 when the company announced they are working on their first foldable, and it would be revealed later this year. The foldable phone market has been largely dominated by Samsung for quite some time now and finally we are seeing attempts from other brands. While Motorola and Oppo have launched Flip phones, only Tecno has launched a full foldable so far in India, other than Samsung. The expectations from a OnePlus foldable are quite high. Is the OnePlus Open worth buying? Does it stand a chance against the competition? Let’s find out in our review.

OnePlus claims that they have spared no effort while creating the Open and the result is evident in overall feel of the device. The Open does give us confidence on the Foldable form factor.

The original Samsung Galaxy Fold when it launched had a jaw-dropping foldable screen which was unprecedented at that time but my biggest gripe with it was it needed to be treated delicately. Even reviewers and consumers were given clear instructions on handling the device. It felt like innovation which came with a trade-off. Thankfully, in 2023, Samsung’s Z Fold 5 is no longer the delicate darling the Fold 1 was. Display technology and the ecosystem has gotten mature over the past 5 years and credit to Samsung for pushing and investing in a segment which had few takers initially. Foldables are quickly becoming more popular among business users and productivity buffs. While the Flip form-factor is more popular due the cost, large screen foldables or phablets offer a larger feature set to consumers. The Open launches at a time when consumers are finally ready to invest in a foldable.

OnePlus Open Video Review

Box Contents

In the box, you get the device along with a bumper case which does cover all the sides. The back cover has the leather finish similar to the phone. There is also a 80W SUPERVOOC charger along with a USB-A to C cable.

Displays

On the front you are greeted by the 6.3 inch cover screen which a AMOLED LTPO 3.0 panel with 120Hz refresh rate. OnePlus has managed to match the brightness of the cover screen and the larger display to 2800 nits peak brightness and 1400 nits high brightness. The cover screen has a 3-layer protection and features Ceramic Guard which is 20% more impact resistant than Gorilla Glass Victus.

The beauty of the cover screen is that I don’t need to move to the larger screen every single time. With the Galaxy Z Fold I would end up using the cover screen for 20% of the time and use the larger screen for the majority. On the Open, I could get most of my work done on the cover screen and I only used the larger screen when I needed the extra real estate for multi-tasking.

On the inside is a vibrant 7.82 inch AMOLED LTPO 3.0 screen with 120 Hz refresh rate. The crease is barely noticeable while using the device most users won’t notice it.

Hardware

The device feels premium from the moment you pick it up. What took me by surprise is how light the device feels in the hand, the weight distribution is well balanced. The ergonomics are spot on and you can actually use the phone in one-hand either the cover screen or even in the open state without having to strain your fingers.

In terms of waterproofing, the Open is rated for IPX4 which means it can only take withstand splashes from all directions. But interestingly, there are drainage holes on the hinge on both sides of the spindle which lets water drain in case of a spill.

OnePlus claims that the the hinge has been tested for 1 million folds which is much higher than the competition.

Surprise -Alert Slider and IR Blaster

The iconic Alert Slider has existed since the OnePlus One and I had a feeling they might omit this feature on the Open given the complexity of a moving switch on the foldable form factor. OnePlus has not only retained the slider button but gone ahead increased its size.

The fingerprint sensor is located on the power button and the volume rocker is on the top right.

Another surprise addition is the IR or Infrared blaster which was available on the OnePlus 11R recently.

The triple spatial speaker setup is neat and along with Dolby Atmos, the audio experience is very good.

Camera – Aiming higher

The camera setup on the Open is quite versatile and you can get some good shots with it. OnePlus decided to bring the Hasselblad camera tech to the Open as well like on the Pro series.

The 48MP main camera uses a Sony LYT-T808 Pixel stacked sensor which is being for the first time in smartphone.  The 64MP telephoto camera uses an OmniVision sensor which is capable for 3X optical zoom and 6X in-sensor zoom. The 48Mp ultra-wide camera uses Sony’s IMX581 sensor and has a 114 degree field of view.

This is one of my favourite pictures captured on the Open, an ant running in the sand near the sea.

Here are more camera samples. With the parachute subject, you can see images captured at various zoom levels which shows the prowess of the telephoto camera.

Using the XPAN mode, you can capture such shots

Here is a shot taken in low-light

On the video front, the rear cameras can capture 4K video at 60 fps and 4K in Dolby Vision at 30 fps.

For selfies, you have a 32MP camera on the cover screen which can capture video at 4K @ 30 fps.

The 20MP camera on the inner screen is located on the upper right corner and comes in handy for video calls as you can place the phone on a desk folded half way.

Here are couple of selfies captured on the phone. I like the ability to capture using the rear camera although the selfie cameras aren’t too shabby.

 

The camera interface is pretty straight forward and you won’t find a zillion AI and beatification modes. You can also turn add watermarks with Hasselblad branding if you like to show off some details about the lens, aperture etc.

Performance

On the performance front, the experience was smooth with no hiccups or lag and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 makes the device shine. The Open is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC paired with 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage.

On the connectivity front, there is 5G dual SIM support with two nano SIM slots along with an eSIM option which will available at a later date. WiFi 7 supports is baked in along with Bluetooth 5.3 support.

On the thermal front, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is based on the 4nm process and the Open did not get noticeably hot during regular usage and I did not notice any unusual heating on the device. OnePlus says that they have designed a heat dissipation system specifically for foldables based on the heat source : chipset, display, cameras, modem etc. which helps keep the phone cooler for longer periods of time.

Here are some benchmarks of the device from Geekbench and Antutu

While installing a software update I saw a message popup which asked me to place the device in the open state for better heat dissipation which is thoughtful.

Software

The device was running Android 13 and Oxygen OS 13.2 at the time of this review.  Samsung’s One UI has been the most popular so far in the Foldable space and I was curious to see what Oxygen OS has to offer.

Oxygen OS does offer a lot of goodies specifically for the Foldable form factor. I wish the OS included a tutorial mode or guided tour for the multi-tasking features as it was not obvious when I used the device for the first few hours.

Multi-tasking is possible on the cover screen as well as on the inner screen. I was able to run two apps simultaneously on the cover screen. On the inner screen, you can have upto 3 apps side by side on the screen and you can chose to stack them horizontally or move the 3rd app to the 2nd row.

I wish Oxygen OS offered a Desktop mode when the device is connected to an external screen as this would be awesome for productivity buffs. While Apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook support the full-screen experience with two panes, I could not get it working on Twitter(X).

There have been multiple software updates during the time I have had the device as we get closer to the launch day. OnePlus is promising 4 years of major Android OS upgrades and 5 years of security upgrades for the Open. The company also says that it will work with Google to improve the user experience over time.

Battery Life

The open packs a 4805 mAh dual-cell battery which can be charged to 100% using 67W SUPERVOOC charging in around 42 minutes which is one of the fastest charging times for a Foldable device. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 packs a 4400mAh battery and takes over 80 minutes for a full charge. OnePlus and Oppo have had an edge in the fast-charging space for a while and it is no surprise that the OnePlus Open gets charged really fast.  The Open can get you through a typical day easily and still have some juice left. Constant 5G data and hotspot usage and resource intensive apps like games can drain the battery faster.

Conclusion

The Open is the best foldable phone I have used so far. The device sets a very good perception about the future of foldable smartphones.

OnePlus has demonstrated that someone other Samsung can launch a full blown foldable and launch it across many markets. I also wish it pushes Samsung and other players to push the envelope when it comes innovating on this form-factor.

While the OnePlus Open manages to tick most of the boxes in terms of features and performance, in a market like India, a product’s market potential is highly linked to the price. The Open is priced at INR 1,39,999 and a bank discount brings the price down to INR 1,34,999 which is significantly lower than Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 which starts at 1,47,999 for 256GB storage and INR 157,999 for the 512 GB storage. The OnePlus Open is not only cheaper by Rs.23000 but also fully packed with innovative features in several aspects. The India pricing is also on par or in fact lower than the US and European pricing for the device which shows the company’s confidence and commitment to the India market. The fight for the best foldable smartphone is now officially Open.

Pros

  • Best foldable experience in the market
  • Fantastic build quality and design
  • Solid performance with no hiccups
  • Versatile camera setup
  • Fast charging
  • No bloatware

Cons

  • Oxygen OS might lack some features
  • No Wireless charging
  • No IP68 rating


Author: Varun Krish

Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Apple iPhone 13 Pro and Google Pixel 6. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish
View all posts by Varun Krish





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