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HomeTechOnePlus Open Review: Sleek Hardware Isn't Enough to Take on Samsung

OnePlus Open Review: Sleek Hardware Isn’t Enough to Take on Samsung


OnePlus Open


  • Good battery life

  • Wonderful {hardware}

  • Quick wired charging

Do not like

  • Cameras are simply OK

  • Software program not optimized for bigger show

  • No wi-fi charging

OnePlus constructed its model on the thought of “by no means settling” for compromises out of your cellphone. Its first foldable, the $1,700 OnePlus Open, definitely delivers on that premise with spectacular {hardware} (even with a number of weird omissions). However its software program and worth, significantly within the US, make it a tough promote in comparison with established foldables like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5. 

After testing the cellphone for a number of weeks, I commend OnePlus for a powerful first effort, significantly with regards to the {hardware}. However even with OnePlus’ aggressive trade-in supply that knocks a minimal of $200 off the Open’s worth with a trade-in of any cellphone (even an previous or damaged one), it is arduous to compete with provider reductions that reduce $800 or extra off of rival gadgets with a trade-in and financing plan. That is a strong deal, particularly contemplating Samsung’s software program is way extra optimized for foldable shows. 

These contemplating the Open must be inspired to see OnePlus including some much-needed competitors to the US foldable area. However additionally they might wish to look elsewhere or look forward to the second-generation mannequin earlier than spending a lot cash. 

Word: Oppo, OnePlus’ sister firm, might launch the same model of this cellphone internationally beneath its Discover N-series line of foldables. This assessment is of the OnePlus model that shall be obtainable within the US.

What’s good: The {hardware}

Front screen on the OnePlus Open

The entrance show on the OnePlus Open is a bit wider and simpler to make use of than the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s entrance display screen.

Numi Prasarn/CNET

Design-wise, the OnePlus Open is extra of a hybrid between Google’s Pixel Fold and the Z Fold 5. The 6.31-inch entrance display screen is not as vast because the Pixel’s 5.8-inch show, however it’s considerably extra snug to carry and use than Samsung’s 6.2-inch display screen on the Z Fold 5. 

There is a 7.82-inch show on the within, which is barely bigger than Google and Samsung’s 7.6-inch choices. Each the entrance and inside screens are vibrant OLED panels able to 2K decision, and so they every help variable refresh charges as much as 120Hz. The bigger tablet-size show is able to going all the way in which right down to 1Hz, which might permit for smoother scrolling and gaming, or extra environment friendly battery life (the entrance show can go right down to 10Hz). 

What impressed me essentially the most in regards to the {hardware} is how skinny OnePlus has made the Open, and the way the corporate appears to have virtually fully minimized the bigger show’s crease. 

Watching YouTube on the OnePlus Open

Watching YouTube on the OnePlus Open. 

Numi Prasarn/CNET

The cellphone is thinner than each Samsung’s and Google’s foldables. Whereas I can nonetheless really feel the crease and may see it at sure angles, I usually did not discover it whereas shopping round Chrome, messaging in WhatsApp or navigating with Google Maps in the course of the day or watching YouTube or Loki on Disney Plus at night time.

I did discover that some movies appeared much less sharp on the OnePlus’ show than watching on different gadgets like an iPhone 14 Professional Max, although turning on some extra video settings (like “video coloration enhance” and “vivid HDR video mode”) did assist. 

The Dolby Atmos-capable audio system are wonderful and clear, although I do want they obtained a bit louder. And regardless of being thinner than its rivals (my emerald nightfall inexperienced model measures 11.7mm thick when folded and weighs 245 grams, a voyager black variant measures 11.9mm and weighs 239g), OnePlus staples just like the alert slider stay, and there’s a fingerprint sensor built-in within the sleep/wake button on the appropriate aspect of the system. 

The OnePlus Open closes fully with none wedges, a feat that took 5 iterations for Samsung to perform. 

Side of the OnePlus Open.

The OnePlus Open is thinner than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google’s Pixel Fold. The Open additionally retains OnePlus staples just like the alert slider. 

Numi Prasarn/CNET

Opening up the Open is simple and easy. The hinge would not require the identical quantity of pressure I’ve had to make use of on different foldables, just like the Pixel Fold or Z Fold 5. I’ve solely had the cellphone for a number of weeks and clearly cannot predict how this can final over months or years, however my early impressions are encouraging.

In case your cellphone does have points, OnePlus says you may want to succeed in out to them immediately versus utilizing any particular restore outlets within the US. 

The corporate tells CNET that along with its regular guarantee, “we’ll usher in insurance coverage providers like OnePlus Care and can introduce a brand new service of exchanging a tool as a substitute of repairing the unique.” OnePlus provides that the brand new service will run $99 and that “if prospects want any repairment beneath the usual guarantee coverage, OnePlus will exchange it to a brand new or refurbished system.”

OnePlus may also offer a “60% low cost on this worth when shopping for a tool at launch on Oct. 26.”

Benchmarks, battery and attention-grabbing {hardware} selections

Just like the Z Fold 5, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor runs the present, although OnePlus ups the RAM to 16GB in comparison with Samsung’s 12GB on the Z Fold 5 (there is just one storage possibility for the Open, 512GB). Efficiency is zippy, with apps opening shortly. 

The cellphone helps 5G on AT&T, Verizon and T-Cell’s respective networks, and I had no points when popping an AT&T or T-Cell SIM card into the system. No US provider shall be promoting the Open immediately, nevertheless, although OnePlus shall be promoting the cellphone unlocked from its web site in addition to Amazon and Greatest Purchase. 

For benchmark followers, right here is the way it stacks up in our exams: 

Benchmark testing outcomes

Telephone Geekbench 6 single-core Geekbench 6 multicore 3D Mark Wild Life Excessive
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 Extremely 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

Lastly, OnePlus made a number of attention-grabbing selections on the {hardware} aspect. First, there’s the battery. 

The 4,805-mAh cell offered spectacular battery life and repeatedly lasted all through the day even when watching loads of movies, snapping pictures and WhatsApp-ing. I usually relied on the bigger inner display screen for many of those duties. 

In a little bit of a break from the norm, OnePlus features a 67-watt charger within the field (albeit one that’s USB-A to USB-C). That wired charging took me from empty to 25% in beneath 8 minutes, round 43% after quarter-hour, and as much as 50% in round 18 minutes. A 30-minute cost obtained me from empty to 76% and attending to 100% took lower than 44 minutes.

Operating CNET’s 45-minute endurance check — the place I streamed YouTube TV, browsed TikTok, performed a number of races of Asphalt 9, did a WhatsApp video name, and browsed the online utilizing the bigger inner show and whereas linked to Wi-Fi — the Open fell from 100% to round 88%. That is on par with the same check on the Z Fold 5, however worse than the Pixel Fold, which solely had a 5% drop in battery. 

45-minute battery endurance check

Telephone Battery loss over 45 minutes
Google Pixel Fold 5%
Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely 6%
OnePlus Open 12%
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 12%
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 18%

Decrease percentages are higher.

Now the odd components. OnePlus doesn’t help wi-fi charging on the Open, which is stunning given how commonplace that function is on fashionable smartphones, significantly contemplating this cellphone prices effectively over $1,000. The Open’s lack of wi-fi charging seems like we’re again to the 2019 OnePlus days. 

With an IPX4 ranking, the Open can be much less sturdy than Samsung’s Z Fold 5 with regards to water, nevertheless it nonetheless can deal with splashes. Samsung’s foldable is IPX8-rated, which implies it could actually deal with a drop in water (although as neither foldable is appropriate for mud, you should not rush to take them to the seaside). 

Whereas OnePlus did not give the Open wi-fi charging or extra superior water and mud safety, it did throw in a single different odd function: An IR blaster for utilizing your cellphone as a distant management. OnePlus features a useful IR Distant app on the cellphone that permits for straightforward setup of gadgets starting from cable containers and TVs to electrical heaters and air purifiers. 

I attempted it out on a number of totally different TVs and it labored surprisingly effectively, even when IR blasters really feel like a 2013 function, not a 2023 one.

Cameras: What you’d anticipate from OnePlus 

OnePlus Open rear cameras

The three rear cameras create a large bump on the again of the Open.

Numi Prasarn/CNET

The OnePlus Open has 5 cameras, together with a 32-megapixel fixed-focus primary digicam on the entrance display screen and a 20-megapixel fixed-focus digicam on the within display screen. The principle rear digicam system as soon as once more bears the Hasselblad identify and consists of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a 64-megapixel telephoto lens and a 48-megapixel ultrawide digicam. The corporate claims the telephoto digicam can obtain a 6x zoom (doing an in-sensor zoom on a 3x optical telephoto lens) and a 120x digital zoom, whereas the ultrawide can shoot at 0.6x. 

An ultra-wide shot from the OnePlus Open

An ultrawide shot from the OnePlus Open.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

1x zoom from the OnePlus Open

1x zoom from the OnePlus Open.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Photographs from all three rear cameras are, effectively, wonderful. With the appropriate lighting, you will get some strong photos. However nearer inspection reveals an expertise that appears to be on a par with what my colleague Andrew Lanxon discovered when he reviewed the OnePlus 11 earlier this yr. When in comparison with Samsung’s foldable, I personally most popular the better element and sharpness in pictures taken with the Z Fold 5, even when Samsung nonetheless oversaturates colours. 

I did just like the 6x zoom, and it took some surprisingly strong pictures. The 120x digital zoom, nevertheless, jogged my memory of Samsung’s 100x “area zoom” when it was first launched again on the Galaxy S20, each when it comes to the standard of photos it produced and the unbelievable difficulties it takes to seek out your shot, regular your arms and seize it. 

It is a cool quantity to tout on the Open’s advertising and marketing, however one thing I think about will largely be pointless to everybody utilizing the system in on a regular basis conditions. 

6x zoom on the OnePlus Open.

6x zoom on the OnePlus Open.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

120x digital zoom on the OnePlus Open

120x digital zoom on the OnePlus Open.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

There additionally was an odd incidence when zooming in turned the complete Open display screen purple, however that problem solely occurred as soon as and corrected itself. 

It is usually price noting that OnePlus issued a software program replace earlier this week that promised to “optimize the overexposure in sure scenes” and “improve the readability of tele night time scenes.” 

Night photo from the OnePlus Open

Evening picture from the OnePlus Open, taken after the current software program replace.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Night photos from the OnePlus Open of a skeleton pouring a drink

Evening pictures from the OnePlus Open, taken earlier than the software program replace.

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

As for the opposite cameras, video calls over WhatsApp on Wi-Fi seemed wonderful when utilizing each the interior digicam and the one on the entrance display screen. Nevertheless, I did admire the additional gentle the bigger unfolded show gives when utilizing the interior display screen. In contrast to Samsung’s Fold line, the Open’s digicam isn’t hidden beneath pixels on the display screen. Whereas the Open’s display screen is not as futuristic-looking when the digicam is not in use, this design does present a bit extra digicam readability and sharpness. 

A group selfie taken on the OnePlus Open

A bunch selfie utilizing the 32-megapixel digicam from the entrance display screen on the OnePlus Open. 

Theodore Liggins/CNET

Like different foldables, OnePlus permits you to use the extra highly effective rear cameras along with the outer display screen for selfies. Whereas it’s kind of extra cumbersome to carry, it’s a good contact and a superb use of the extra succesful lenses. 

Software program: Missing foldable polish

OnePlus has lengthy supplied a close-to-clean Android expertise, and with its OxygenOS it largely continues that pattern. The cellphone ships with OnePlus’ OxygenOS 13.2 software program, which itself is constructed upon Android 13. OnePlus guarantees 4 years of main Android OS upgrades and 5 years of safety updates.

The corporate says that Android 14 will arrive “round” the tip of the yr. 

As has been the case with its different gadgets, the Open has a handful of OnePlus apps like “Zen House” (for disconnecting out of your cellphone) and “O Loosen up” for unwinding, however neither is especially noteworthy. They don’t seem to be particularly helpful, and I discovered myself ignoring them.

There may be additionally an curiously named “Clone Telephone” app for transferring knowledge from an older system to the Open (or from the Open to a more moderen system). 

OnePlus Open multitasking.

Multitasking on the Open is doable, however not as refined as Samsung’s implementation on the Z Fold 5. 

Numi Prasarn/CNET

My largest problem with the Open is its multitasking software program. I’ve made loads of comparisons to Samsung already on this assessment, and for good cause. Proper now, Samsung has set the bar for foldables within the US. The Galaxy Z Fold is already 5 generations previous, and that exhibits in its considerably extra refined software program. 

Each gadgets permit for multitasking full with taskbars for simply summoning new apps. However Samsung’s implementation made it simpler to get a number of apps working side-by-side, although I did like OnePlus’ two-finger slide-down gesture from the highest of the display screen for shortly enabling multitasking. 

However when working Google Sheets alongside WhatsApp, I’ve much more flexibility to resize home windows on the Z Fold 5 than I do with the Open. OnePlus usually will deal with these apps like home windows and push them to the aspect simply outdoors of view, versus resizing them as split-screen apps in order that each apps can run without delay on the display screen. 

I may additionally open a 3rd app way more simply on the Z Fold 5 than I may on the Open. Operating Chrome alongside WhatsApp and Sheets and resizing them as I deemed match was simple on the Z Fold 5. On the Open, I actually solely may do two at a time with the third obtainable in a window beneath. 

With effort and time, I anticipate OnePlus to enhance on this space. I might additionally prefer to see OnePlus supply its personal tackle Samsung’s PC-like DeX mode, which turns the highly effective Open right into a extra full-fledged laptop when plugged right into a monitor. 

Is the Open price it? 

The OnePlus Open showing the YouTube app

Numi Prasarn/CNET

There may be definitely loads to like about OnePlus’ first foldable. Though its cameras go away room for progress, its {hardware} is stellar with a skinny design, vibrant screens and quick wired charging. I really like that OnePlus features a quick charger and a case within the field, too. 

The software program exhibits promise, though it wants extra refinement to really benefit from the bigger foldable show. Maybe a few of this can come as Google improves the foldable Android expertise as a complete. However you must by no means purchase a product with the hope that an organization would possibly repair one thing later – even when OnePlus is promising 4 years of main OS upgrades. 

On the finish of the day, the Open’s largest problem is one which has plagued OnePlus for years: worth. It is arduous to justify spending $1,700 for the Open when you think about trade-in affords and provider offers that knock a whole lot off a Galaxy Z Fold 5 or Pixel Fold. Throw in Samsung’s common gross sales and its folding various is not solely extra refined on the software program entrance, however very doubtless is extra inexpensive, too. 

In case you are in search of a foldable this vacation season, take into account the OnePlus Open. However you in all probability shall be higher off shopping for Samsung’s mannequin as a substitute. 

How we check telephones

Each cellphone examined by CNET’s evaluations workforce was really utilized in the true world. We check a cellphone’s options, play video games and take pictures. We study the show to see if it is vivid, sharp and vibrant. We analyze the design and construct to see how it’s to carry and whether or not it has an IP-rating for water resistance. We push the processor’s efficiency to the extremes utilizing each standardized benchmark instruments like GeekBench and 3DMark, together with our personal anecdotal observations navigating the interface, recording high-resolution movies and enjoying graphically intense video games at excessive refresh charges.

All of the cameras are examined in a wide range of circumstances from vivid daylight to darkish indoor scenes. We check out particular options like night time mode and portrait mode and examine our findings towards equally priced competing telephones. We additionally try the battery life through the use of the cellphone every day in addition to working a sequence of battery drain exams.

We keep in mind extra options that may be helpful, like help for 5G, satellite tv for pc connectivity, fingerprint and face sensors, stylus help, quick charging speeds and foldable shows, amongst others. And we steadiness all this towards the value to provide the verdict on whether or not that cellphone, no matter worth it’s, really represents good worth.

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