OnePlus wants you to open its foldable –its first ever— for everything. But I disagree. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5, sure, but not the OnePlus Open. The Open is the only foldable in the market today, that I have tried, that does not need to be always opened (even if it would defeat the whole purpose of buying a foldable, to some people). Allow me to explain.

You, me, and brands investing heavily in research and development to make these things need to understand that even with all their quirks and whatnot, a foldable still needs to work and behave like a smartphone first. The mini tablet shenanigans, while important, come second. The end goal should be, “hey, I got a smartphone that doubles as a mini tablet,” and not the other way round.

OnePlus Open quick review
The OnePlus Open has a 7.8-inch screen on the inside. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Oddly enough, Samsung’s foldables still can’t do that, convincingly enough. Even after multiple generations, their outer screen continues to feel – for the lack of a better word— weird. Yes, you can open them and do so much more, but can you use them as a regular smartphone? The answer is sadly, no. At a price of up and above 1.5 lakh, a work-around smartphone is not what anybody expects, even if it can fold and unfold at your convenience. Which is a big reason why, the OnePlus Open could be Samsung’s worst nightmare.

While not exactly a first attempt, what with it being a rebadged Oppo Find N3 and all, the first foldable with OnePlus branding gets the smartphone aspect right. That is the first thing you notice about it and the first impressions will stay with you forever, even if I can’t personally vouch for its long-term durability. Nobody can.

OnePlus Open quick review
Creasing is not a problem.

Straight up, the Open has hands-down the best possible implementation of the cover display. The size, the aspect ratio both are spot-on. Ergonomically speaking, too, the Open feels like an engineering marvel. The emerald dusk variant I am reviewing is made of glass and weighs only 245g. And it is just 11.7mm thick. Those numbers are fetching for a foldable, but numbers do little justice to how good the Open feels in the hand.

And then, when you finally open it, as you should, you’re not doing it because you have no choice, but because you want to, because you need the expansive canvas to do more. It could be running multiple apps side by side, watching a web series, playing a game, or simply to gawk at the thing. Money well spent, you say.

OnePlus Open quick review
The Open has a trio of sensors on the back with a proper 64MP telephoto. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Spec-wise, the Open leaves little to complain. Everything from the build quality to the screen(s), to the choice of chipset, RAM and storage, cameras, and battery capacity is top tier. IP rating and wireless charging are curious omissions and while I would have liked the Open to be more affordable, at Rs 139,999 (16GB/512GB), the OnePlus Open gets more right than it does wrong. For the complete low-down on specs and how it compares with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, be sure to read our full coverage report here and watch this space for our full review of the OnePlus Open coming soon.

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