The new OnePlus Open takes a new step forward with a bright, light, high-performance foldable phone

  • OnePlus has designed an amazing folding phone.
  • Even better, all the fancy specs disappear into a device that just works.
  • The OnePlus Open is light, has a bright screen, and has a very good camera.
  • It charges super fast, but only via a wired cable.

The OnePlus Open is a great first foldable phone from OnePlus, which has always made really good phones at a lower price than its competitors.

However, the Open isn't a budget phone. On the contrary, this is a folding phone that is completely in line with the style of Samsung Z Fold5. Open easily transforms from a stylish single screen to a mini tablet, giving you a stunning internal screen so you can surf the web, play games or watch movies in all the glory of Dolby Vision.

The phone is sleek and lightweight, a little smaller than my iPhone 15 Pro Max when folded, but ultra-thin and sturdy when open. Both configurations feel solid in the hand, and although it's a little thicker than the iPhone when folded, it fits nicely in my front pocket. The extra ounce of weight is also negligible.

Ultimately, the OnePlus Open is a phone that I thoroughly enjoyed using during the few weeks I had it with me. Of course, the beautiful specs and engineering built into this device are impressive, but what makes me recommend it is how it works.

The company continues its partnership with Hasselblad, offering a stunningly large camera on the back of the device. If you like big camera bumps, it's simply gorgeous, and it takes really good photos. It comes with a 48MP main camera that uses Sony's "Dual-Layer Transistor Pixel" technology, which helps it perform better in low light at a smaller size than traditional sensors.

There's also a 64MP telephoto camera with 3x optical and 6x in-sensor zoom, which performs well in daylight but can be a bit rough around the edges in the dark. That said, 6x zoom is a handy little preset for when you want to get closer to your subjects without having to walk too close to them.

The rear camera array also includes a 48MP "ultra-wide" lens, which allows you to zoom out and capture more of the scene than a typical main camera. Selfie lovers have a 20MP camera in tablet mode and a 32MP lens in normal off mode. Compare this to the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 12MP camera.

One of the coolest little camera features, though, is how you can expand "Open" and place a selfie preview on the outer screen. In other words, you can use the nifty camera on the back of your device and see yourself on your phone's home screen, now in open mode, to the right of the camera. Selfies have never looked so good with a better camera.

Honestly, the screen on this device is simply stunning. The brightness of both the external and internal screens can reach 2,800 nits, which is even better than the 2,504 nits of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This gives you a bright screen in sunlight, whether you use "on" or "off" single-screen mode.

When watching side-by-side Netflix shows in Dolby Vision on my iPhone 15 Pro Max, the Open felt brighter and more contrasty, for lack of a better term. It may not be as warm as a monitor, but the open screen works great with just about anything I throw at them in any lighting condition.

The battery is also excellent, at 4,805mAh (my iPhone has 4,422mAh), which means the phone can last a full day with standard use. The best part, though, is the fast charging, which happens when you use the included 67W charging brick. I could consistently charge it to 100% in less than an hour, which is a game-changer for charging. I never worry about running low because I can top up the battery in just a few minutes. This is a great technology that helps us actually use our phones.

What's missing here, though, is wireless charging, which is sad but not the end of the world (it's also missing from the OnePlus 11). If you need wireless charging, though, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Now, if you haven't noticed, I'm an iOS guy through and through. As I experimented with various devices at work, I considered switching to Android, but I was always relieved when I returned to an iPhone. To me, iOS is more elegant, user-friendly, and understandable to the average person than Android.

That said, foldable devices have some hurdles to overcome in terms of usability. It had to be a version of Android that felt usable and had to be able to adapt to larger screens without any lag. The OnePlus Open runs on the company's OxygenOS 13.2 and its so-called Open Canvas system (created in partnership with Google), which is designed to avoid Android's traditional difficulties with larger tablet screens.

There's a lot of fun in using Open like a standard non-folding phone, then flipping over to tablet view and continuing what you were doing on a larger canvas.

The results are simply fantastic. There's a lot of fun in using Open like a standard non-folding phone, then flipping over to tablet view and continuing what you were doing on a larger canvas. It might even be cooler to do the opposite - just fold your mini tablet in half and use it with one hand like a regular phone.

It also has a built-in multitasking system, which makes tablet mode even more attractive. You can have up to three apps on the screen at the same time and just move them around. There's even a dock-like taskbar that appears in tablet mode, making it easier to find apps.

OnePlus claims that 95% of mainstream apps support the new tablet mode, and I never found any that didn't. I was able to use every app I played with in tablet mode and split view, whether I had two or three apps open at the same time. It's a very good system and it works very well.

Of course, getting this kind of quality in a foldable phone doesn't come cheap.

The base price of the OnePlus Open is a staggering $1,699.99 US ($2,299.99 CAD), which makes sense for a company focused on making the best foldable phones. Heck, the latest Samsung Z Fold 5 also starts at $1,799.

OnePlus does want to help, though, and is offering discounts of up to $1,000 with certain trade-ins. It's even willing to offer a $200 discount on any phone you want to ship, regardless of its condition, a deal the company promises to honor throughout the Open's lifetime.

If you pre-order on from today until October 25, you'll also get a free pair of limited-edition white Buds Pro 2, three months of YouTube Premium membership, and six months of Google One 100GB membership.

The OnePlus Open will be available to everyone on October 26, with a $200 trade-in offer and up to $1,000 in discounts on "qualifying trade-ins." You can also get a free white Buds Pro 2 until supplies last (the company is only making 5,000 of them).

Beyond that, if you want a premium folding phone experience coupled with amazing technology that's easy to use, you'll want to check out the OnePlus Open right now.