OnePlus entered the folding smartphone market with its new OnePlus Open. The company’s first foldable smartphone incorporates many impressive features and specifications and — unlike many competing folding smartphones — promises uncompromising performance in a sleek folding form factor.
In many ways, the OnePlus Open follows the lead of the OnePlus 11 smartphone launched earlier this year. However, OnePlus is adamant that the Open reflects an evolution of existing technology, a promise that is felt perhaps most acutely with the device’s camera specifications.
OnePlus Open Sports New 48MP Sony ‘Pixel Stacked’ Camera
At the heart of the OnePlus Open is a new 48-megapixel Sony LYTIA-T808 “Pixel Stacked” image sensor. The Open is the first foldable smartphone to incorporate the LYT-T808, one of a line of “revolutionary” new image sensors from Sony. This is also the first time the sensor has been seen in a OnePlus device at all.
The Type 1/1.43-inch sensor boasts 1.12μm pixel size and features, as mentioned, “Pixel Stacked” technology. While this topic will be discussed further in a follow-up interview with OnePlus, the basic outline is that the sensor incorporates a “Dual-Layer Transistor Pixel” design that enables the image sensor to detect and store light more efficiently while simultaneously reducing the sensor’s footprint.
At a pre-release event, OnePlus said that compared to the Sony IMX890 sensor in the OnePlus 11 device, the new LYT-T808 sensor offers double the light-gathering performance and twice the full well capacity while also shrinking the height of the sensor module. The reduced height is critical for the foldable phone’s design and impressive size — more on that soon.
The 48-megapixel LYTIA-T808 sensor is paired with a 24mm-equivalent f/1.7 lens with optical image stabilization.
Within the large circular rear camera array are a pair of other cameras. The Open’s ultra-wide camera is also 48 megapixels, although the image sensor is a smaller Type 1/2-inch sensor. The ultra-wide camera has a 14mm f/2.2 equivalent lens, delivering a 114-degree field of view.
The smartphone also sports a 64-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, 6x in-sensor (digital) zoom, and up to 120x “Ultra Res” zoom. The sensor is the same size as the ultra-wide camera, albeit with more megapixels. The 70mm f/2.6 lens includes optical image stabilization and a clever design that incorporates the lens motor and barrel into a single module, reducing the size by 0.4mm, which may not sound like much but is a 12% reduction in size. Every fraction of a millimeter counts.
While not as large as the sensor on the Open’s wide-angle camera, the telephoto camera’s sensor is the largest ever on any foldable smartphone.
As is always the case with smartphone cameras, good software is required to make the most of the hardware. In the case of the OnePlus Open, like other OnePlus devices, Hasselblad’s influence goes beyond the lenses and plays a prominent role concerning camera and imaging software.
The OnePlus Open includes a new and improved Hasselblad Portrait Mode, which promises improved low-light performance and realistic bokeh and flare effects that simulate Hasselblad XCD 30, 65, and 90V lenses.
Extremely Thin Foldable Design
Although making a camera module thinner, like with the LYT-T808 primary camera and the 3x telephoto camera, is beneficial for traditional smartphone designs, it is vital for a foldable device. Every bit of space is at an absolute premium.
The OnePlus Open weighs just 239 grams, a gram lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max and 18g heavier than the newer titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max device. Compared to other foldable smartphones, the Open is about 40g lighter than the Google Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Fold.
The Open is 11.7 millimeters thick, which is 3.4mm thicker than an iPhone 15 Pro Max when folded. That said, the Open is 0.4mm thinner than the Google Pixel Fold and 4mm thinner than the relatively beefy Samsung Galaxy Fold. When unfolded, the Open is just 5.8mm thick, which is extremely thin.
Significant engineering was required to undercut the size and weight of competing foldable devices, including a single-spine folding architecture, unlike the three-part spine used on “most” folding smartphones. That move reduced the number of components required for the device’s hinge by more than 30, helping shave weight.
The smartphone is constructed using a proprietary cobalt molybdenum and titanium alloy, which are lighter and more durable than the stainless steel used on many other foldable phones.
The Open also includes OnePlus’ alert slider, which has been completely redesigned from scratch to fit the phone’s folding body. The size of the slider has been increased, but the internal components have been shrunk, saving about 42% more space inside the phone.
Taken on their own, each of these modifications may not save much space or weight. However, when taken together, they add up to a thinner and lighter folding smartphone than Google and Samsung.
When folded, the OnePlus Open looks like a standard smartphone. Its cover screen is 6.31 inches diagonally and has a 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen has a peak brightness of 2,800 nits and a refresh rate of 120Hz.
When open, the smartphone has a 7.82-inch main display that sports an 89.6% screen-to-body ratio. The AMOLED panel has a 120Hz refresh rate, 2,800-nit peak brightness, and supports HDR content. The device supports Dolby Vision, ensuring that videos look spectacular on the device.
By the way, the OnePlus Open also supports Dolby Atmos audio and includes a triple spatial speaker array, never seen before on any smartphone, foldable or not.
The OnePlus Open uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, built on a 4nm process. The device includes 16GB of RAM. These features are the same as the OnePlus 11.
Interestingly, despite supporting fast charging using a 67W power supply, the OnePlus Open lacks wireless charging. This is a somewhat puzzling omission.
The Open supports Wi-Fi 7 and dual 5G cellular connectivity standards.
The smartphone also runs on an all-new OxygenOS 13.2. The Android-based operating system includes Open Canvas, a feature built from the ground up to ensure users can take full advantage of the Open’s large primary display. The device offers split-screen functionality, multi-window support, and a desktop-like taskbar to provide access to specific apps.
The OnePlus Open Charts a New Course for OnePlus
“The word ‘Open’ not only represents a new folding form factor, but also our openness to explore emerging possibilities that are allowed by bleeding-edge tech solutions on the market. The OnePlus Open provides unparalleled hardware, innovative software features and services built around the new form factor, continuing to live up to OnePlus’ Never Settle belief,” says Kinder Liu, President and COO of OnePlus. “With the launch of the OnePlus Open, we are thrilled to bring an uncompromising flagship foldable experience to users worldwide. The OnePlus Open is a true flagship that will revolutionize the foldable market.”
Additional Image Samples
Pricing and Availability
Like other foldable smartphones, the OnePlus Open does not come cheap. The OnePlus Open is available to pre-order today for $1,700 ($2,300 CAD) in Voyager Black and Emerald Dusk colors. The device includes 512GB of internal storage and ships with a case.
Through OnePlus.com, customers can trade in any phone in any condition to receive a minimum of $200 off their purchase, with potentially more significant discounts of up to $1,000 available depending on the trade-in device. This promotion is not limited to the launch period but will be available as long as OnePlus sells the Open. OnePlus.com is also running additional launch promotions, including free earbuds, free YouTube Premium, and more. Complete details are available on OnePlus’ website.
Image credits: Sample images by Jeremy Gray.