In 2019, I drove eight hours to find and buy the first generation Samsung Galaxy Fold. As a train commuter and regular business traveler, the idea of a foldable device that works as both a phone and small tablet was perfect for me. And with Samsung, the engineering and innovation blew me away.
I’ve owned the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 for over a year now and have been tempted by the Google Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5. After seeing all the excitement around OnePlus Open, with video observing, testing and building the phone in China, I’ll pull the trigger when the device is available for purchase. It certainly helped that OnePlus offered — and still offers — some tempting trade-in options, so I was able to get a total of $800 off all said and done.
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The OnePlus Open has been in my hands for about a week, and even after that short time, it’s clear to me that OnePlus knocked it out of the park on the first try. There is so much to explore with this device, and I look forward to discovering new features and functions every day. If you’re on the fence about upgrading to one, here are three reasons why I prefer the OnePlus Open over all the other foldable devices currently available.
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The $1,699 OnePlus Open offers a comfortable outdoor display experience with a durable hinge that transforms it into a full-on tablet.
1. Refined design
For the past four years, I’ve defended Samsung’s fold design with its narrow front display because it gave me enough space to carry out communication functions and essential activities, and was able to reach with one hand for most activities. Just a few days after the OnePlus Open, I’m ready to bring my Z Fold 4 to the market. The 6.31-inch wide display on Open offers more space to perform mobile tasks, including using two apps in split-screen mode.
Samsung has set the bar for big-screen foldables, and its innovation with the hinge is an engineering marvel. However, there was always a visible bump in the middle of the main display, and the hinge didn’t allow the device to fold completely flat when closed. OnePlus launched the Open with a design that not only folds flat when closed but has a main display with a center crease that’s much more subtle than Samsung’s. Aesthetically, both sides are good on the OnePlus, and the gapless design should repel dust and debris better than the Galaxy Z Fold.
Also: The best foldable phones (and how they compare)
OnePlus has also retained its useful three-way rocker, beautiful vegan leather back cover and overall design that is almost perfect. The rear camera array is a bit annoying with its large size, but underneath it offers a finger rest for one-handed use. Then again, if the cameras end up performing as advertised, the camera design may be justified.
2. Multi-tasking perfection
One of the primary reasons to use a Samsung Z Fold phone for the past four years has been the ability to use at least two apps simultaneously. Samsung has refined its mechanism for split-screens, floating windows and multi-tasking over the years, and in some ways, it’s still the best at those features.
Optimizing software for a new form factor isn’t easy, and given my experience with Samsung devices, I thought the OnePlus Open would nail some of the more basic functions for its first iteration. I was quickly proven wrong. The ease of use and advanced functionality for launching and using multiple apps is very refined and intuitive, so much so that I can’t see multitasking on any other phone.
For example, when using an app on the inner screen, aSwipe down from the top of the display with two fingers to “part of the red sea”, giving you two panels to open split-screen apps. Tapping the center of two windows lets you swap sides or switch between vertical and horizontal stacking. You can save the app group for quick launch in the future.
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Even more exciting, you can add a third app to split-screen by dragging it out from the bottom taskbar. You can quickly navigate around the three apps by tapping on any one, and as you do so, the ones that aren’t in use will automatically shrink to the side or bottom of the screen. A four-finger pinch lets you see all apps at once. OnePlus Open’s multitasking feature is seamless and easy to use, and I’m excited to see how the company expands on it in the future.
3. Big battery and fast charging
Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5’s 4,400mAh battery, the OnePlus Open has a larger 4,800mAh capacity. And so far, it’s easily lasted my full day of use, with extra power.
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It’s unfortunate that OnePlus doesn’t support Open Wireless charging, especially for its price point, but it does ship with a 67W SuperVoc charging adapter and cable in the box. With this, you can fully charge the phone in just 45 minutes, which beats the Z Fold 5 and its 25W wired charging. The Google Pixel Fold is even slower, with a maximum of 21W charging.
When you spend time using your phone as both a phone and a tablet, it’s important to be able to use it for long periods of time And Be able to charge quickly if needed.