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Exclusive: OnePlus Open key features detailed by European CEO

OnePlus has today officially revealed its first foldable device will be called the OnePlus Open and that it will be fully revealed very soon at a launch event in India.

Ahead of the announcement, Trusted Reviews spoke to the CEO of Europe for OnePlus Bingo Liu to discuss the foldable and how OnePlus intends to differentiate itself from the growing foldable market.

OnePlus has been teasing its debut in the foldable market for the majority of 2023 and there have been leaks recently that pointed towards the Open name, however this is the first time OnePlus has confirmed the moniker. It was also confirmed the device will be launched globally on October 19 at an event in Mumbai, India.

In our interview, Liu confirmed the OnePlus Open will sport the book-style design popularised by devices like Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold, rather than the flip-style used by the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola’s Razr 40 Ultra.

The reason for this decision, according to Liu, is that “When the foldable is open, it provides an experience that’s similar with a tablet, to better cater the needs of our target audiences. A large foldable phone can provide upgraded experiences in all of these areas, so OnePlus’ focus is currently on book-style foldable phones.”

OnePlus Open teaser

OnePlus Open features detailed

In typical OnePlus fashion, the announcement of the device’s name and release date didn’t come with many details about the phone itself. However, a number of features of the OnePlus Open have been teased. For instance, it was confirmed to Trusted Reviews that the iconic OnePlus Alert Slider will be present on the OnePlus Open, allowing users to quickly change the ring state without opening up the phone.

It was also confirmed the size of the Alert Slider has been increased and the position tweaked slightly to make it convenient for one-handed use.

OnePlus 7 Pro alert slider
OnePlus 7 Pro alert slider

Reducing the crease – a side-effect of the display folding in half that has plagued many foldable devices we’ve reviewed so far – also seems to be critical to the OnePlus Open. Liu claimed the crease would be “almost imperceptible” thanks to how the hinge mechanics have been designed.

While the Open might be the first foldable device for OnePlus, it’s not for sister brand Oppo who has already released both book-style and flip folding phones. It has previously been announced that the OnePlus Open has been jointly developed by OnePlus and Oppo, combining the two teams together. Hopefully, this will alleviate any issues often found with first-gen foldable devices.

Oppo Find N2 Flip
Oppo Find N2 Flip

Software is key to a good foldable

Another issue we’ve often found with foldable devices is the lack of proper software optimisation. It’s taken Samsung numerous iterations to find a balance between phone and tablet features, while we criticised the lack of proper app support and Android changes with the Pixel Fold.

Software has been one of the biggest strengths of previous OnePlus phones, with a focus on clean, well-designed versions of Android that eschew the needless gimmicky features and swathes of pre-installed apps found elsewhere.

It’s no surprise then that software looks to be a big focus with the OnePlus Open. “With the brand-new software, we have enhanced users’ daily productivity, offering the most efficient and secure operating system ever. Furthermore, the software has been optimized to fully utilize the two screens of OnePlus Open and around 95% of mainstream apps are compatible with the expanded display,” said Liu.

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Unsupported app on the Pixel Fold
Apps on Pixel Fold

He also added that OnePlus has worked with popular third-party app creators to create “optimised versions that will work effectively with our device.”

OnePlus has had a strong year so far, picking up both the Best Phone and Best Tablet gongs at the Trusted Reviews Awards 2023 earlier in September. While there’s still a lot to be announced, there’s every chance the OnePlus Open could enter the race for Best Foldable in the coming months.

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