Samsung India is soon set to get a proper competitor in the foldables space with the expected launch of OnePlus’s first foldable in the market. The new foldable is expected to pack in flagship specifications which would bring it on par with the only two players that have launched premium horizontal folding devices in the country – Samsung and Tecno. After several leaked renders, we recently got a glimpse of what appeared to be a OnePlus Open being used by actress Anushka Sharma. With the expected global launch date now set for 19 October, OnePlus decided to do a big reveal of its own and show off its first foldable’s design.
The upcoming foldable was revealed by YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger, with the host also interviewing OnePlus Co-founder and CEO, Pete Lau while revealing the device. The CEO of OnePlus in the video also explained how the OnePlus Open is basically bringing the best of OnePlus and Oppo‘s technological advances into one device.
The focus of the video is clearly the phone’s brand new design language, which looks strikingly different from any OnePlus smartphone in the recent past. The metal frame has flat sides and has an overall form factor which is very different from the Oppo Find N2’s passport-sized broader inner and outer displays. At the same time the form factor also does not appear similar to Samsung’s skinny remote-control-like design, which makes the outer display a bit cramped to use. On the front, the display glass stretches to the edges of the skinny metal frame, which along with the flat front and rear panels gives it a very modern appearance.
Lau claims that the company holds around 600 patents related to foldable technology and also explains how this makes it possible to have a gapless design which first debuted on the Oppo Find N. The hinge, as demoed in the video, is strong enough to even hang from a piece of paper when placed between the two halves of the foldable.
Lau in the video also claims that OnePlus holds 35 patents for the new hinge’s design. This new hinge is an improvement over the Oppo Find N2 as well in the sense that it has fewer components, not only making it lighter, but more compact and durable as well. The hinge is 37 percent smaller than the hinge on the outgoing Oppo Find N2 model.
Apart from the hinge, OnePlus has also made room for its unique Alert Slider, which has been available on its premium devices for many years. However, its presence also hints at the lack of an IP rating, which is also not available in its most premium smartphone offering, the OnePlus 11 5G.
Design aside, Lau also speaks about adapting apps to the inner foldable display, which is something only Samsung has managed to do well so far with its Galaxy Z series horizontal foldable. The CEO claimed that the company has worked with Google to ensure that apps adapt well when used with both displays.
Another detail that Lau reveals in the video is that OnePlus will ensure different product strategies for different regions. And that doing this will allow the company to make sure that the product gets maximum reach.
A detail to keep in mind is that the unit in the video is an early sample. So, things are expected to change by the time the final production units are ready for the launch announcement. Another detail to keep in mind is that the phone was not turned on during the entire length of the video, which could indicate that the software isn’t ready yet. According to the latest leaks the device will go official on 19 October, 2023. The device is expected to be priced below Samsung’s premium foldable offering called the Galaxy Z Fold 5, you can read our review of it here.