OnePlus will celebrate its 10th anniversary next month. The smartphone manufacturer, which presented itself as a startup offering devices that offered great value for money, from the beginning operated as a kind of advanced branch of its large parent company BBK Electronics. The latter is a now-defunct concern that owns bigger brands like OPPO, Vivo and realme in its home country. While these and other Chinese players had not yet moved into Europe, OnePlus was already a well-known name here.
In 2023, OPPO devices will find themselves in stores here, and other Chinese brands are also among the established parties. Now that OnePlus can no longer fulfill its leading role when it comes to “normal” smartphones, it is turning its attention to a product sector that can still bring something new to the Western market: foldable devices. In China, there’s already stiff competition between foldable phones from manufacturers like Xiaomi, Honor, Motorola, OPPO and Huawei, but here in the Benelux you have a little more choice than Samsung. This is especially true if you don’t want a foldable phone like the Galaxy Z Flip5, but a foldable type that can expand from the size of a regular smartphone to a small tablet, like the Galaxy Z Fold5. If you do not include Huawei Mate X3 without Google, there is no alternative for this product in our stores. A trip to Germany also gives you the Google Pixel Fold as an option.
With this lack of competition in mind, the OnePlus Open, which was announced a few weeks ago, is a special introduction. The first foldable smartphone from OnePlus, like previous devices from the brand, is not a completely its own product, but a replacement for an existing OPPO device with different software. In this case, it’s the OPPO Find N3, which remains exclusive to China and, except for the available colors, looks identical to the OnePlus model.
OnePlus, through Bingo Liu, CEO of OnePlus Europe, says the Open is for power users and enthusiasts. That’s why the brand immediately started with a foldable phone in the form of a tablet instead of a flip phone, like other brands. Going by OnePlus’ motto of ‘Never settle’.‘ The Open should instantly be the best foldable phone you can buy here, Liu promises. The device is not much thicker or heavier than a regular high-end smartphone and is also said to have a camera system that can compete with the best devices from other manufacturers. Obviously, this might cost a bit, as the OnePlus Open is definitely not a price-breaker. The only version available costs 1,799 euros, about 400 euros more than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 with the same storage capacity. High-end regular smartphones are often cheaper, while OnePlus’ top non-foldable model from the start of this year costs less than half.
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