AH Awards: Best Foldable Smartphone of 2023 – OnePlus Open

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OnePlus’ first foldable smartphone solved all of the issues other foldables have been plagued with

This year, OnePlus launched its first foldable smartphone with quite a bit of fanfare and hype. And it has definitely lived up to the hype. In fact, in my review of the OnePlus Open back in October, I said that it was the best smartphone OnePlus has ever made, and it just so happens to be foldable. When it came time to decide on our annual awards, the staff at AndroidHeadlines agreed, as the OnePlus Open ran away with the votes for the Best Foldable Smartphone of 2023.

Your big question is, what exactly did OnePlus do to make this a great foldable? Well, it all starts with the hardware. The OnePlus Open is one of the lightest book-style foldables on the market. With that, OnePlus also gave the phone a standard smartphone screen on the front. It is not a super skinny screen or a wider screen like some of its competitors in North America. And finally, on the hardware front, OnePlus was able to get rid of the crease virtually. I have been using the OnePlus Open since early September, and I have not noticed the crease at all. That’s not something I can say about many other foldables on the market today.

OnePlus also started early on a trend that we’re starting to see emerge with smartphones, and that is using super bright displays. Both of the displays on the OnePlus Open are rated at 2,800 nits of peak brightness. That’s far above most other foldables, even regular smartphones. It’s a trend we’re likely to see continue in 2024. After all, the OnePlus 12 is rumored to get up to 4,500 nits of peak brightness.

OnePlus didn’t stop at the hardware. Oxygen OS is what really makes this the best foldable.

While I’ve been in love with the hardware on the OnePlus Open, that’s not the whole story with this phone. As OnePlus did some rather interesting things with software here. One of those is Open Canvas. This is a pretty neat idea, and if I’m honest, I did not think it would be all that big of a deal during the briefing. But after using the phone for a few weeks, I was sold.

So what Open Canvas does, is it basically allows you to use more screen real estate than you have. That sounds weird to say, but it is true. You can open up to three apps side-by-side-by-side at a regular 18:9 aspect ratio. And slide one over to the side. You can also push apps off-screen, but they are still open, allowing you to bring them back pretty easily. It’s a much better implementation of multi-window than I’ve seen and used on virtually any other phone so far.

Lastly, we cannot forget about the camera. When I say OnePlus brought its A-game to the camera on the Open, I’m not exaggerating. Don’t let the large camera module and bump on the back scare you off. This camera is incredible. I’ve taken some really incredible pictures with this phone, and sometimes I can’t believe they were taken with the OnePlus Open, let alone a smartphone in general.

So, this is why we’ve decided to award the Best Foldable Smartphone of 2023 to the OnePlus Open. It comes down to the design, display, camera and software.