I am rounding the corner on my OnePlus Open review, with more articles shortly. The Open is the best foldable available in the US at this very moment, and OnePlus has proven it a brand to be taken seriously as it perfected the foldable form factor. Thanks partly to its brilliant hinge design and excellent hardware, it brought to consumers for less than the competition's price.
The $1,699 pricing of the Open was to be expected. We knew they would come below the Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and when you add the $200 rebate offer for any phone, in any condition, it is a masterful move by the maker.
I could sit here and extol the virtues of the Open further, speaking to its excellent cameras, design, audio, displays, and how lightweight it is while remaining durable. That's all in the review. However, OnePlus now has to show us it can keep up in the one way it has struggled with updates.
Time to iron out the kinks
I am a huge OnePlus fan and have admired the brand's design aesthetic and bold risk-taking for quite some time. I also respect the company's desire to get flagship-level devices into as many hands as possible by keeping its prices within reach of most consumers.
However, the one recurring complaint of former OnePlus device owners and many reviewers I have spoken with is its less-than-stellar update history. Yes, the Open has been tested; it could last ten years. It will only receive four years of Android updates and five years of security updates, which makes the ten-year physical durability kind of moot, but deeply appreciated.
There have been issues with OnePlus's update distribution in the past. It's either way behind the competition, or when delivered; the results have been quirky, which is upsetting given that the Oxygen skin of Android is one of the cleanest and my favorite.
Even during my review of the Open, I encountered some issues with receiving an update, which, although mildly stressful, doesn't change the fact that it is the best foldable. However, a massive launch like this could have been a smoother experience.
I get it; there are many moving parts when launching a new device. As a reviewer, I guess the anxiety kicks in when we're benchmarking a device, and the numbers seem off, and we know an update is coming that may change the results or make them make more sense.
It was an issue with Jetstream2; since the Open shares the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the test results made no sense.
However, after checking in with OnePlus and our lab team and taking a few extra steps, I learned the issue wasn't with the hardware, and performance wasn't affected either. The problem is with Chrome and all the updates since we tested the similar spec OnePlus 11. So, I ran the Jetstream2 benchmark using several different browsers (Brave, Opera, Firefox, and Edge) and immediately got results aligned with what we expected.
Now, being able to breathe again, with my review behind me, I can express that, yes, the Open is the best foldable; that's the consensus, but some worry that OnePlus now has to make sure to deliver timely updates that work without a hitch, and that removes consumer fear.
I have been bragging to my friends about OnePlus devices since I reviewed the OP 10 Pro, and on numerous occasions, my associates would say, "Sounds great, but there have been update issues for years." So I asked other reviewers with more experience, and they confirmed there's been a history.
That history is the next hurdle that OnePlus must conquer, and I hope they do so with the Open. The device is fantastic, and the hardware, from the hinge to the chipset, is lovely. Great cameras, check! Now comes the hard part: can OnePlus rewrite its update history? They don't have a choice. What's the point of creating a great device and bringing it to market at a better price, over and over again, to have one thing impede your brand from moving up to the next level? This year, with the 11 and now the Open, they have proven they can deliver top-notch flagship phones, so now is the time for them to consistently focus on providing top-notch flagship-level updates.
I know they can do it; you can deliver excellent, timely updates if you build a nearly perfectly flat foldable with an almost unnoticeable seam. As Rob Schneider's character from the movie "Water Boy" would say," You can do it!"
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Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.