OnePlus will launch its first folding smartphone, the OnePlus Open. Embracing the “Never Settle” brand spirit and its commitment to providing users with the fastest, smoothest and the most practical mobile experience possible, OnePlus has spared no expense in the development of this apex foldable. Conceptualized with the sole purpose of redefining what it means to be a modern flagship smartphone in 2023, the OnePlus Open is an uncompromising achievement that have struck a perfect balance between device portability, durability and flagship imaging, all with a first attempt.
Light Makes Might
In order to create a light and compact-slim foldable, OnePlus invested heavily in mechanical design and material-component choices of the phone so as to produce a folding device that feels just like a regular single-display phablet smartphone.
The biggest breakthrough among these optimizations can be found in the hinge. Following extensive research and testing, an improved Flexion or “water-drop”-shaped, pressure relieving hinge that involve a single-spine architecture was implemented on the OnePlus Open. This integrated solution has attributed to a massive reduction of components required to just 69 parts, compared to the 100-or-so components typically required for standard folding hinge designs. This drastically reduces weight of the hinge and, in turn, the overall weight of the device.
Material choices have also made a huge impact on the Open’s weight and dimensions. This includes a revolutionary image sensor from Sony, the LYTIA-T808 that headlines the company’s LTYIA sensor series. Adopted by a foldable phone for the first time, this camera sensor boasts Sony’s “Dual-layer Transistor Pixel” technology (also known as “Pixel Stacked”) where light adsorption-retention structure was redesigned from ground up, allowing for doubling the light captured and stored for conversion (full well capacity) despite a relative smaller sensor size.
Even with its incredible lightweight, durability has not been compromised. To further minimize size and weight of the folding smartphone without sacrificing quality, the Open features a number of cutting-edge aerospace-grade materials in its construction. Among them, titanium alloy and re-enforced carbon fiber allows for greater strength and at the same time, is much lighter than 316L surgical-grade stainless steel, a material commonly found among foldables on the market today. The hinge design itself is also built for increased strength, with a single-spine architecture that allows for improved integration between components, and a sturdier structure compared with conventional three-part spines.
While the inevitable screen crease is often seen as one of the biggest drawbacks among foldables today, the crease on the OnePlus Open is virtually imperceptible, allowing users to enjoy an uninterrupted Pro tablet-like experience.
This drastic reduction in visibility of the crease is made possible through carefully orchestrated pressure relief applied to the millimeter-sized bend of the main display. Design of the Flexion Hinge plays a big role in this. The water-drop hinge enables the screen to be folded flat, removing the appearance of a gap between the two sides without adding to thickness of the folded device. This allows for a gentler folding angle, resulting in a significantly shallower and narrower crease with less screen deformation. Meanwhile, inside the hinge, an 8-axis turn mechanism is used instead of the conventional tri-axis plates to help with pressure relieve, reducing wear from constant folding. It also spreads pressure created by opening and closing the phone more evenly across the all of the eight axes, reducing strain from singling on any one of them. Furthermore, micro-incisions of 0.15mm have been weaved into the carbon fiber display support structure to reduce pressure generated during folding to minimize the appearance of crease. Thanks to the combination of these three innovative solutions, the Flexion hinge has been improved tremendously, helping to minimize potential pressure indents on the main display even after extensive use.
OnePlus’s iconic Alert Slider gets even thinner
OnePlus’s iconic Alert Slider also makes its way to a foldable smartphone for the first time on the OnePlus Open. Several optimizations have been made to the design and architecture of the slider to ensure it fits the new compact form without losing any of its functionality. Firstly, the external size of the Alert Slider button has been increased, and its position in the middle frame has been adjusted to make it more convenient for one-handed operation. At the same time, the height and width of the module inside the phone have been reduced by 1.7mm and 1mm respectively compared with the same module on the fixed-screen flagship OnePlus 11, saving up to 42% of additional internal space.
As its name suggests, the OnePlus Open represents OnePlus’s openness to new possibilities and solutions to reach new potentials. It is this openness that enables OnePlus to create an unprecedented, lightweight, crease-minimal folding device with flagship-level experiences from every perspective, pushing the limits of today’s smartphones and taking the standard of foldables that bests even best of premier phablets with the brand-new OnePlus Open.