OnePlus Fold: Everything we know so far
OnePlus is working on two foldables that will make their debut in 2023.
There's a growing market for foldables, and while Samsung has managed to build an early lead in this category with the likes of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Chinese manufacturers are now turning their attention here.
Xiaomi's Mix Fold 2 combines a svelte design with stellar cameras and gorgeous AMOLED screens, the Honor Magic Vs is a viable alternative to Samsung that's now launching globally, and the OPPO Find N2 is one of my favorite devices.
OnePlus software lead Gary Chen revealed earlier in 2022 that the manufacturer is working on a foldable, and that the Android 13-based OxygenOS 13 software will have custom features tailored for that device.
At MWC 2023, OnePlus confirmed that it is working on a foldable, and while it didn't reveal any details, we know that it is launching in the latter half of 2023.
OnePlus Fold: Release date
The OnePlus Fold will launch in the latter half of 2023. With the OnePlus 11 now available and no Pro model in the mix this year, we're due a flagship device for later in the year, and that's what the manufacturer is doing.
The timing coincides with what OnePlus has done in 2022, launching just one flagship at the start of the year. The information I've received from a source suggests there will be two foldable launches in 2023, and while the high-end model dubbed the Fold is gearing up for a launch, the second foldable won't debut until the end of 2023.
OnePlus Fold: Hardware features
OnePlus hasn't revealed any information about the foldable so far, but we can make a few guesses. For one thing, it's very likely the foldable will be a derivative of the OPPO Find N2. OnePlus lacks the wherewithal to design and manufacture a foldable of its own, and if you look at the company's devices over the last five years, they have had a lot of similarities to their OPPO siblings.
The OnePlus 10 Pro has nearly identical hardware to the Find X5 Pro, and OnePlus's foldable will follow a similar approach. Going this route is sensible as the Find N2 is unlikely to make its way outside China, so there wouldn't be any cannibalization of sales if OnePlus were to launch the foldable in global markets.
Then there's the fact that OnePlus would stand to benefit by using the same creaseless design and lightweight hinge that the Find N2 offers. Having used the Find N2 for a while, the size of the foldable gives it a clear advantage over Samsung's offerings — it's just easier to hold and use.
That said, OnePlus has mentioned that its foldable won't use the exact same design as the Find N2. So we might get to see a few design variances, but it should still be based on the Flexion Hinge — like the Find N2 and Find N2 Flip.
We're likely to get the same 5.4-inch outer AMOLED screen that unfurls to a 7.1-inch AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh, with both screens featuring an FHD+ resolution.
As for the rest of the hardware, the foldable is likely to use the latest Qualcomm or MediaTek silicon. It's also likely to use the same camera array as the OnePlus 10 Pro, and offer the same set of connectivity options.
Foldables don't have large batteries, and we're likely to see the same 4520mAh battery as the Find N2 in the OnePlus foldable. We should be getting more details about the hardware once we're closer to launch.
As to why OnePlus is launching a foldable at all, the fact that the Chinese manufacturer has an established foothold in key markets like North America, the U.K, and India means BBK — the conglomerate that owns OnePlus and OPPO — can get away with rebranding an existing device like the Find N2.
This strategy is similar to what we've seen in the last 18 months with the Nord series, where OnePlus has reused existing OPPO mid-range designs and branded the devices under its own label.
OnePlus Fold: Tentative pricing
I don't have any details of how much the upcoming OnePlus foldable would cost, but considering that it will be based on the Find N2, it should be in the same vicinity as OPPO's foldable. That means we're looking at anywhere between $1,300 to $1,500, which would make it double the cost of the OnePlus 11.
That's quite a lot of money, but OnePlus will be aiming to undercut Samsung with its foldable, and if it can manage to launch the device for $300 to $400 less than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, it is likely to attract some attention.
OnePlus's flagships have always been among the best Android phones, and it is aiming to now do the same with its upcoming foldable. While we don't have much in the way of information about it right now, that's bound to change over the coming months. Stay tuned for an official release sometime in Q1 2023, as that's when my sources say the foldable will be officially unveiled.
The OnePlus 11 has powerful hardware, amazing cameras, and stable software with long-term update guarantee. If you want a good value, this is the one to get.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.