OnePlus's first foldable phone takes some obvious cues from its sister company Oppo's folding phones. That means a nearly invisible display crease, superb displays, incredible hardware build and design, excellent performance, and great battery life. But OxygenOS isn't as polished as Google's Pixel experience, even if it has more multitasking options than the Pixel Fold.
- Incredible performance
- Great battery life
- Four years of promised updates
- The best foldable phone hardware
- Massive cameras
- Excellent multitasking capabilities
- $100 cheaper than the Pixel Fold
- Greater durability rating
- Software is a bit buggy at times
- Camera isn't as reliable as a Pixel
- No wireless charging
The Google Pixel Fold represents the best of Google's Pixel line in a big folding form factor. Complete with Pixel cameras, five years of promised software updates, and tons of great foldable-ready apps, the Pixel Fold is a wonderful folding phone that doesn't quite match the speed, battery life, or exquisite design of the OnePlus Open.
- Five years of promised updates
- Pixel camera
- Pixel features
- Better water resistance rating
- Poor battery life
- Tensor is slower and runs hot
- Bigger bezels
- Software isn't as productivity-friendly
- Display crease is more visible
Foldable fans have been having a heyday in 2023. We've seen incredible releases from companies like Samsung, Google, Honor, Xiaomi, Oppo, and now OnePlus with the OnePlus Open.
By all accounts, it seems the OnePlus Open is the most critically acclaimed foldable phone of all time. So does it still make sense to even consider a Google Pixel Fold if you're in the market for the best foldable phone?
We break down the difference between the Google Pixel Fold and the OnePlus Open and let you know which one is the best pick for your money. After all, both phones retail for well over $1,500, so it's important to take everything into consideration before dropping your hard-earned dollars.
OnePlus Open vs. Google Pixel Fold: Design and displays
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OnePlus and Google clearly have different ideas of what a large foldable should look like and how it should work, and that all starts with the displays. Both the OnePlus Open and Google Pixel Fold sport wonderfully large, usable outer displays that look more like a regular smartphone.
Both phones also feature large inner screens that work similarly to a tablet. But all of these displays have very different aspect ratios. Google's displays are shorter and wider, while OnePlus is similar to Samsung's taller display style.
Personally, I prefer the shorter, wider displays of the Google Pixel Fold. They allow for more horizontal content which makes the phone's larger inner display feel more like a tablet and less like two phones placed side-by-side. Plus, being this wide means apps automatically switch to landscape tablet UIs, when available.
But OnePlus's taller, narrower aesthetic is sort of the perfect version of the concept Samsung has been using on phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 5. By that, I mean that it's narrower than the Pixel Fold but much wider than the Galaxy Z Fold 5, sitting in a sweet spot that didn't previously exist.
Aside from that, OnePlus features superior displays with much brighter panels, newer LTPO technology for extra power savings, and smaller bezels all around. Plus, OnePlus's hinge is rated to last up to one million folds — five times the number Google rates the Pixel Fold at.
And that brings me to the rest of the design. While I think Google's rounded edges make it easier to open the Pixel Fold, OnePlus's build quality is second to none. Plus, the leather back on the Voyager Black OnePlus Open colorway is a relic of the past that I never wanted to let go of. Glass-backed phones are completely overrated if you ask me.
And there's no way to compare these phones without talking about the display crease on the larger inner display. While both phones still have a crease — engineers haven't figured out how to completely remove that yet — the OnePlus Open has the best crease of any foldable phone available right now.
This hinge and crease design is almost certainly borrowed from Oppo, a company that's been making creaseless foldable phones for a few years now.
But while the OnePlus Open's crease is basically invisible unless you hold it at an extreme angle, the hinge on the Open isn't as water-resistant as the Pixel Fold. Google's phone sports an IPX8 water-resistance rating, while the OnePlus Open is just IPX4, meaning you can get it a little wet while it's raining, but you won't want to accidentally drop it in a body of water.
OnePlus Open vs. Google Pixel Fold: Performance, battery life, and cameras
If you've been in the smartphone space for the past three years, you've undoubtedly heard about the performance and heat issues that Google Tensor processors often have.
Sure, Google's AI performance is far better than any other company's and that lets its phones do some crazy tricks with photography, audio recording, translation, and other similar things. But it means gaming performance and battery life take a hit because AI performance was prioritized, instead.
|Header Cell - Column 0||OnePlus Open||Google Pixel Fold|
|OS||OxygenOS 13.2, Android 13||Android 14|
|Colors||Voyager Black (leather back), Emerald Dusk (glass)||Porcelain, Obsidian|
|Main display||7.82 inches, 2440 x 2268, AMOLED, 1-120Hz (LTPO 3.0), 2800 nits||7.6 inches, 2,208 x 1,840, OLED, 1-120Hz (LTPO), 1450 nits|
|Folded Screen Size||6.31 inches, 2484 x 1116, AMOLED, 10-120Hz (LTPO 3.0), 2800 nits||5.8 inches, 2,092 x 1,080, OLED, 1-120Hz (LTPO) 1550 nits|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Google Tensor G2|
|Storage||512GB UFS 4.0||256GB, 512GB UFS 3.1|
|Cameras||48MP main camera, 48MP ultra-wide, 64MP 3x optical telephoto, 32MP cover camera, 20MP inner camera||48MP wide, 10.8MP ultra-wide, 10.8MP telephoto, 9.5MP front camera, 8MP inner camera|
|Battery||4,805 mAh||4,821 mAh|
|Wireless Charging Support||No||Yes|
|Size (folded)||73.3 wide x 153.4 tall x 11.7 mm thin||79.5 wide x 139.7 tall x 12.1mm thin|
|Size (unfolded)||143.1 wide x 153.4 tall x 5.8 mm thin||158.7 wide x 139.7 tall x 5.8mm thin|
|Weight||Voyager Black (239g), Emerald Dusk (245g)||283g|
Meanwhile, the OnePlus Open uses the best processor you can get for most tasks in 2023: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. This processor is several times faster in gaming performance than the Pixel Fold's Tensor G2, and it handles everyday tasks much more efficiently, as well.
Case in point, the battery life of the OnePlus Open is far better than the Pixel Fold despite both phones having roughly the same size battery. We've also seen countless reports of folks having overheating issues with their Pixel Fold, even when just recording videos or doing other "simple" tasks.
Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the OnePlus Open runs at a far cooler temperature and sips battery compared to the Tensor G2. OnePlus also outfitted the Open with faster charging than the Pixel Fold, making it one of the fastest charging foldables on the market.
Then there's the discussion of cameras. OnePlus is using the latest in camera hardware on the OnePlus Open, but the company's software isn't as mature or advanced as Google's.
Now, that doesn't mean the OnePlus Open's cameras are any slouch. Far from it, actually. The OnePlus Open has the single best camera hardware on any foldable and is capable of producing some of the best photos and videos because of it.
The real win for Google comes in zoom detail and capturing moving subjects. Pixels are typically the best phones for parents and pet owners because of their innate ability to capture moving subjects better than any other phone on the market. But the Pixel Fold isn't quite as good at this particular niche issue as a regular Pixel is, even if it is slightly better than the OnePlus Open at this singular task.
Google's Pixel Fold is also capable of producing better zoom detail thanks to the 5x optical periscope lens on the back of the phone, whereas the OnePlus Open only provides a 3x telephoto lens. That puts it in the same league as Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold series, which is to say it's not bad. Just not as good as Google's efforts.
OnePlus Open vs. Google Pixel Fold: Software
Here's where things get really interesting. OnePlus clearly spent a lot of time ensuring the foldable experience was a unique one, but so did Google. In fact, the launch of the Pixel Fold celebrated a unique occurrence that I can't ever recall seeing before. Google's many software divisions were aligned to deliver meaningful UI updates to its core apps in time for the Pixel Fold launch.
Never before in the history of Android have we seen this sort of cooperation within Google's many teams, and the experience on the Pixel Fold felt so much better because of it. Plus, the company worked to finally fix Pixel's garbage multitasking UI and offered up a slew of multitasking features that made side-by-side app usage feel more natural than ever.
But OnePlus took things a step further with floating windows, 3-way app splits, and more with this custom version of OxygenOS for foldable. Sure, the company's software feels a little bit buggy now, but that's not uncommon for a fresh release from OnePlus. Typically, these things get ironed out in no time and we're left with tons of great features and blazing fast speed.
If I had to pick any one UI right now, it would be the Pixel UI. But, aesthetics aside, OnePlus's OxygenOS is far more feature-rich and delivers a superior foldable experience in most regards.
OnePlus Open vs. Google Pixel Fold: Which should you buy?
For most people, the OnePlus Open delivers a superior overall experience that shouldn't be ignored. Everything from power users to casual folks will find the OnePlus Open's hardware superior, and even with its current crop of bugs, the software experience is largely superior to the Pixel Fold.
That doesn't mean there's no reason to choose a Pixel Fold this year. It's got one additional year of software support, complete with the typical set of Pixel Feature Drops that happen every few months. Google is great about supporting its phones and adding new features all the time, but OnePlus also delivers new features every year when it updates Oxygen OS.
And there's really no getting around how much better OnePlus' hardware is. The hinge is rated to last longer, and the display crease is basically invisible compared to Google's. Plus, the leather-backed Open is a thing of beauty and makes the phone feel great in the hand — so long as missing wireless charging isn't a deal-breaker, of course.
Overall, OnePlus wins this round and proves that its foldable is just as good — if not better — than all the other large foldables available today
OnePlus knocked it out of the park with its first foldable, the OnePlus Open. It's got that trademark OnePlus look and feel, plus great hardware features like the alert slider.
There's no other foldable phone with a Pixel-class camera, and that's just part of what makes the Pixel Fold a great choice for some. Pair that with a super thin build and great software, and you've got a winner, even if the processor and battery life leave a bit to be desired.
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