After months – even years – of rumours swirling, OnePlus has confirmed that it’s finally ready to enter the foldable market, with its first folding phone due this year.
Reports say the company may already have two devices in the works, likely based on the Find N2 foldable series that has already been released by OnePlus parent company Oppo.
Here’s all we know so far about the as yet unnamed OnePlus foldable phone.
When will the OnePlus foldable phone be released?
OnePlus has confirmed that it has a foldable on the way, which will launch in the second half of 2023.
The announcement came at the MWC 2023 trade show, where the company also unveiled a OnePlus 11 Concept phone with glowing liquid cooling, with President and COO Kinder Liu confirming the company’s foldable plans.
A previous tease may actually have given us a more specific release window though.
Just a few weeks earlier at the global launch of the OnePlus 11, Buds Pro 2, and Pad, the company ended its India-exclusive segment with a small tease that “something phenomenal” is coming, with a graphic that certainly seems to hint at the first foldables launching some time in Q3 2023 – i.e. July to September.
OnePlus has already confirmed that this year it won’t release an 11 Pro or 11T upgrade for its flagship, clearing the way for the T-series’ usual August release slot. Could this be when we see a foldable arrive?
How much will the OnePlus foldable phone cost?
As with the release date, we don’t have any solid details about how much you’ll need to spend to buy a foldable phone from OnePlus.
What we do know is that many rumours suggest that the OnePlus foldable will be heavily based on the Oppo Find N series, presumably either the latest Find N2 and Find N2 Flip, so we can use their prices as a guide.
This isn’t as unusual as it might sound, because OnePlus is one of the subsidiary companies of BBK Electronics, which also owns Oppo, Realme and Vivo. We’ve also seen in the recent past that the two brands in question now share teams for R&D and design.
Here’s how much the Oppo Find N2 phones cost:
- Oppo Find N2: ¥7,999 (approx $1,150/£930)
- Oppo Find N2 Flip: £849/€1,199
If the rumours are true, then the OnePlus foldable could have very similar price points to that of those listed above.
Will the OnePlus foldable be a book or a flip?
One thing OnePlus hasn’t confirmed is whether its first foldable will adopt the book-style form factor of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, or the clamshell shape of the Z Flip 4.
The company seems to be at least considering both, because it has trademarked names for them in China: OnePlus V Fold and OnePlus V Flip. That obviously suggests that two phones are coming in different form factors, or at least that either is a possibility.
Mukul Sharma, the journalist who first spotted the trademarks, even reports that according to his source the phones have begun internal testing.
What specs and features will we see in the OnePlus foldable phones?
Indian tech site PriceBaba was where the strongest rumours about the OnePlus foldable originated. In April 2022 it posted a story outlining that the new foldable would be “a copy of Oppo’s Find N.” This was in collaboration with tech reporter and leaker Yogesh Brar.
Still, the Find N is now over a year old, so it’s likely that any new OnePlus foldable would be more closely based on the follow-up Find N2, or its clamshell Find N2 Flip sibling.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
It could be that BBK is looking at developing different brands in particular marketplaces. OnePlus is well established in the US, UK, and European markets, so it could be a strategy that OnePlus launches essentially the same device as Oppo, but for the West, while Oppo will focus on the Asian markets where the name recognition is stronger.
Beyond that speculation, we haven’t heard much in terms of concrete specs, though we know the phone will be high-end. OnePlus President and COO Kinder Liu said as much when teasing the phone at MWC 2023, promising that “Our first foldable phone will have the signature OnePlus fast and smooth experience.”
“It must be a flagship phone that doesn’t settle because of its folding form, in terms of industrial design, mechanical technology, and other aspects. We want to launch a device that aims to be at the pinnacle experience of today’s foldable market,” he added.
The only real leak is from Chinese tipster Digital Chat Station, who posted on Weibo that the OnePlus foldable is a “2K large-screen foldable.” If true, that’s interesting for two reasons: one, it means a larger book-style foldable, not a flip; two, it means the phone isn’t an exact copy of the Find N2, which uses a lower resolution 1792 x 1920 display.
For now, you can check out our guides to the best new phones coming in 2023 as well as the best phone deals to see if you can pick up a bargain.