OnePlus just announced during its “From Fast & Smooth to Beyond” panel at MWC 2023 that it will be launching its first foldable smartphone this year. While OnePlus launched the OnePlus 11 earlier this month, it has revealed plans for its first foldable smartphone in the second half of 2023.
“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.” said Kinder Liu, President, and COO of OnePlus, at the event.
While OnePlus may not be as big of a player as Samsung in the U.S. smartphone market, it has been around since 2013. Its latest release, the OnePlus 11, has received positive reviews — including from our own Joe Maring and Andy Boxall. The OnePlus 11 is also the first OnePlus phone that has extended software support for up to four years, on top of five years of security updates, similar to Samsung flagships. Combined with the powerful hardware and software, OnePlus phones should be future-proof for quite some time.
OnePlus did not reveal what its upcoming foldable smartphone will look like. However, we can speculate on some ideas. Since OnePlus and Oppo are owned by the same parent company, which is BBK Electronics, we have an inkling that a foldable OnePlus phone would look similar to the Oppo Find N2 or Find N2 Flip.
The Find N2 is a tablet-style foldable, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. The Find N2 is a little wider and shorter than the Z Fold 4, and when fully opened, you get a 7.1-inch AMOLED display with fairly thin bezels, and the corners are curved ergonomically. It’s relatively thick, but the 5.54-inch cover screen is very easy to use and quite comfortable. It also closes completely flat, and even though there is a camera bump on the back (though it’s not protruding too badly), it is overall relatively compact for a folding phone. If OnePlus goes for a traditional tablet style, then this could give us a big clue about what to expect.
The Find N2 Flip, on the other hand, is like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 — but the cover display is vertical and larger, providing slightly more usability. Since it flips open into a full-length phone, it’s definitely smaller and more compact than the Find N2. If OnePlus’ foldable phone is done in a flip style, we can guess that it will be something similar to the Find N2 Flip.
We don’t have much else to go on, but based on what Oppo already has out, OnePlus could be launching something like the Find N2 or Find N2 Flip. There are no more details other than “it’s coming,” so expect more reports later in the year.