At MWC 2023, OnePlus confirmed the launch of its first foldable smartphone this year in the second half. The brand is looking forward to the software part of this model, the format of which is not known. The launch strategy could be similar to that of Oppo with its Find N.
OnePlus is present at MWC 2023 in Barcelona, the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to mobile devices. The opportunity to present the OnePlus Concept, a smartphone with powerful cooling or even an external solution to cool your smartphone. We were able to take control of the OnePlus Tab, the brand’s first touchscreen tablet.
The latter announced during a round table at the fair the launch of its first foldable smartphone this year: OnePlus finally embarks on the battle for this emerging market.
OnePlus enters the race
If the folding smartphone market has already been on its feet for a few years, in particular thanks to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, it is still recent. Most of the other brands have barely landed on the French/European market, such as Honor with Magic Vs, Oppo with Find N2 Flip (the Find N2 is not launched here) or Motorola with its Razr 2. Other models are currently reserved for the Chinese market, like Vivo and its first X Fold of the name.
During a panel discussion, OnePlus President and COO Kinder Liu said that “Our first foldable phone will have the signature OnePlus, a fast and smooth experience. It must be a high-end phone that does not settle for its foldable form, in terms of industrial design, mechanical technology and other aspects. We want to launch a device that aims to be at the top of the current foldable market experience.»
A Flip model and a Fold model, or just one of the two?
In its statement, Kinder Liu only mentions a single model, a high-end smartphone, without specifying its format. It will be a “book» or in the format «flapper»? Rumors about these future OnePlus smartphones are rare, but some go in the direction of two models.
In the event that the manufacturer produces only one model, we can think that it will be a smartphone in clamshell format. It is the folding format that sells the most and is the most affordable. OnePlus is still very good in terms of quality / price. OnePlus could also use the same strategy as Oppo, namely a book-format model that wouldn’t launch in Europe like the Oppo Find N2, but with a clamshell-format model launching here.
The OnePlus Challenge: The Software Experience
While one might think OnePlus will launch a design-compelling first foldable smartphone, the real challenge for the manufacturer will lie elsewhere. The Find N2 Flip is just as good as the Galaxy Z Flip 4 in many ways, but sometimes it lags behind in the software experience.
In fact, OnePlus will have to get it right with an OxygenOS interface adapted to this format and with exclusive features, such as a Flex mode or successful integrations at the external display level. The size of the latter will also indicate the philosophy adopted by OnePlus for the clamshell format: small screen like that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 or a larger screen like that of the Find N2 Flip, or even big enough to integrate a keyboard like the Razr 2. ?
Also in a Fold format, it will have to roll up its sleeves to catch up with Samsung, which is already quite a few years ahead of itself in this area and already has a good handle on the subject. A Fold under OxygenOS will necessarily have to integrate its small grain of salt if it wants to distinguish itself.
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