OnePlus V Fold: could it be the real king of foldables in 2023?

We have officially entered the foldable season and this year will mark the first in the history of form factors. In the coming months we will see the international launch not only of Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 (as is now customary), but also of the recently announced Google Pixel Fold and brand new foldables from none other than OnePlus. This summer, Samsung is literally feeling the heat (pun intended) as it finally has some worthy rivals to contend with outside of China. And while many might think that OnePlus is the underdog in this battle, I beg to differ. In the following paragraphs, I will present my case as to why the OnePlus V Fold could be the true king of foldables in 2023.

Before we begin I must state that this article is based on credible, but preliminary information, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. Second, while I’m aware that OnePlus will likely launch two foldables, I’ve decided to focus on the OnePlus V Fold because most of the leaked information so far focuses on it, with only hints moving towards the OnePlus V Flip.

So, we will exclusively discuss the OnePlus foldable notepad-style and compare it to its direct competitors. In a way, a more appropriate title for this article would be the very king of notepad-style foldouts in 2023, but it hardly rings true. Having made these clarifications, we can begin.

OnePlus V Fold: No Find N2 Carbon Copy

Even since OnePlus officially announced that it would launch the foldables in 2023 at MWC 2023, most analysts speculated that the devices would draw heavy inspiration from the Oppos Find N series. Given the close ties between the two companies and the fact that OnePlus has already launched rebranded Oppo devices in the past, such predictions seem logical.

Therefore, it is no surprise that most of the leaks have indicated that the OnePlus V Fold is essentially a carbon copy of the Oppo Find N2. It should be noted that there’s nothing inherently wrong with such an approach: the Find N2 is a great device, and perhaps its main drawback is its limited availability outside of China. Admittedly, however, a renamed Find N2 wouldn’t have been a particularly exciting release.

Luckily, according to a recent report, the OnePlus V Fold will actually be based on the previously unreleased Oppo Find N3. This means that the device will come with state-of-the-art internals, including the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. Also, the V Fold will actually have slightly different dimensions than previously expected.

The main external difference between the Find N2 and its successor (and by extension V Fold) is the size. The Find N3 reportedly features an 8-inch main display and a 6.5-inch cover screen. That’s a significant increase given that the Find N2 had a mere 7.1-inch primary display and a 5.54-inch secondary one. But does that make a difference? The short answer is yes.

OnePlus V Fold vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: size isn’t everything

The Find N2’s smaller form factor is widely perceived as one of its main strengths. However, it can also be seen as a liability, because it results in more limited screen real estate. Indeed, this was a key argument in favor of the bulkier Galaxy Z Fold 4.

In light of the new information, however, it appears that the OnePlus V Fold could be a more refined and similarly sized alternative to the Galaxy Z Fold 5. That’s, in part, because Samsung is said to be making only incremental changes to the latter: most leaks point to a rather disappointing and familiar successor to the current Galaxy Z Fold 4, with the design, proportions and fold expected to remain much the same.

In comparison, the OnePlus V Fold will benefit from Oppos’ expertise and will not only be larger than its Samsung counterpart, but will also feature a more natural aspect ratio (resulting in a fully usable cover screen), a less prominent crease and no gap when folded . This, coupled with the cutting-edge internals, will make the OnePlus V Fold an easy sell for foldable enthusiasts who aren’t interested in buying a Galaxy Z Fold 4 spec in 2023. In short, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an incremental the update could make the novel OnePlus V Fold even more attractive. If the current Find N formula were to be preserved, the V Fold might be able to stand up to Samsung’s golden son.

OnePlus V Fold versus Google Pixel Fold

It’s almost unnatural to have to compare a foldable to anything other than a Galaxy Z series device, but here we go. Google has entered the fray and will be launching its own foldout in the coming weeks. So where does that leave us?

The Google Pixel Fold is somewhat similar to the current Oppo Find N2, with both devices prioritizing the aspect ratio over the raw screen. While I personally think the Pixel Fold will find a niche in those customers who appreciate a more compact footprint, it clearly falls short of both the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the OnePlus V Fold in a number of areas.

First, the device is powered by the same chipset as the Pixel 7a and Pixel 7 Pro. The Tensor G2 isn’t necessarily bad by any means, but it is (1) more than 6 months old and (2) likely to cause battery life issues for the Pixel Fold, which has a smaller battery than the Pixel 7 Pro, but a lot more pixels, pun intended.

Finally, Google’s foldable bears all the hallmarks of a first-generation device, including some very prominent bezels. All of this makes the $1799 price tag very difficult to swallow.

Conclusion: the king is dead, everyone hails the king

Bottom line, in less than 3 months, consumers outside of China looking to purchase a notepad-style foldout will have a record 3 devices to choose from. Currently, I think the decision will be pretty easy. The OnePlus V Fold, while technically a first-generation device, will introduce users worldwide to what Chinese foldables are truly capable of.

In the process, it could show how complacent Samsung has become when it comes to the Galaxy Z series and how inexperienced Google is at manufacturing foldable devices. As such, anyone looking for the best notepad-style foldout might have a reason to look at what OnePlus has to offer, especially if the V Fold is competitively priced.

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