OnePlus Open vs Galaxy S23 – to fold or not to fold?

Should you go for OnePlus's folding phone over the Galaxy S23?

OnePlus Open vs Galaxy S23 - to fold or not to fold? Image shows the OnePlus Open, the Galaxy S23, and a red VS sign on a purple gradient background.

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If you’re debating between a next-gen foldable or a tried and trusted flagship, you’re in luck as we’re comparing the OnePlus Open vs the Galaxy S23. Samsung has found itself a new rival in OnePlus, as the brand gradually makes its way into the mainstream smartphone market with its lineup of impressive yet affordable devices. With so many options available to you, including ones that fold, it’s clear that choosing an Android Phone isn’t the easy decision it once was.

While they cater to different user preferences, it can still be a challenge to decide on a new tablet-hybrid device over Samsung’s reputed flagship Galaxy series. To fold or not to fold, that is the question. In this article, we’ll dive into an in-depth comparison of these two captivating devices, the OnePlus Open and the Galaxy S23, examining their design, display, performance, and more.

OnePlus Open vs Galaxy S23 specs

SpecificationOnePlus OpenGalaxy S23
DimensionsUnfolded: 153.4 x 143.1 x 5.8 mm 
Folded: 153.4 x 73.3 x 11.7 mm
146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6 mm, 168 grams
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM16GB8GB
Storage512GBVaries (128GB, 256GB, 512GB)
DisplayInner: 7.82-inch Flexi-fluid AMOLED (2440 x 2268)
Outer: 6.3-inch 2K (2484 x 1116) OLED
Varies (FHD+, 2K)
CameraRear: 48MP main (f/1.7), 48MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 64MP 3x telephoto (f/2.6)
Front: 32MP outer (f/2.4), 20MP inner (f/2.2), 10MP outer (f/2.2), 4MP inner under-display (f/1.8)
50MP main, 10MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide
Battery4,805 mAh,  67W wired charging4,700 mAh
Operating SystemOxygenOS 13.2 (based on Android)Varies (Android)
Connectivity5G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC5G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
OnePlus Open vs Galaxy S23 specs comparison table

OnePlus Open vs Galaxy S23 features

Design and Build Quality

When it comes to design and build quality, both the OnePlus Open and the Galaxy S23 excel in their own unique ways. Arguably, there’s one key difference that separates them: the OnePlus Open is a folding smartphone, and the S23 isn’t. The OnePlus Open features an outstanding thin and light design, measuring just 0.22 inches and weighing 8.43 ounces. Its Flexion Hinge design ensures a satisfying snap gesture and minimizes the crease down the display for an inconspicuous fold. Its glass back and aluminum frame give it the premium feel expected to come with its price tag, and its large circular camera has become somewhat iconic of the OnePlus branding.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 offers a compact and premium design, with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 panels on the front and back and an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. It’s smaller and lighter than the Open, but its rounded corners and matte backplate give the Galaxy S23 an easy-to-hold yet luxurious feel. As opposed to OnePlus’s boundary-pushing fold, the S23 isn’t trying to be anything other than it is: a classic and well-designed smartphone.

When it comes to colorways, Samsung offers a whole spectrum of options to choose from including Phantom Black, Cream, Graphite, Green, Lime, and Lavender. OnePlus, however, is far more restrained and subtle when it comes to colors, offering its classic glass-backed Emerald Dusk, or Voyager Black which employs a vegan leather back cover.

Display

In terms of display, the OnePlus Open takes the lead with its main 7.82-inch Flexi-fluid AMOLED display and its 2K resolution of 2440 x 2268. It also features an outer 6.31-inch Super Fluid AMOLED display with a resolution of 2484 x 1116. Both of its displays are larger and higher resolution compared to the Galaxy S23. However, the Galaxy S23 compensates for its smaller display size with its vibrant colors, wide contrast ratio, and HDR 10+ support. Additionally, its more familiar and user-friendly aspect ratio may be advantageous for some users not seeking a foldable phone experience.

Both phones offer excellent brightness levels, ensuring clear visibility even under direct sunlight, with the S23 reaching 1,750 nits, and the OnePlus Open achieving an impressive peak brightness of 2,800 nits.

Camera Capabilities

The OnePlus Open features a triple camera setup, including a 48 MP primary camera, a 48 MP ultrawide camera, and a 64 MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. It also offers a dedicated pro mode and various other features for capturing high-quality photos and videos, such as an ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor that give you excellent results even in low-light conditions. In terms of its other cameras, the Open also features a 32MP outer front-facing camera, a 20MP inner front-facing camera, and a 4MP under-display front-facing camera – so, you technically get two more lenses than you get on the S23.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 boasts a similar rear camera setup, with a 50 MP main camera, a 10 MP 3x optical telephoto camera, and a 12 MP ultra-wide camera. This setup allows for versatile photography, including wide-angle shots and zoomed-in images. While the 12 MP front camera may not seem as impressive as the Open’s, the S23’s selfie camera does have the advantage of being able to shoot 4k UHD video at either 30 or 60 fps. Overall, both phones deliver excellent results in well-lit conditions, capturing vibrant colors and rich details, but the OnePlus may have the edge in terms of raw specs.

Performance

The OnePlus Open is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and offers a generous 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It excels in graphics processing, outperforming its rivals in benchmark tests. On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 also utilizes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and offers a smaller 8GB of RAM. While it may have slightly weaker benchmark scores compared to the OnePlus Open, it still delivers smooth performance for everyday tasks and gaming. Utilizing the powerful processing of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, you’ll be able to switch between apps smoothly and effortlessly: whether you’re working hard, playing hard, or doing both at the same time, these phones should keep up with your demands.

In terms of the software experience, Samsung UI, powered by Android 13, is a tried and tested operating system that gives you a smooth user experience. What’s more, Samsung’s One UI 5.1 offers a polished user interface and various customization options not available across other devices. On the other hand, the OxygenOS 13 software is also Android 13-based and provides a light and useable near-stock Android experience that’s completely optimized for the folding nature of the device.

Battery Life

The OnePlus Open is equipped with a 4,805mAh battery, providing ample power to last a full day of normal usage. It also supports fast charging with its 67W wired charging, allegedly allowing the phone to reach about 50% capacity in just 15 minutes. The Galaxy S23, on the other hand, comes with a slightly smaller battery capacity of 4,700mAh but still offers long-lasting battery life. However, it does leverage wireless charging support, making it more convenient for users who prefer a cable-free charging experience that you won’t find on the OnePlus Open.

OnePlus Open vs Galaxy S23 price

When it comes to price, the OnePlus Open takes the lead with its competitive pricing for a foldable phone, but it doesn’t manage to beat the Galaxy S23 as of yet. It’s priced at $1,699, which is $100 less than both the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Google Pixel Fold, but of course, it’s still a premium price point. Additionally, OnePlus offers a $200 trade-in offer, allowing users to further reduce the price – but only if you already own a OnePlus phone, so this narrows down who’s able to benefit.

The Galaxy S23, on the other hand, has an MSRP starting at $799.99, making it the more affordable option of the two, but it’s still a flagship price. However, given that we’re rapidly approaching the refresh of the Galaxy series with the anticipated 2024 release of the Galaxy S24, it’s likely that the S23 will become even more affordable to keep it attractive to buyers.

Is the OnePlus Open better than the Galaxy S23?

Both the OnePlus Open and the Galaxy S23 offer impressive features and specifications, but at the end of the day, we’re looking at quite diverse smartphone options here. The OnePlus Open stands out with its thin and light design, dynamic multitasking capabilities, and competitive pricing for a foldable smartphone. On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 excels in its compact size, vibrant display, and wireless charging support. They’re two of the best Android phones out there, both taking their own approach to catering to the high-end market.

Ultimately, the choice between these two devices depends on individual preferences and priorities. Whether you prioritize design, display, performance, camera capabilities, or battery life, both phones offer compelling options in their respective categories. Whether you’re after a foldable phone or not, you can rest assured that either investment here will definitely be worth your money.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.