The OnePlus Open is now official. It does a lot of things right, and it does some things better than the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Samsung's foldables in general. For me, the bigger outer display on the OnePlus Open is its biggest advantage over the Galaxy Z Fold 5. I also envied the Open's larger battery at first, but then reviews came out and revealed that the larger capacity doesn't necessarily translate into superior battery life.
As for the rest of the Open's specs, they're good, especially for the price at which it is being sold in India. But none of it makes my heart flutter or makes me think less about the Galaxy Z Fold 5, and the lack of features like wireless charging or proper water resistance stands out. What I do like, however, are the box contents of the OnePlus Open.
Galaxy Z Fold 5 becomes more expensive when accessories are considered
Smartphone manufacturers have been making a big deal over the years about how they want to do their part in saving the climate. They have used it as an excuse to stop bundling things like chargers and earphones with their phones. Samsung does it too, even if the company keeps making us wonder why it doesn't think of the climate when it regularly bombards the market with new phones with similar hardware and specs.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5, which is the costliest Samsung smartphone on the market, comes with a bare-bones accessory package. The only things inside are a USB-C cable, a short quick start guide that most people never read, and a SIM ejector PIN. Worst of all, it doesn't come with an S Pen.
The OnePlus Open, on the other hand, comes with a protective case and an 80W or 67W charger depending on the market. There's also the usual stuff like a USB-C cable, SIM ejector, and a quick start guide. That list of contents may not sound very impressive, but it does reveal how the Galaxy Z Fold 5 can end up being more expensive than OnePlus' foldable.
Unless you like living on the edge, chances are you will purchase a case to protect your Galaxy Z Fold 5, and some premium cases can cost as much as a hundred bucks. Then there's the S Pen, which is another $50-$100 depending on where you live. And if you get the S Pen, you have to buy a case because the stylus can't be stowed inside the Z Fold 5. All that can add up to an additional $200 expense over the price you pay for the phone itself.
Galaxy Z Fold smartphones should at least come with a stylus in the box
Now, you might say the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has the advantage of at least supporting stylus input. But when you're paying $1800 for a phone, do you really want one of its best features to be an optional purchase? And if that feature requires an additional purchase, does it hold a lot of merit when you're comparing the device with another?
It's possible Samsung doesn't bundle an S Pen with the Galaxy Z Folds because they don't have a built-in slot and that would mean Samsung would also have to throw in a case so users can carry the S Pen around. But I don't know if that's a valid excuse for selling the phones in a virtually empty box with a $1800 sticker price.
Samsung's next Galaxy Z Fold will likely borrow some things from the OnePlus Open and other foldables, such as a proper phone-sized cover display and more advanced cameras. And I hope the company also takes clues from the OnePlus Open's box and realizes that not every accessory has to be a separate purchase, especially when it is already charging more for the device itself compared to some of the competition.