How one of my favorite Android phones actually changed my life

No person exists knowingly. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everyone is going to die. Come watch TV.” I was reminded of this soul-crushing monologue while watching reruns of Rick and Morty before diving into the latest season. These lines shocked me, not because of their substance, but because they were an echo of my low spirits at that moment. Lying on the couch, I snuggled into the blanket and watched a few more episodes.

I was watching the show on a OnePlus Open and couldn’t possibly imagine having a similar experience using any other phone or tablet. That’s not because the OnePlus Open is one of my favorite phones this year (it is, but that’s no relation), but because it’s one of the most useful phones with a feature-rich software experience and a tiny bit of screen real estate. Is one of. A tablet like the iPad Mini.

OnePlus Open showing the internal display flat in Emerald Dusk Open.
Christine Romero-Chan/Digital Trends

 

The OnePlus Open has allowed me to accomplish something I didn’t have before: dedicate time to leisurely activities, which roughly translates as spending more time on the couch watching Netflix or constantly scrolling through Reels. can be done.

This experience has been life-changing, allowing me to embrace instincts within me that self-proclaimed productivity experts on YouTube would immediately dismiss as procrastination and laziness, even though they often backfire on me. The first are intended to refresh the mind. My creative endeavors.

Here, I want to share some examples of how OnePlus Open has made my life easier in many ways – and I promise not to turn this into a philosophical essay about existentialism.

The OnePlus Open’s hardware is top notch

One aspect of the OnePlus Open that has been praised time and again and deserves praise is how good it feels in the hand. The Open is one of the lightest side-folding phones – in fact, the lightest phone available in the US. Its weight is matched by a thin profile, measuring less than 6 mm (0.24 in) when unfolded. More importantly, the OnePlus Open rarely feels disproportionately weighted, despite its huge camera bump.

In her OnePlus Open review, my colleague Christine praised the fact that the phone’s lightweight profile might make you reconsider folding phones if you’ve previously steered clear of their bulkiness. Let me say I couldn’t agree more. While small but important changes to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 made me prefer it over the Fold 4, I only realized what I was missing when I held the OnePlus Open for the first time. Let me tell you, since then this feeling has increased in me.

The more time I spend with the OnePlus Open, the more Open and comfortable I feel with opening it up and using it. Often, I use the Open with just one hand — something I was never comfortable doing with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Another factor that aids in its ease of handling is the almost square aspect ratio of the internal display. Even with the case included in the phone’s box, the phone sounds tolerable (tasteful, even). And this is one of the many reasons I can’t put it down.

Watching TikTok one at a time is for weak people

Running three apps simultaneously using multitasking features on the handheld OnePlus Open.
Open Canvas on OnePlus Open is a boon. Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

 

Being a foldable phone, the target audience of the OnePlus Open is pro-users who want maximum productivity while on the go. The phone offers a reasonably rich set of productivity and multitasking features, as my colleague Nadeem Sarwar discussed in detail when he rated them even better than the Samsung.

The phone’s Open Canvas feature deserves the spotlight here as it allows up to three apps to run with maximum visibility. While two of the apps are prominently visible on the screen, the third is hidden on the side – you can easily access the third by tapping on it, and it pops out the first one. However, the applications of this feature extend far beyond work, as I explain below.

I can easily run two (or even three) full-screen games on the screen simultaneously. While it undoubtedly sounds crazy, I wouldn’t mind admitting that I do it – and enjoy it.

Two games are running simultaneously on OnePlus Open.
Botworld (top) and Whiteout Survival running together on OnePlus Open. Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

I’ve been fostering a passion latelyClash of Clans-style real-time strategy mobile game called .

The objective is to build and administer a city around a large furnace to keep the inhabitants warm, as well as continually upgrade various buildings, train special troops, go on expeditions and participate in wars – to ensure that Trying to make sure the residents are healthy, well fed. , and inspired.

After a certain level, upgrades take longer, and hanging in there may not be as fun. Meanwhile, I’ve also started harvesting robots in another game titled Botworld Adventure which is a lot like Pokemon but with such mean machines. With those who perform well as makeshift warriors in duels – again, like Pokémon battles.Whiteout Survival

So, while my defenses are being strengthened or buildings are being upgradedWhiteout Survival, I’m traversing the bot universe. I push it aside to do. This is not compulsive behavior (I promise!)

YouTube Shorts and Instagram running simultaneously on OnePlus Open.
Instagram Reels (left) and YouTube Shorts together on the OnePlus Open. Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

If that’s not enough relaxation, you can always have a half-dozen Red Bulls, run Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok simultaneously, and watch multiple vertically scrolling videos at once. Interpreting what you see is for the weak anyway!

Using OnePlus Open without touching it

OnePlus Open offers one of the most well-stocked versions of OnePlus’ Android skin, OxygenOS. I’ve already mentioned productivity features, but the thing that really helps me get the best out of my down moments are Air Gestures. If the name isn’t descriptive enough, this feature lets you control the phone by waving your hand in front of it. On older OnePlus phones, Air Gestures are limited to receiving and ending calls, but the OnePlus Open gets an upgraded version of the feature.

With Open, you can use your hands to scroll up or down on the screen. Place your knuckles between 20 and 40 cm (7.8 and 15.7 in) toward the screen. Then, open your hand and flick to scroll down. You can also do the reverse gesture to scroll up. It has allowed me to stay glued to the couch and scroll to the next Instagram reel or YouTube short with ease. Interestingly, these gestures also work well in low light, allowing you to doomscroll until you fall asleep.

OnePlus OxygenOS Air Gesture Settings.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

Instead of using air gestures to scroll, why not just use your thumb? There are two reasons for this: First, it allows me to hold the phone more securely while lying sideways on a padded surface like a bed or couch. Second, why use something basic when you can get fancy? This is also a great trick for the holidays. Show it to your family members when you meet them on Christmas and watch them be amazed by your magical skills!

A fun way to watch hands-free

The OnePlus Open is playing a video while partially open and placed on a table top.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

The OnePlus Open is certainly a pleasure to use, but you’ll want to rest your hands and place it on a flat surface while you enjoy your content. The hinge of the OnePlus Open is not efficient enough to allow use when only folding the phone in half. So, if you open it at an angle of 135 degrees or more, the hinge opens. Even when it can stay folded, the weight of the phone shifts so it rests on the central rib instead of one of the rear faces.

I figured out a way to use the external screen by folding the phone in half, i.e. in a tent-like shape that sits easily on a flat surface. This can be activated by opening the camera app, switching to the cover screen for preview, and then turning off the camera. This behavior is not intended, but it will let you use the external screen even if the phone is partially or completely open.

Hopefully OnePlus will add a Flex Mode similar to Samsung with a future update, but until that happens, I’m going to rely on this method to switch to my preferred screen for content consumption.

Dolby Vision is a delight

OnePlus opens with Dolby Vision support on Midnight Gospel Netflix series.
Netflix series Midnight Gospel with Dolby Vision on OnePlus Open. Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

One of the reasons that has prevented me from fully adopting the Galaxy Z Fold 5 as my device is its lack of Dolby Vision support. Apart from those who voluntarily choose not to care, Dolby Vision is an HDR codec that has different settings for each frame of the video rather than a single setting for the entire video, such as brightness, contrast and color intensity. There is information. This makes the video appear richer and provide better contrast with per-frame variations as needed. For several years, Samsung has moved away from Dolby Vision and instead promoted its own proprietary codec – HDR10+. Although the two are comparable, Dolby Vision is more widely used, especially on apps like Netflix. Therefore, content designed for Dolby Vision defaults back to the open-source (and very inferior) HDR10 codec, making it appear dull and unattractive.

On the other hand, the OnePlus Open supports Dolby Vision on both external and internal screens, allowing better colors and contrast on supported content. This adds to my list of reasons why the OnePlus Open is my favorite foldable for entertainment.

a beautiful reading experience

The Adaptive Sleep setting on the OnePlus Open keeps the display on unless you're looking at it.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

All my time spent with the OnePlus Open was not intended to engage the monkey mind. The convenient design makes the Open a great phone for reading e-books or online editorials – and has definitely encouraged me to read more.

One feature that encourages this habit is Adaptive Sleep, which keeps the display active even after the normal auto-screen-off timer. It uses the phone’s front camera while you’re looking at the phone, eliminating the need to tap every few seconds to keep the phone active.

This feature isn’t unique to the OnePlus Open (or other OnePlus phones), but it has greatly enhanced my reading experience on the phone.

OnePlus Open is something special

Hinge view of the OnePlus Open foldable phone.
Nadeem Sarwar/Digital Trends

In a world that easily gets excited by TED Talks about productivity and achieving success from every waking moment, wasting time aimlessly wading through the maze of social media instead of pursuing ambitions is a waste. It is believed. But our society’s excessive obsession with productivity makes extreme and harmful conditions like burnout rampant and endemic. This “grindset” There is ample evidence and documentation to prove the impact of culture.

While I realize that many of the experiential settings I described above seem bizarre (they certainly are, and I rely on them only to satirize this article), I would like to draw your attention to taking a break. I want to draw attention to the importance of. Just as many pieces of technology keep us focused on our aspirations, many things also help us relax and unwind. For me, OnePlus Open technology has been the part that has allowed me to achieve more.

Every email or work update is an opportunity to get back to work and nail that elusive work-life balance, especially for remote workers like me. Open has facilitated a setup where I can respond to more messages and emails directly from my phone rather than going to my computer. This has enabled me to log my brain farts before turning them into tangible pieces of work.

The OnePlus Open has allowed me to spend more time on my couch (or any high surface) without the nagging guilt of being away from work and being out of touch. I can safely say that it has brought me closer to my more authentic self by encouraging me to read more, watch more great content, curl my fingers while playing some relaxing games, and be less cynical about the perceived dangers of technology. Have given.

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