The first OnePlus foldable phone is rumored to be in development

Two Oppo Find N foldable phones, showing the front and back of the handsets
The OnePlus foldable might look a lot like the Oppo Find N (Image credit: Oppo)

So far, all we've heard from OnePlus regarding a foldable phone is that the company isn't in a rush to make one. However, the latest from the rumor mill suggests that such a device is now in development, and may come in a familiar form.

As per sources speaking to Pricebaba and tipster Yogesh Brar, the OnePlus foldable is now "in development" – though for the time being we don't have any indication of when it might see the light of day or how much it might cost.

The same report says that OnePlus is set to launch five smartphones during the course of 2022, and that this foldable phone is outside of that list. Whether or not it launches before the end of the year remains to be seen.

Have we met?

One tidbit of information we do have is that the OnePlus foldable phone is going to be based on the Oppo Find N, which is currently only available in China. That makes sense, considering Oppo and OnePlus are part of the same parent company, BBK Electronics.

Oppo and OnePlus have previously confirmed that they're going to be working more closely together in the future – merging their smartphone efforts, essentially – so this could be the way that the Oppo Find N is getting an international launch.

Back in 2020, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said that foldable phones didn't offer "significant advantage or value" – but times have of course changed. As soon as anything is made official in terms of a OnePlus foldable, we will of course let you know.

Analysis: everyone wants a foldable

It was Huawei and Samsung who really pioneered the foldable phone form factor in a significant way, and while Huawei has slowed down a little since, we still have the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.

That latter phone uses the clamshell style also adopted by the Motorola Razr, which is expected to get a refresh this year. Now it looks as though OnePlus wants to join the party – and we know it's already been working on foldable phone software.

Chinese-based manufacturers like Oppo have jumped in as well, most notably Xiaomi. Vivo is rumored to be bringing out a foldable in the near future, while the most recent leak we've just reported on hints that OnePlus could be next in line.

With costs dropping and the technology improving, what about Google and Apple? Speculation about the Pixel Fold and the iPhone Fold has been around for years at this point, but it looks as though Google will beat Apple to the market with a device.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.