OnePlus 'foldable' teaser was a lame fake-out to promote 50% off deal

OnePlus 9 Pro
(Image credit: OnePlus)

Update: OnePlus still appears to be working on a foldable phone.

OnePlus's foldable teaser sure grabbed a lot of people's attention (including ours). However, as it turns out, it was nothing more than a promotional trap in an attempt to hop on the foldable bandwagon amidst Samsung's Unpacked event, which saw the unveiling of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Two days ago, OnePlus USA shared a curious teaser on both its Instagram and Twitter accounts, featuring what appeared to be either a foldable or a dual-screen smartphone with a Galaxy theme spread across the display(s). What was interesting is that the post was captioned "8.11 10am ET", which was - you guessed it - the exact start time of the Samsung Unpacked event. 

However, as soon as the clocks hit 10 a.m. ET, OnePlus USA shared another tweet. This time, the post featured a video that started out featuring the previously teased foldable device but turned into a big bummer just 20 seconds in. A hand appeared and grabbed half of the device, revealing that all this time, we were tricked by two One Plus 9 smartphones standing side-by-side. And the caption was: "Half off. Literally. Get the OnePlus 9 for 50% OFF." 

That's right, this whole fiasco was simply a way for OnePlus to promote a 50% off deal at T-Mobile for the OnePlus 9 in an attempt to steal Samsung's thunder.

While some users thought it was funny, others did not appreciate the clickbaity PR stunt. "Dear @Twitter, this is one major reason to bring the Dislike button." - one user responded.

At first glance, the 50% off deal sure sounds tempting, but there's also a catch. The promotion is only active for U.S. customers and exclusive to the T-Mobile network. Customers will also only get their 50% ($375) back over two years after purchasing.

Some users were not impressed that the company did not specify that the deal was US-centric in the post. "I see £50 but not the 50% they talk of…..," said a UK-based Twitter user.

All disappointment aside, the OnePlus 9 is still a powerful device. In our OnePlus 9 review, our senior editor Philip Michaels noted that the 'camera upgrades make this a must-have phone'. And overall, we were impressed with its fast charging capabilities, impressive battery life and blazing-fast 120Hz refresh rate. However, the lack of IP-rated water resistance may come as a frustration to some users.

So if you're based in the U.S. and willing to sign up with T-Mobile, we say that the deal is well worth considering.

Denise Primbet
News Writer

Denise is a Life Reporter at Newsweek, covering everything lifestyle-related, including health, relationships, personal finance, beauty and more. She was formerly a news writer at Tom’s Guide, regularly producing stories on all things tech, gaming software/hardware, fitness, streaming, and more. Her published content ranges from short-form news articles to long-form pieces, including reviews, buying guides, how-tos, and features. When she's not playing horror games, she can be found exploring East London with her adorable puppy. She’s also a part-time piano enthusiast and regularly experiments in the kitchen.