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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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." 

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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 (opens in new tab) 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.