Samsung better be on its toes as there’s a new player in town. A new foldable one that is. While Samsung has demonstrated that it is miles ahead of the competition, Oppo has just announced that it is not too far behind with its impressive Find N.
It looks very similar in design and form to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but still scores with a couple of critical improvements over the former’s foldable flagship.
First is the hinge mechanism. Oppo uses a `water-drop’ design, allowing the phone to fold more evenly. This results in a mechanism that doesn’t leave a noticeable wedge or gap when the screen is folded, which is otherwise an eyesore in foldable devices. Even when you use it as a tablet, the whole screen looks almost seamless, which is a significant improvement over Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, for instance, where the crease is visible and can be felt on touch. Oppo claims Find N has a crease that is “up to 80 percent less noticeable” than other foldable devices, which is hard to question with several reports of glowing reviews from early testers.
The Find N takes design inspiration from the Z Fold 3 but is a little smaller. It has a 5.49-inch outer display and a 7.1-inch inner screen compared to the 6.2-inch screen on the front and the 7.6-inch display of the Samsung foldable. The Oppo also has a far more usable 18:9 aspect ratio on the outer display.
Like its Korean counterpart, there are a total of five cameras on the Find N. The inside screen and the outer screen come with 32MP hole-punch cameras, while the rear features a three-camera setup that includes a 50-megapixel primary camera, a 16-megapixel ultrawide lens and a 13-megapixel telephoto.
Under the surface, you get what you’d expect from most high-end flagship Android devices of today — a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 12GB of RAM. The device runs on Oppo’s Color OS 12, based on Android 11. What is missing, however, is Oppo’s 65W fast charging which the brand uses on some of its other devices. Find N comes with the company’s 33-watt SuperVOOC Flash Charge for wired charging (0-100 percent in 70 minutes for the 4500mAh battery), and 15-watt AirVOOC for wireless charging plus 10-watt reverse wireless charging. The device is also missing another vital aspect of other high-end devices — IP68 water and dust resistance rating. This internationally recognised standard guarantees that the phone/tablet is dust, sand and water-resistant for up to 1.5 meters depth.
For the moment, though, the Oppo Find N will be sold only in China. The reason? Lack of app support, a problem that mars foldable devices in general. Launching only in China allows the brand to work closely with app developers to overcome the problem. Though Samsung and Google are also working hard to improve app support for foldable devices, the reality is that there are far too few foldable devices currently for developers to invest time and resources on improving the user experience. That, however, might change when Android 12L, a version of Android with enhanced support for foldables launches shortly.
The Oppo Find N, while impressive, will only be available in a market where Samsung isn’t a big player, which means that consumers, for the most part, will not be choosing between the two. It might not directly compete with Samsung, but as Oppo works on a successor to the Find N, it could have the former in its crosshairs. And that’s something no other manufacturer has even come close to doing when it comes to foldables.