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Oppo’s Find N is the first folding phone to really take on Samsung

Oppo threw some shade in Samsung’s direction when talking about its newly announced Oppo Find N folding smartphone. It’s using the tagline “From Novelty to Necessity” in its promotional material, cheekily suggesting the Samsung Galaxy Fold series has been nothing more than a fun curiosity for the early adopter, and that Oppo has created the first foldable you absolutely must have.

That boldness seems to be rooted in a lot of work. Oppo says it has taken six generations of prototypes to get the Find N to this stage, and now the experience apparently meets Oppo’s high expectations.

Oppo Find N colors.

The Oppo Find N works like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 rather than the Galaxy Z Flip 3, opening up like a book to reveal a larger screen. On the outside is a 6.49-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio cover screen. When open, the Find N has a 7.1-inch, dynamic 120Hz OLED “Serene Display” capable of 1,000 nits brightness. What’s interesting here is that the screen’s 8.4:9 aspect ratio means you won’t have to rotate the phone to watch videos or read books in an ideal way.

The screen is covered in a sheet of 0.3mm-thick Ultra Thin Glass (UTG), just like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which should mean it feels just like a normal smartphone under your finger. Oppo has developed its own hinge for the Find N’s folding action. It’s called the Flexion Hinge, and it consists of 136 parts and an unusual water droplet design when viewed end-on. Oppo says the combination of the Flexion Hinge and UTG glass means the crease is 80% less noticeable compared to the competition, which refers to the Z Fold 3.

Oppo Find N open.

The hinge allows the screen to hold itself open at any angle between 50 and 120 degrees, and the folding action has been tested and shown to be reliable for more than 200,000 folds. Beyond this, Oppo is promising a consistent viewing experience, with the same color and brightness calibration across both outer and inner screens.

While we wait to see the Find N in person, we can see in the pictures provided by Oppo that the company has taken the flowing design of the Find X3 Pro and used it on the foldable, right down to the unique camera module that’s incorporated into the body. The phone is made from metal, ceramic, and Gorilla Glass Victus and appears to be surprisingly compact. When folded up, it is shorter than the Find X3, potentially making it more manageable than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It comes in black, white, or purple.

Oppo’s ColorOS 12 interface, based on Android 11, will be installed, complete with various features specific to the Find N’s folding capability, including split-screen and floating window multitasking, a seamless transition between the outer and inner screes, and various gesture controls to make it simple to activate these modes. The cover screen will also work as a preview window for the camera, so anyone in the photo can see how they look. An update to Android 12 will come to the Find N, but no time frame has been given.

What about the specs? The Find N uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, and not the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 expected to be in the next Find X series phone, along with 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage space.  It’s a fairly modest 4,500mAh battery powering the Find N, with Oppo’s 33-watt SuperVOOC fast-charging technology delivering 100% charge in 70 minutes or 55% in 30 minutes. There’s also wireless and reverse charging. A 50-megapixel camera is the headliner, and it’s joined by a 16MP ultra-wide camera and a 13MP telephoto camera. There’s a 32MP selfie camera on the outer and inner screen.

As mentioned, Oppo’s main challenger is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which uses the same processor and has a comparable camera setup, but on paper, the Find N does not boast the same level of durability as Samsung’s phone, which earned an IPX8 water-resistance rating. Samsung is also on its third generation of consumer folding smartphone, giving it considerable real-world experience, both good and bad.

Oppo announced the Find N during its Inno Day event, where it showcases the latest tech it has been working on recently, often ahead of a wider release. This is the case for the Find N, which will initially launch only in China. It’s possible the Find N will come to Europe as part of Oppo’s range in the future, but the company will likely wait to release a future folding phone in international markets. The price has not been confirmed at the time of writing.

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