The new Oppo Find N folding smartphone does a lot better than the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung and Huawei have led the way, and now Oppo follows suit. With the Find N, the Chinese manufacturer has presented its first market-ready foldable smartphone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 gets handy competition. The Chinese manufacturer Oppo now also has a folding smartphone in its lineup with the Find N. However, the Find N will initially only be launched in China. Oppo did not mention a date for the sales launch in Europe.

Folding smartphone in mini format

While Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a narrow outer display with the unusual 25:9 aspect ratio, the Oppo Find N comes with a smartphone-typical 18:9 screen with a diagonal of 5.49 inches. Thus, it is about as big as an iPhone 13 mini (5.4 inches) when folded and much easier to use than the Z Fold 3.

When opened, you look at the inner screen with a diagonal of 7.1 inches in an almost square aspect ratio. The display is made of twelve layers, has a refresh rate of up to 120 hertz and is supposed to survive up to 200,000 folding processes without damage.

Oppo Find N
Almost square: The folded edge of the Oppo Find N’s inner screen is only visible with great difficulty. There is a selfie camera in the upper left corner. Photo: dpa picture alliance

Oppo makes a big step forward compared to Samsung’s foldable smartphones especially in terms of the hinge. According to its own information, it took six prototype generations to reach the final design. The hinge consists of 136 parts and folds the display completely differently than we know it from Samsung. Current AMOLED displays can only be folded with a gentle curve in the shape of a water drop, otherwise the diodes inside would be destroyed. That is why there is a small gap between the two smartphone halves in the Z Fold 3, for example, since there has to be room for the curve. Oppo has found a different solution, though. The hinge is designed in such a way that the curve finds room in the casing itself. The advantage of this solution is also that the fold in the center of the display is less visible than in the Z Fold 3 when the smartphone is opened.

Oppo Find N
A look inside the Oppo Find N: The hinge folds the display into the casing so that there is no gap between the halves. Photo: dpa picture alliance

Author: “Samsung’s new foldable phones are only partially convincing”.

Flexible display modes and gesture control

The two displays can also work together. For example, in photo mode, when a preview of the photo subject is also displayed on the outer display. In the Flexview mode – the display hinge can be locked between 50 and 120 degrees – operating modes adapted to individual apps are possible. For example, a keyboard can be displayed on the lower half of the screen in the news app, while the text appears on the upper half. However, not all apps are optimized for this. YouTube, for example, continues to display the content in the center – even when the screen is angled.

Oppo Find N
When opened, the Oppo Find N has a 7.1-inch screen with a refresh rate of 1 to 120 hertz. Photo: dpa picture alliance

The arrangement of apps on the larger screen can be controlled via a series of finger gestures. The camera also responds to hand gestures when desired. An Android 11-based version of Oppo’s Color OS is currently in use as the operating system.

What’s inside is what’s good and expensive at the moment

Oppo relies on the current state of flagship technology for the hardware. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 is installed as the system chip, and there is up to 512 gigabytes (GB) of hard drive memory and a maximum of 12 GB of RAM. On the back of the Find N there is a triple camera with Sony’s IMX766 sensor, wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and telephoto. There is another camera per display for video calls and selfies.

It is not yet clear when the Find N will be available in Germany. In addition to the software, the radio bands that are common here will have to be adapted. In China, the basic version of the Oppo Find N with 256 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM costs the equivalent of around 1070 Euros, and around 1255 Euros for 512 GB and 12 GB of RAM.

With material from dpa