The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the pinnacle of folding smartphone technology right now. Great displays inside and outside, clever software, an under-display camera, and some great cameras stuck to the back. Cutting edge by all means, right? We think so. Oppo doesn’t and its vision of the big folding phone is the Find N; a China-only folding phone that looks a lot like the Samsung version but smaller.
The Oppo Find N toys with the idea of the correct size for foldables and holding it next to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it seems Oppo isn't spewing marketing mumbo-jumbo. Compared to Samsung's mouth organ-shaped design, the Oppo Find N looks like a conventional compact phone when closed. While the Find N is less likely to find its way to India (see the pun?), Oppo seeded HT Tech a demo unit of the Find N for a few days.
Since the Find N runs Chinese software framework and no Google apps, it would be unfair to do a full review. That said, we have a lot to say about Oppo’s first folding smartphone.
In its closed state, the Oppo Find N looks like a conventional compact phone. It is as small as the iPhone 13 Mini but only slightly wider with its 18:9 aspect ratio. The 5.4-inch AMOLED display curves on one side while the other one fuses into the hinge extension. Despite having a camera cutout, the Find N’s cover display is more usable. Hence, for doing general smartphone tasks that do not require the wide folding display, it is more practical than the one of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That said, the 60Hz refresh rate is a bummer.
The Purple variant we had has a very reflective mirror-like finish with mild purple gradients. The gradual raising camera hump is from the Oppo Find X3 and it indeed looks unique. It all feels solidly built but the hefty 275 grams of weight may be of concern to some, especially to ones used to lightweight compact phones. Note that unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 3, you do not get water and dust resistance rating here.
Unfold the Find N and it opens up a widescreen display that measures 7.1-inches. Not the biggest display on a folding smartphone but the aspect ratio is more akin to a tablet here. This display has a refresh rate of 120Hz and peak brightness of up to 1000 nits. It uses the same Ultra-Thin glass under a plastic layer and some thick bumper bezels to create the gapless-fold.
The hinge is almost as effortless to open as the one of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Unlike the Fold 3 though, the Find N folds the display into a water drop shape; similar to the Motorola Razr 5G’s hinge system. As Oppo claims, the Find N is able to mask its crease effectively, although you can still figure out the points of fold when looking from an angle. Still, it’s nowhere as near as the drain-like crease on the Fold 3.
That said, the camera cutout does not hide when viewing fullscreen and hence, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 still excels with its uninterrupted display design. I also wonder why Oppo chose to stuff both the loudspeakers at the bottom; Samsung’s Fold 3 delivers a true stereo audio effect with its cleverly placed speakers.
The Find N is no different to use than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. When closed, you have the Cover display for all the mundane tasks and when unfolded, you have at disposal a tablet-like experience. With the thoughtfully compact dimensions though, everything is a tad easier on the Find N. Having a wider Cover display means I was able to quickly check my Twitter feed, or go through emails without my eyes gasping for space. When watching YouTube videos, the bigger display does its job as intended.
However, the software on a folding phone is crucial and with the Find N’s unfinished operating system, I understand why Oppo held off from a global launch. The Find N runs on Oppo’s ColorOS based on Android 11 without the Google apps and services. ColorOS 11 in itself does not have enough right now to make the most out of the large display. There are a few multitasking gestures and the clever camera UI inspired by the Samsung Fold but the OS is simply not tailored for the large display size.
I sideloaded the Google apps along with a few popular social media apps on the Find N. The lack of optimisation was evident with Apps such as Gmail and Twitter, wherein the text had a total disregard for the screen’s layout. I won’t be bothered about this though, since this is meant for the Chinese market and a global version is likely to get Oppo optimise it better.
Rest of the performance is on par with a Galaxy Z Fold 3. There’s a Snapdragon 888 inside running all apps and games at their best, as well as keeping the modified ColorOS chugging along happily. The 4500mAh battery can barely make it through a full day and the 33W wired charging is okayish; I wish Oppo had stuffed at least the 65W charging solution in this one.
The Find N uses the same 50MP main camera as the Oppo Find X3 and in most lighting conditions, it shows the same strengths. There’s also a good enough 13MP 2X zoom camera and a 16MP ultra-wide camera. Both the selfie cameras on the Cover and Main display have 32MP sensors. I won’t comment on the camera performance given the Chinese software this Find N was running. It’s no iPhone 13 Pro Max levels of good but it does the job.
The Oppo Find N is essentially the same big folding phone formula that Samsung has mastered. It lacks the software expertise of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 but it shows that folding phones work great even when you shrink it – it is supremely comfortable to use. The Find N works as tremendously good as a conventional smartphone when closed; this is a crucial benchmark we believe every folding smartphone should follow.
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