Have you flipped out on foldable smartphones yet? Flexible OLED displays have been around for a decade, with the first foldable mobile device, the Royale Flexipai, beating both Huawei and Samsung to the early market in 2019.
While I initially expected foldable and flippable smartphones to become the trend of the new decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the adoption rate back a few years–this mainly means that there is no economy of scale. While over 250 million smartphones were shipped in Q2 2023, only 2.1 million were foldables, of which 58% were sold in China.
And which smartphone brand has over 30% of the China foldable market? Oppo, that’s who.
Flipping into the Find N3 Flip
Thanks to the Find N2 Flip launched earlier this year, Singaporean consumers are actually familiar with Oppo’s Find N Flip series. The most significant, most obvious change with the new device is the main triple-camera module, the first time any smartphone brand has added a three-camera system to a flip smartphone. The ’Cosmic Ring’ camera module occupies the top right quarter of the ‘back’ of the device, right beside Oppo’s signature Vertical Cover Screen. The three cameras are a 50MP wide-angle camera with OIS (main), an ultra-wide 48MP camera, and a 32MP portrait camera with 2x optical zoom (another first for a Flip phone).
The Cover Screen has also been enhanced, with Oppo enabling up to six notifications at a time and the ability to display mini apps such as Grab, Gmail, Google Maps, Reddit, Telegram, WeChat and WhatsApp. Oppo’s virtual pets have also gotten a refresh, with up to eight interactive 3D characters.
In the hand, the Find N3 Flip feels secure when folded; when unfolded, it’s close in size to an Oppo Reno10 Pro, while its 6.8-inch AMOLED display is HDR10+ compatible, with 1600 nits peak brightness and 120Hz refresh rate.
Oppo’s Flexion Hinge folding mechanism is now in its third refinement, with a ‘zero-gap’ hinge and improved durability; thanks to aircraft-grade stainless steel, Oppo says the new hinge is 24% stronger and will withstand 600,000 folds.
Power comes from a MediaTek Dimensity 9200 processor, with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage, while a 4,300mAh battery can be 58% charged in 30 minutes with 44W SuperVOOC fast charging.
Fold in with the Find N3
While we are familiar with Oppo’s flip phone, this is our first encounter with Oppo’s Find N foldable family, as Oppo had kept its foldable device within China. But Oppo must have decided that this was the right time to bring its flagship foldable to the world to start registering mindshare in a nascent global market.
By the way, the OnePlus Open is basically the same device, with some cosmetic changes.
The Fine N3 feels like a normal foldable in my hand, with one massive exception: the comparatively large Cosmic Ring camera module, which makes the device easier to carry in one hand when using the 6.3-inch outer screen. Unfolded, the Find N3 morphs into a 7.8-inch tablet, with its bright 2,800 nits (peak brightness) AMOLED display that features a 120Hz refresh rate, compatibility with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and three Spatial Audio-capable speakers deliver a premium audio experience.
Like the Find N3 Flip, the Cosmic Ring camera module features three cameras, but for the Find N3, the 48MP main camera features a Sony LYTIA T808 1/1.4-inch type 2-layer stacked CMOS image sensor–the first device in the world to use this sensor. Additionally, there’s a 64MP sensor with a bespoke 3x optical periscope zoom.
Like the Find N3 Flip, the foldable uses Oppo’s third-generation Flexion Hinge. This time, it’s rated to 1,000,000 folds, while a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform processor and 16GB RAM provide plenty of power for gaming and multitasking. With Oppo’s Dynamic Computing Engine, the Find N3 can easily handle over 40 apps running in the background. At the same time, a Boundless View feature lets users multitask three apps simultaneously like they are using a virtual 15-inch monitor.
Both Find N3 and Find N3 Flip are now available for pre-order in Singapore and will go on sale on 28 October 2023. The Oppo Find N3 is available (Champagne Gold, Classic Black) with 16GB RAM, 512GB ROM for SGD2,399. The Oppo Find N3 Flip is available (Sleek Black, Cream Gold, Misty Pink) with 12GB RAM, 256GB ROM for SGD1,499.
Contributed by Shawn Chung