Chinese manufacturer Oppo releases folding phone to rival Samsung

China - Samsung, the world's largest pioneer of folding smartphones, is getting competition from Chinese manufacturer Oppo, which has unveiled its own folding smartphone, the Find N.

Competition is a good thing for the future of foldable smartphones.
Competition is a good thing for the future of foldable smartphones.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Oppo is taking a slightly smaller approach than Samsung, whose folding phone is above all big – both in price and size. The Chinese manufacturer's device is relatively small when folded.

However, like Samsung's Fold, Oppo's Find N can be used like a normal smartphone with a 5.49-inch screen on the front.

When unfolded, the 7.1-inch diagonal screen on the inside has an almost square aspect ratio. The display, which Oppo says is made of 12 layers, has a refresh rate of up to 120 hertz for smooth animations.

Oppo appears to have done a better job than Samsung at hiding the notorious "crease", which, on previous folding phones, runs down the middle of the larger inner display along the line where the display folds in half.

Moving parts on a phone are generally the most prone to failing, but Oppo says the hinge on this phone can withstand up to 200,000 folds without the phone showing damage.

Previous folding phone reviewers have been picky about the folding mechanism, with some users annoyed by the fact that these phones don't always fold completely flat like a book.

Oppo, however, says the 136-part hinge on its phone uses a special "water drop" design to make sure that there's only a tiny gap between the two phone parts when they fold flat. According to the tech company, this folding technique also makes the display more durable.

Sweet feature suite

Oppo's Find N seems to be the next step in foldable smartphone technology.
Oppo's Find N seems to be the next step in foldable smartphone technology.  © IMAGO / NurPhoto

When taking photos, Find N owners will be able to show their subject a real-time preview of what the photo will be like through the screen on the outside.

The display hinge can also be adjusted between 50 and 120 degrees, meaning you can prop up one half of the phone with text or content while the other lays flat on the table with a keyboard, for example.

The arrangement of apps on the larger screen can be controlled by a series of finger gestures. The camera can also be set to react to hand gestures. The current operating system is an Android 11-based version of Oppo's Color OS.

The maker is using the latest in flagship hardware to power its folding phone and Qualcomm's top chip, the Snapdragon 888, is installed along with up to 512 GB storage space and 12 GB of RAM.

On the back of the Find N there is a triple camera (wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and telephoto) headlined by Sony's IMX766 sensor. For video calls and selfies, there is another camera integrated into each display.

Like many Oppo phones, the Find N is first launching in China before arriving internationally, although Oppo has not yet confirmed if and when the phone will be available outside the country.

In China, the basic version of Oppo's folding phone with 256 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM costs the equivalent of around $1,200, while 512 GB and 12 GB of RAM will cost around $1,410 dollars.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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