The Oppo Find N is essentially a refinement of Samsung’s formula used to dominate the large foldable phone space. But does it actually work?
- Brief dimensions
- Solid construction
- Solid hinge
- Lack of IP rating
- Limited to China
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is currently the pinnacle of folding smartphone technology. Great displays inside and out, clever software, an under-display camera and some great cameras stuck on the back. Sophisticated in every way, right? We think so. Oppo doesn’t, and its vision of a larger folding phone is the Find N; Just a China folding phone that looks like the Samsung version but smaller.
With the Oppo Find N toying with the perfect size idea for foldables and holding it ahead of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Oppo doesn’t seem to be doing marketing mumbo-jumbo. Compared to Samsung’s mouth organ-shaped design, the Oppo Find N looks like a traditional compact phone when closed. While the chances of the Find N coming to India are slim (see the word?), Oppo gave HT Tech a demo unit of the Find N for a few days.
Since the Find N runs a Chinese software framework and has no Google apps, a full review would be inappropriate. That said, we have a lot to say about Oppo’s first folding smartphone.
Oppo Find N: What’s Different
In its closed state, the Oppo Find N looks like a conventional compact phone. It’s as small as the iPhone 13 Mini but slightly wider with its 18:9 aspect ratio. The 5.4-inch AMOLED display curves on one side while the other fuses into the hinge extension. Despite the camera cutout, the Find N’s cover display is more usable. So, for general smartphone tasks that don’t require a wide folding display, it’s more practical than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That said, the 60Hz refresh rate is pretty annoying.
The purple variant we have has a very reflective mirror-like finish with a gentle purple gradient. The slowly extending camera hump is from the Oppo Find X3 and looks really unique. It all feels tightly packed but the 275g weight may be a concern for some, especially those used to light compact phones. Note that unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 3, you don’t get a water and dust resistance rating here.
Open the Find N and it reveals a widescreen display measuring 7.1-inches. Not the biggest display on a folding smartphone but the aspect ratio here is similar to that of a tablet. This display has a refresh rate of 120Hz and a peak brightness of up to 1000 nits. It uses the same ultra-thin glass under a layer of plastic and some thick bumper bezels to create a gapless-fold.
The hinge is almost as easy to open as the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Unlike the Fold 3, the Find N folds the display into a waterdrop shape; Like the hinge system of the Motorola Razr 5G. As Oppo claims, the Find N is able to effectively mask its creases, though you can spot the fold points when viewing from an angle. Still, it’s nowhere near as crease-like as the drain on Fold 3.
That said, the camera cutout doesn’t hide when viewed fullscreen, and hence, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 still stands out with its seamless display design. I wonder why Oppo chose to fill both loudspeakers at the bottom; Samsung’s Fold 3 delivers a true stereo audio effect with its cleverly placed speakers.
Oppo Find N: What it’s like to use
The Find N is no different from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. When closed, you have a cover display for all mundane tasks, and when unfolded, you have a tablet-like experience. Despite the thoughtfully compact dimensions, everything is a little simpler on the Find N. Having a wider cover display meant I was able to quickly check my Twitter feed, or go through emails without my eyes having to find space. While watching YouTube videos, the large display does its job as intended.
However, software on a folding phone is critical, and with the Find N’s incomplete operating system, I understand why Oppo held off on a global launch. Find N runs on Oppo’s ColorOS based on Android 11 without Google apps and services. ColorOS 11 doesn’t currently have enough to make the most of the larger display. There are some multitasking gestures and a clever camera UI inspired by the Samsung Fold, but the OS isn’t just built for larger display sizes.
I sideloaded Google apps on the Find N along with some popular social media apps. The lack of optimization was evident in apps like Gmail and Twitter, with text completely ignoring the layout of the screen. I wouldn’t worry about it though, as this is for the Chinese market and the global version is likely to be better optimized by Oppo.
The rest of the performance is on par with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. There’s a Snapdragon 888 inside to keep all the apps and games running smoothly along with the improved ColorOS. The 4500mAh battery can barely make it through a full day, and 33W wired charging is fine; I wish Oppo had packed at least a 65W charging solution into it.
The Find N uses the same 50MP main camera as the Oppo Find X3, and in most lighting conditions, it performs similarly. There’s also a decent 13MP 2X zoom camera and a 16MP ultra-wide camera. Both the selfie cameras on the cover and the main display have 32MP sensors. I won’t comment on camera performance due to the Chinese software this Find N is running. It’s not quite the level of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but it works.
Oppo Find N: Take ours
The Oppo Find N is essentially the same big folding phone formula that Samsung has mastered. It lacks the software prowess of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 but it shows that folding phones work great even when you compress them – it’s extremely comfortable to use. The Find N works just as well as a traditional smartphone when off; This is an important benchmark that every folding smartphone should adhere to.