Foldable phones may have limited appeal, but Oppo’s Find N leads the way


Has the “foldable phone” phenomenon lost its luster yet? Are they still considered the next big thing? Oppo isn’t sure – it has restricted sales of its own flagship folding phone, the Find N, here in Europe. That’s a shame as it’s arguably the best foldable phone hardware out there for overall value.

However, it could get more expensive if Oppo decides to release it here at some point.

The main attraction is the 7.1-inch internal display, which you get when it’s fully unfolded. This is a high-end (120Hz) screen that looks and feels great. Oppo has also made a good choice by keeping the folded size slightly smaller than most of its flagship competitors. So the normal external screen is 5.5 inches, which is roughly the size of an iPhone 13 mini.

The reason for this is that it makes the Find N a lot more portable and useful than its main competitors, which tend to be bulky.

Another big plus here is that Oppo hasn’t skimped on the cameras or battery life at all, giving it an excellent three-lens system and really decent battery life (4,500mAh).

Engine performance is also excellent with the latest top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 chip and a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM. (It’s available with a choice of 256GB or 512GB of storage.)

And it charges fairly quickly, with a 33-watt input charging it to about half full in 30 minutes.

Specs aside, is a foldable phone useful in any way?

For reading or jotting down, yes – you can use the extra screen real estate quite productively in my experience. This is especially true for those who have poor eyesight, even with glasses.

On the other hand, it’s not really any more useful for things like video. Because practically every video format is either horizontal (YouTube, Netflix) or vertical (TikTok, Snapchat). You can’t watch larger videos on a square screen.

The only major flaw of the trial I had is the lack of a Google App Store. That’s just because it’s a China-only release – Oppo isn’t barred from using Google in the same way Huawei does. And you can load it onto the device if you want, although most security experts warn that doing so increases the risk of vulnerabilities in your smartphone.

For me, the lack of Google has presented Find N with the same usability challenges with everyday apps that every new Huawei phone has. If Oppo decided to launch the Find N here, it might not stand.

But overall, this is one of the handiest and most useful foldable smartphones released to date. That Oppo is yet to release it here might speak to the limited appeal such devices have for most of us. But if interest in these flagship devices picks up, Oppo could be well placed to capitalize on it. Foldable phones may have limited appeal, but Oppo’s Find N leads the way

Fry Electronics Team

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