Oppo Find N – Finally a Foldable Phone With a Practical Form Factor
December 16, 2021 Andrew Cheng

If you’re shopping for a tablet-like foldable phone, there’s a good chance you’re looking at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. There’s no denying that it is the leading product of its kind in the market now, but the Z Fold 3 does have a number of shortcomings, such as its tall and narrow cover screen.

And that is where the new Oppo Find N shines. Not only does it have a more practical, ergonomic form factor when it is folded, the Find N is also a really good foldable phone in its own right. The best part is, Oppo’s first foldable phone is quite a bit more affordable too.

So how much does the Find N retail at? Well, in China, it starts at only 7,699 Chinese yuan; that comes up to about RM5,100. Compared to the Z Fold 3’s RM6,699 starting price, the Find N is quite a bit more affordable, though it remains to be seen if it will be sold outside of China.

Anyway, as mentioned, the Find N has a more practical form factor, thanks to its compact 5.49-inch 1972 x 988 display with a wider 18:9 aspect ratio. Even though this doesn’t sound particularly big, it does offer more than enough screen real estate for a comfortable user experience.

More importantly, this wider, shorter display also makes it easier to use the Find N with only one hand; it’s more ergonomically-friendly than the awkwardly tall cover screen of the Z Fold 3. It’s a smart approach on Oppo’s part, in my opinion, by offering a “smaller,” but more practical external display.

Of course, when you do need a bigger display, you can just unfold the Find N to make use of the 7.1-inch 1920 x 1792 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. This being an AMOLED panel, it offers vibrant colours, true, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles.

Speaking of which, the main foldable display of the Find N has a number of differences over the Z Fold 3. For one, the “crease” in the middle of the screen is not quite as visible. Now, you’ll definitely see if you look for it, but in regular use, it’s easy to not pay attention to it. Aside from that, the phone itself also folds and unfolds in a solid, satisfying manner.

Oh, there’s also very little to no gap in the foldable screen when the Find N is closed up! This is accomplished with the robust Flexion Hinge of the phone, which utilises Oppo’s “unique water-drop hinge design that widens the angle of the fold in the display and offering a buffer when the display folds,” as the company puts it.

Needless to say, the fact that there’s no noticeable gap at all when the Find N is folded does give it an edge over Samsung’s Z Fold 3.

That being said, there is one area where the Z Fold 3 performs better than the Find N: screen durability. Even though the latter’s foldable panel is also made out of Ultra Thin Glass with a “12-layer” display structure, the demo units that I tested already had noticeable markings on the screen after the media folks tried them out.

In contrast, the Z Fold 3’s foldable screen feels a tad more durable in this respect, though I wouldn’t say there is a huge difference. Thankfully, the Find N’s display itself does feel quite smooth to the touch. Of course, it still doesn’t feel like glass – a screen protector is installed – but at least it doesn’t have the dreaded “rubbery” texture.

In the performance department, the Find N is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset paired with up to 12GB of RAM. Though it’s not the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, this is still a capable SoC that can deliver flagship-class performance. The phone certainly feels fast and responsive in my brief time with it.

Last but certainly not least is the camera performance of the Find N. Featuring a triple camera system made up of a 50MP primary shooter, a 16MP ultra-wide angle sensor, and a 13MP telephoto lens, it does feel quite capable. Judge for yourself with these sample shots:

However, I only managed to try out the Find N’s camera under ideal lighting, where a flagship-class device will naturally excel in. It’ll be interesting to see how the camera would perform in low light conditions – I’ll be sure to get to this in the full review.

All in all, the Find N is a premium, high-end foldable phone through and through. It has solid build quality, the foldable screen looks great with a 120Hz refresh rate, and most importantly, it offers a practical form factor when it is folded; something that its main competition (Samsung’s Z Fold 3) does not offer.

Curiously, despite its smaller dimensions, the Find N actually has a slightly larger 4,500mAh battery too. The Z Fold 3 features a 4,400mAh cell instead.

If there’s any hardware of the Find N that I would nitpick, it would be the fact that it doesn’t have any water or dust resistance like the Z Fold 3. The addition of this feature would’ve made for a more complete foldable phone, but it’s worth noting that it also doesn’t cost quite as much as Samsung’s offering.

Even though the Oppo Find N is the Chinese company’s first-ever foldable phone, it already feels like an accomplished product that is easily comparable to the highly polished Z Fold 3; that’s a high praise for Oppo. Hopefully, the Find N will be sold outside of China in the near future – it may give Samsung a run for its money.