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Oppo Find N3 Review: Fantastic Hardware, Finicky Software
November 9, 2023 Andrew Cheng

The Oppo Find N3 is arguably the most interesting tablet-like foldable phone this year. Not only does it have some impressive hardware with minimal crease on the foldable display, the Find N3 also has a sophisticated Hasselblad-branded camera system – best one yet in the segment, in my opinion.

That being said, Oppo still has some ways to go when it comes to the software refinement of the Find N3. Retailing at RM7,999, it is quite a bit pricier than its main competition too, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. While the Find N3 doesn’t offer the best value for money, it does have many winning qualities, which could be enough to win over potential customers.

What It Is

DisplayMain: 7.82-inch QXGA+ OLED (2440 x 2268), 120Hz adaptive
Cover: 6.31-inch FHD+ OLED (2484 x 1116), 120Hz adaptive
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 3.2GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 740
RAM16GB
Storage512GB, non-expandable
Camera (rear)48MP f/1.7, AF, OIS
48MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide angle), AF
64MP f/2.6 (periscope telephoto), AF, OIS, 3x optical zoom, 6x in-sensor zoom
Camera (front)Main screen: 20MP f/2.2
Cover screen: 32MP f/2.4
Battery
4,805mAh with 67W charging
DimensionsUnfolded: 153.4 x 143.1 x 5.8 mm
Folded: 153.4 x 73.3 x 11.7 mm
Weight
245g
OSColorOS 13.2 based on Android 13
Connectivity5G
LTE
NFC
Bluetooth 5.3
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7 (2.4/5.1/5.8GHz)
USB Type-C
PriceRM7,999

For the Malaysian market, the Find N3 is offered in the sole 16GB + 512GB model for a cool RM7,999. For that kind of money, you do get hardware befitting of a flagship smartphone, including the fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, bright and vibrant 120Hz OLED screens, and of course, a sophisticated, versatile camera system.

I really appreciate the fact that the two displays of the Find N3 are equally good. Not only does both of them feature a 120Hz refresh rate, they also have a peak brightness of 2,800 nits, which is really bright. In a market where most foldable phones use different panels for the primary and cover screens, it’s great to see Oppo going for a streamlined approach for a more consistent viewing experience.

The Good Stuff

Throughout the review period, I actually find myself using the Find N3 in its folded state more often than I expected. The thing is, the 6.31-inch FHD+ cover screen has a conventional 20:9 aspect ratio, so it feels just like a regular phone when it is folded. I absolutely love this aspect of the Find N3, as I don’t feel forced to unfold it when I don’t need the extra screen real estate.

And when I do unfold the Find N3 – the hinge feels very smooth and solid, if I might add – the sheer size and quality of the 7.82-inch QXGA+ display is fantastic. It offers bright, vibrant colours with deep blacks, as expected from an OLED panel. The 120Hz adaptive refresh rate also lend to very smooth animations for both this main display and the cover screen.

If you’re concerned about creasing on the foldable display of the Find N3, you’ll be very happy to know that this phone has a very, very minimal crease. While it is somewhat visible with the display switched off, it’s very hard to notice in normal use.

Sure, you can still feel the crease if you run your finger over it, but there’s no denying that the Find N3 has the least visible crease of all foldable phones I’ve tested.

And then there’s the Find N3’s “Boundless View” feature, which lets users switch between up to three different apps seamlessly. Basically, the different apps are open “simultaneously,” and you can tap on either the left, right, or bottom of the screen to switch to the different apps. It takes some…practice to get to the Boundless View screen, though I can see how this feature can be useful to folks who need to juggle between different apps quickly.

Now let’s talk about the performance of the Find N3. Powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, it delivers fast, zippy performance in everyday use. However, it does seem to struggle a tad in more demanding mobile games like Honkai: Star Rail. It can’t quite sustain 60fps frame rate at maxed out settings in Star Rail, which is something I can do with (some) phones powered by the same chipset.

Battery life of the Find N3 is quite decent too. On average, I can get between five to six hours of screen on time with the phone, depending on how heavy my usage is and whether I’m spending more time with the cover or main screen. All in all, this foldable phone can certainly deliver good battery life.

Last but not least is the camera performance of the Find N3. All three sensors – 48MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, 64MP periscope telephoto with 3x optical zoom – can take great-looking shots regardless of lighting condition. Compared to other tablet-like foldable phones, the Find N3 is noticeably better in this regard.

Although the 6x “in-sensor” zoom of the Find N3’s 64MP periscope telephoto camera isn’t optical, the quality is…well, not too bad. Again, in comparison to its competition, the Find N3 (objectively) has a more versatile camera system, thanks to its different focal lengths.

The Bad Stuff

Without a doubt the Find N3 has solid hardware, but where it starts to show its weakness is in the software side of things. For example, there were a couple of instances where the phone would be unresponsive in the recent apps page. Though I can’t replicate the issue consistently, it does affect the overall polish of ColorOS.

And then there’s the taskbar of the Find N3, which overlaps with certain apps. In Telegram, for example, the taskbar actually blocks off the message box. While I can press and hold on the taskbar to minimise it to solve the issue, it would’ve been better if I didn’t have to do this in the first place.

Granted, I don’t encounter this issue with most apps, but as I’ve mentioned before, it does show that ColorOS on the Find N3 needs more refinement.

But the biggest hurdle for the Find N3 to find mainstream success has to be its value proposition. Priced at RM7,999 for the sole 16GB + 512GB model, Oppo’s foldable sits at a higher price point than the other mainstream folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. Samsung’s offering starts at RM6,799 for the 12GB + 256GB variant, going up to RM7,299 and RM8,299 for the 12GB + 512GB and 12GB + 1TB configurations respectively.

On top of that, the Find N3 also lacks one key feature (to me) for a flagship smartphone: water resistance. For a phone that sits at this price point, it’s not unrealistic to expect, say, for it to have an IPX8 rating like the (more affordable) Z Fold 5.

Is It Worth It?

Despite its shortcomings, the Oppo Find N3 is still an excellent tablet-like foldable smartphone. It has fantastic displays without much of a crease for the main panel, a smooth, robust hinge, great battery life, and a capable, versatile camera system.

Yes, I’m not thrilled by the software experience or the rather high asking price of the Find N3, but I’m confident that Oppo will further refine ColorOS on the foldable phone through future updates. Plus, as is usually the case for the majority of tech products, the Find N3 should become more affordable as time goes on.

With a lower price tag and a more refined software, I’d be more than happy to recommend the Find N3; provided you’re okay with the fact that it does not have any rating for water or dust resistance.

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