Oppo's new foldable phone may have solved the crease problem
After unveiling its new foldable phone last week, the Chinese electronics maker unveiled its latest model, the Find N, on Wednesday, the second day of its "Innovation Day" event.
The new phone, which will be available only in China starting December 23, is slightly smaller than rival foldable devices such as Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold line. The Find N is similar in design to the Z Fold but has a 5.49-inch exterior screen and a 7.1-inch interior screen. By comparison, The Samsung phone has a 6.2-inch front screen and a 7.6-inch display when opened.
Like a classic flip phone, the Find N has an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes it more like a regular phone when turned off. Samsung's Z-fold display, meanwhile, is narrower.
Like the Z Fold, the Find N has five cameras. The interior and front screens have 32-megapixel perforated cameras for selfies and video chats, while the rear has three additional sensors: a 50-megapixel main camera, a 16-megapixel extra-wide lens, and a 13-megapixel telephoto lens.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, and runs Oppo's Android 11-based ColorOS 12. As you might expect, Oppo's fast wireless and wired charging capabilities are also here, with the Find N supporting the company's 33-watt SuperVOOC Flash charger for wired charging and its 15-watt AirVOOC wireless charging (as well as the regular Qi wireless charger). It also has a 10-watt reverse wireless charging feature that wirelessly charges other devices.
Using SuperVOOC wired charging, the phone and 4,500mah battery can go from being drained to 55% in 30 minutes and back to 100% in 70 minutes, the company says.
While the Find N does not achieve an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, Oppo said it "does pass rigorous waterproof and durability tests to ensure the device can easily cope with the problems of sweating, humidity, and drizzle that are often encountered in everyday use."
The design of Oppo's first foldable product isn't as striking as its relatively high-end feel. The Find N's hinge features what Oppo calls a "drip" design that allows the phone to fold and close more evenly. This means that not only are there no wedges or gaps when the screen folds but there are also no noticeable creases when you use the internal display.
In an interview, OnePlus founder Pete Liu, who is now Oppo's chief product officer, said the lack of third-party app support for the foldable device was part of the reason Oppo focused only on China for the launch of the device.
"A foldable device can't provide the value it's supposed to provide if the applications that users use most in their daily lives don't fit well with it," Liu said. In China, Oppo is contacting individual developers to optimize their apps for the new design, he added."It's a huge, heavy workload."
Oneplus and Oppo are two sub-brands of China better Life Electronics Group.
The issue of correct app support is not unique to Oppo or Find N, and both Samsung and Google are working on it.
Google, in particular, is working to better optimize Android for foldable devices and recently announced plans to release Android 12L early next year. The search giant says the update is designed for foldable phones and tablets and should include improvements to make it easier to multitask and use apps on larger screens.
Lau said that while Oppo was in touch with Google to develop general guidelines for how Android would work on "different aspect ratios," his company was not working with the search giant to optimize Android specifically for Find N.