Foldable smartphones, have kind of, moved past their experimental stages. There was a time when a host of manufacturers were coming up with their foldable prototypes, sending them for reviews to a host of Youtubers, with almost none of them seeing their way to the production stage.

Then came in bigger players — Samsung — releasing foldable flagships for the first time for general consumers, in a way making the category mainstream. As of now, perhaps the only premium, well-built and trusted foldable to look for was from Samsung — its Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 series. But that, stops.

OPPO, the chinese smartphone maker which is mostly known for bringing out flagship level Android smartphones at ridiculously afforable prices, has just announced a rather serious foray into the world of foldables. The company has announced its ‘Find N’ model (only limited to China though), which by all means, seems to be doing everything better than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Before we begin with comparisons, let us get those specs out of the way. The OPPO Find N comes with the Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform, together with up to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It has a massive 4,500 mAh battery with OPPO’s super impressive 33W SUPERVOOC Flash Charge. The phone has a 120 Hz inner display and a 60 Hz outer display, with the inner one featuring an LTPO display.

It is actually that outer build itself, wherein things have become a lot better than what Samsung has to offer. To start with, the outer screen is a 5.49 inch standard display, much more closer to a standard clamshell phone. That means it is much more usable even when closed, something that is a task in itself, when tried upon on Samsung’s Z Fold 3. The Find N’s inner display too is much better proportioned — a 7.1 inch 120 Hz LTPO screen with an aspect ratio that would fit up any regular app even if they are simply resized. That solves for a lot of developer hassles when designing applications for foldable smartphone.

The crease is finally much less noticeable

Inner display crease is something that most foldable phone owners (including myself), have grown accustomed it. We tend to believe that it will exist no matter what, considering the cutting edge display tech we are operating our fingers on. But OPPO seems to have worked really hard to bust that myth. And boy, results are impressive.

In the Find N, OPPO uses something called the ‘Flexion Hinge’. It is basically an improvised hinge mechanism, which assumes a waterdrop shape towards the folding side when closed. As a result, when closed the phone is completely flat, unlike Samsung’s Z Fold series. And due to that Flexion Hinge, when opened flat, the display is so smooth, that the crease is hardly noticeable. Yes, you can still see if you look hard for it, but the implementation is just so much better. If you move your hand across the screen, you hardly feel any bump, nor is the crease visible during media consumption.

Oppo, citing testing lab TUV, says the Find N has a crease that’s “up to 80% less noticeable” than other foldable devices. I’ve briefly used the Find N and the statement did seem to hold true.

Better cameras, better battery, better everything

In terms of cameras, Find N features a similar set of 5 cameras. But where Find N scores once again, is the fact that its rear 3 camera setup is OPPO’s flagship, compared to a really mediocre camera equipment presented by Samsung at the rear of its Z Fold 3.

Battery is an area, where you’d expect Samsung to take up the lead, simply because the Z Fold 3 has a larger surface area. But to our surprise, the Find N features a larger 4500 mAh battery, compared to Samsung’s 4400 mAh offering. To top it, the Find N comes with 33W SUPERVOOC Flash Charge, that OPPO claims is optimized to charge to 55% in 30 minutes and to 100% in 70 minutes. It also comes with 15W AIRVOOC wireless charging (compatible with standard Qi) and 10W reverse wireless charging.

Although the Find N isn’t IP68-rated for water- and dust-resistance like the Z fold 3, Oppo says that it “does go through rigorous water-resistance and durability testing to ensure the device can easily cope with things like sweat, moisture and light drizzle that are regularly encountered in everyday usage scenarios.”

The only drawback

As they say, there is always a “but”. That ‘but’ with the Find N is its really poor software. Not much that Oppo could do there since the phone is China-only, which means Google or its services are not available on the phone, officially. The Find N uses Oppo’s Color OS 12 — built atop Android 11 — which is good for the intended China-only use, but really bad in case you plan to get it outside of China.

The OPPO Find N is available in China from December 23, 2021, with a starting price of RMB 7,699.