Oppo Find N2 Flip hands-on: Fixing the foldable’s shortcomings
Samsung, in a few short years, became the foldable phone company. For now. Rivals have either been unable to launch their own smartphone origami projects or simply failed to match against the Z Fold (the horizontal folding one) or the Z Flip (vertical folding ‘flip-phone’.)
Oppo has been taking notes, however. It revealed last year that its second generation of foldable phones would compete with the same form factors as Samsung. Now, while the west won’t be getting the bigger Find N2 Fold, in the UK and Europe, we will get the Oppo Find N2 Flip. I prefer the flip-phone iteration of foldables, so I’m glad this is the one heading out of China.
In many ways, the Find N2 Flip attempts to address some of the shortcomings of existing foldables. (And I’ll say it now: I loved the Galaxy Z Flip 4), but there’s always room for improvement. Oppo’s focus appears to be the external display, which at 3.26 inches, is currently the largest cover screen on a flip smartphone. While this more accurately replicates the orientation of a smartphone screen, don’t expect icons or an Android-style interface like the one found on Samsung’s Galaxy Z fold.
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You will get a more functional area for previewing shots with the primary cameras, however. The 17:9 ratio makes more sense for framing your photos than on the Galaxy Z Flip, with its horizontal screen. You might think that Samsung’s implementation is better for notifications, but with a bigger outright screen, the Find N2 Flip can display up to six lines of text in your alerts – plenty for text messages and even email previews. There’s more space to peruse notifications, calendar entries and more, too – it can be a finickity task on the Z Flip 4. Oppo offers a handful of pre-programmed replies too, so you can subtly (or lazily) send a response without even opening the Find N2 Flip.
You can quick-launch the camera by double-pressing the volume down button – you just need to make sure the phone is in standby, otherwise, it will just lower the volume. The cover screen also features a cute animated animal mascot – you can pick between a dog, cat, an unidentifiable bird, hamster or rabbit – and they’ll come alive when you activate the front display. It’s a cute addition — it’d be nice if there was some Tamagotchi-style features, though, perhaps tagged to your step-count or even the device’s battery life.
One of the quirks of a flip smartphone is the fact that the primary cameras are also your selfie cameras. Like the bigger, China-only, Find N2 Fold, the array on the Flip consists of a 50-megapixel f/1.8 main camera, with an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. That’s a higher-res main sensor compared to the Z Flip 4. However, while testing it out for the week, the most noticeable difference has been a 2X zoom toggle, which is admittedly a digital crop – but still, it’s a benefit of having such a high-megapixel sensor to begin with.
© Provided by Engadget Three shots from the Find N2 Flip. At wide (x0.5), x1 and x2 zoom settings.
Another benefit of the more expansive front screen is that you can turn on the preview mode even while someone is taking photos for you, making it easier to ensure that a stranger has managed to fit everyone into your group pic – or ensure they aren’t capturing video instead of a still image. (That has happened to me.) Oppo’s Hasselblad partnership informs its color calibration choices on the cameras again. If you like peppy color filters (I do), you’ll get a handful of these straight from the camera app.
Unfolded, there’s also a 32-megapixel f/2.4 front-facing camera if you’re feeling a little old-fashioned. Like Samsung’s foldables, some apps will adjust to fit if you position the phone with the screen raised at an angle. These include the camera app as well as video call apps and YouTube. The hinge itself isn’t quite as stiff as the Z Flip, so it’s more liable to collapse to flat, but once you figure out the right angle, you’ll be fine. Oppo says the hinge’s range of motion is between 45 and 110 degrees.
The company is also proud of its subtler crease, and that’s down to a more refined hinge. It claims that its second-generation flip phone has a crease that’s 63 percent less visible – which is… specific. It’s easy to scoff because, well, it’s still there, but it’s definitely smoother compared to the flip phones that came before it. Oppo’s new Flexion hinge is also smaller, and its waterdrop design leaves less space between the sides when it’s closed. This is especially notable compared to the Z Flip 4.
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Another area where Oppo has made a wise upgrade is when it comes to battery capacity. The Find N2 Flip has a 4,300mAh cell – the biggest we’ve seen so far in this form factor, and closer to the Z Fold 4 than the Z Flip 4 – along with 44W fast charging support. That’s decent, again, for this form factor, but Oppo’s sibling/cousin/frenemy, OnePlus, is already showing off more typical smartphones with support for 100W. Still, it should fully charge in less than an hour, the company claims. (I’ll be updating this story after further battery testing). However, just like OnePlus’ latest phone, there’s no wireless charging.
The device will launch in Astral Black and Moonlit Purple and in the UK, it will be priced at £849 (roughly $1,018), which would put it around the same price as the Galaxy Z Flip 4. For now, there are no plans to bring either Find N2 devices to the US.