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Ever since Oppo teased its first foldable smartphone, the Find N, many tech enthusiasts, including me, have been curious. The reason is simple that it sports an unorthodox design and claims to offer almost a no-crease display, something we haven’t heard a lot in the last few years on foldable smartphones. While Oppo has confirmed that Find N is a China-only product, which means it’s not launching in other markets, including India. The news was slightly disappointing for people who thought they could try out a somewhat different take on the foldable design on phones. But, hey, it may just be the start.

I got my hands on the Oppo Find N and have been using it as my secondary device for almost a week now. Why secondary? Well, it’s a Chinese unit, so you don’t get Google services and, while your SIM won’t work either.

In the limited time I spent with the Oppo Find N, I realised how convenient this form factor is compared to rival foldable devices in the market. The outer screen is sub-6-inches, which means it is compact, and the best part is that you can use it with just one hand when folded.

Now, I have experienced Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices, and for me, the Oppo Find N looks like a refreshed approach at foldable design, and I can’t deny it, but I’m impressed. So, let’s dive into details.

Oppo Find N: The story of hinge, crease, and convenience

The first thing that strikes when unboxing the Oppo Find N is the compact form factor of the device. The smartphone uses a landscape ratio for the inner screen that feels decent when switching between the 7.1-inch inner display and the 5.49-inch outer display.

Right from the point when the device is folded to when it opens in landscape mode – it’s all convenient enough and does feel seamless every time. Regardless of its traits, like a typical foldable phone, the Oppo Find N, manages to strike a perfect balance and looks different from the current foldable phones.

But the real star here is the hinge that manages to hide the crease and holds together the device so well. Oppo calls this the Flexion hinge, which has a water-drop hinge design that widens the angle of the fold in the display, reducing the crease by up to 80 per cent compared to other foldable devices. Another noticeable factor is this hinge design also practically eliminates the gap between the two displays when folded, thus offering an integrated feel.

From hinge to various modes, Oppo massively markets what it calls FlexForm mode, where the hinge allows the device to freely stand when unfolded at any angle between 50 to 120 degrees. What this provides is, from making video calls to recording videos, the Oppo Find N becomes the ideal device as it serves as its own tripod.

But not all credit should go to the team that designed Oppo Find N because during my time with the foldable phone, I realised that there were plenty of software optimisations that enhanced the overall user experience. For example, when the device is bent at an angle below 60-degrees, the screen automatically moves the image preview to the bottom display to make it easier to set up the shot, a neat software tweak.

Oppo Find N: Display and performance

The Oppo Find N ships with a 7.1-inch inner AMOLED display that offers, 1792×1920 pixels screen resolution with up to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, 370PPI pixel density and a peak brightness of 1000nits. The external display is a 5.49-inch AMOLED panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and 988×1972 pixels screen resolution, and 402PPI pixel density. The company ships Corning Gorilla Glass Victus as a cover glass.

The 7.1-inch display that opens in landscape mode is ideal for watching videos, reading e-books, and playing games. The 8.4:9 aspect ratio of the inner display is unorthodox, and you won’t get such an aspect ratio on other foldable devices. From unfolded to being folded, the 18:9 aspect ratio and 60Hz panel are good enough for your everyday requirements. During my time with the Oppo Find N, I found the display stunning for watching videos, browsing, and reading articles on the Internet. The inner screen uses an LTPO display with a smart, dynamic refresh rate like some premium end devices.

During the limited time I spent with the Find N, the coolest thing was the crease that wasn’t visible. We have seen Samsung devices that develop crease after some time, while Oppo claims next to no crease for at least five years or 200,000 folds as claimed by TUV that tested the Find N.

When the inner display is open, you can actually feel the gap between the two displays, but that’s through touch and not something that’s visible.

If there were a few things that I could change on the Find N, then it had to be the glossy finish and slippery back panel. While the glossy finish is subjective, there might be people who love this sort of finish. But, the Find N with plenty of glass used all over is dangerously slippery and attracts plenty of smudges.

From design, display, to performance, the Find N is a flagship-grade smartphone and packs the Snapdragon 888 processor, which is pretty capable of handling almost anything. Unfortunately, the Find N isn’t launching in India, and the unit we got was for the China market that came with ColorOS 12 based on Android 11 minus Google suite of apps. So, most of our usability was limited to a handful of apps, including the default browser app.

The Find N quickly launched apps and even switched between multiple apps. Oppo has smartly integrated some neat software tricks to make the user experience smoother. Like you can have a swipe with two fingers while you are within an app to split it while using the inner 7.1-inch display. Then, you can use another gesture to launch a floating window of an app. Since this was a Chinese model, I couldn’t test games on the Find N.

I tried using a local SIM on Find N, but it refused to connect, which was something I expected. The handset packs a 4500mAh battery and comes with 33W SuperVooc fast charging.

Overall, the Oppo Find N is a solid device that is not only a head-turner but feels manageable to use with just one hand.

Oppo Find N: Cameras has plenty of hits and a few misses

When it comes to cameras, Oppo is a brand that markets them well across its range of devices. Since I had Find N for a few days, I decided to take it for a spin. And it did impress me.

The Oppo Find N packs a total of five cameras – three at the back, one on the external display and one on the inner display. The primary camera at the back is a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with PDAF, f/1.8 aperture, and OIS. Then, there’s a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Lastly, there’s a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor. The other two cameras – a 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 sensor.

The rear camera offers plenty of settings and features, including Nightscape, Expert, Panorama, Portrait, Time-lapse, Slo-motion, Breeno Scan, Text scanner, Dual-view Video, and Movie. On the other hand, the front camera offers Panorama, Portrait, Nightscape, Timelapse, AI-beauty Mode, and Dual-view video. The rear cameras can record up to 4K videos at 60fps.

Talking about real-world camera performance, the Find N packs an excellent set of cameras. Right from capturing the Christmas tree with plenty of details even in darker spots to capturing the sky in natural colours, the Find N impresses. Considering, the phone does miss out on a dedicated macro sensor; the Find N fares well in close-up shots. Even the low-light and night shots turned out with crisp details and accurate colours. However, I noticed that the phone does way better with the AI setting turned off in terms of results.

Like capturing a maroon flower with AI camera setting on turned it to a slight shade of red, which felt unnatural. But, it did manage to capture almost true colours with AI settings off. The selfies turned out decent with different lighting conditions.

The Find N also did well in portrait shots, and I could see how well the depth effect appeared around the subject. The company, however, can improve some camera limitations like the video camera mode that is not available in the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Oppo Find N: Final thoughts

Find N is Oppo’s first attempt at a commercial foldable smartphone, and it nails the design.

There’s no doubt that Samsung is the first to come up with a foldable phone and, in fact, right now offers multiple foldable devices in its product line-up. And, we can safely say that it is still evolving.

While with Find N, Oppo’s debut in the foldable segment seems promising. The landscape design is easy to handle and offers enough for buyers to attract them. Moreover, when folded, the compact form factor is excellent for one-hand operations, something that’s slightly tricky with the Galaxy Fold.

Being limited to China is a big disappointment for users worldwide, but this may change with the next-gen. But, what needs to be improved is the software optimisation for foldable devices.

In fact, software optimisation for foldable devices is one of the big factors why the Find N isn’t launching outside China, as revealed by Oppo’s Chief Product Officer Pete Lau soon after the launch at the company’s annual Inno Day event last week.

The bottom line here is that Oppo’s Find N is a great product, and with that price tag could have attracted a lot of buyers who could spend around Rs 1 lakh for a unique form factor.

Let’s hope that Oppo plans to bring its next-gen Find N foldable smartphone to India.

Author

India today

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