Oppo Find N2 Flip preview: Flipping a new page in foldable history
Overview and design, imaging samples
Note: This article was first published on 9 March 2023.
For old times' sake?
Do you wish the good times would come back again?
That's a broad, yet oddly specific statement to these times, and one that Chinese phone makers would likely have plenty to say about.
Since the U.S. sanctions kicked in in 2019, Chinese smartphone companies appear to be very cautious with the premium or flagship phones launched outside of their home market. What were once things like periscope zoom cameras, high-megapixel ultra-wides, and homegrown components for dedicated computing tasks have been conspicuously missing from all but the very highest-end Chinese handsets. It’s almost as if they’re wary of treading on tails by having a piece of tech inside that might be taken the wrong way...
But this review isn't about what's right or wrong. This review is about Oppo and the company doing everything they can to make a foldable smartphone good enough to take on the growing number of foldable phone users worldwide.
Like its main rivals, the Oppo N2 Flip shares many commonalities with other clamshell-type foldables, so if you want the hard details on what Oppo offers, you can check out our initial launch coverage here, or the table below.
|Oppo Find N2 Flip|
Flipping the pages of foldable phone history
Flip phones were once considered the epitome of high SES, and its pioneer was Motorola’s StarTAC, if you asked most phone enthusiasts of the past.
Its launch price of US$1,000 was not a small sum in 1996, considering that money had the same buying power as ~US$1,938 in today's currency (based on the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics's inflation calculator). Owning one immediately made you the talk of the town.
In 2003, an iconic follow-on came in the form of the Motorola RAZR (our review here). But, alas, there was not to be a third act: in 2007, the iPhone and subsequent generations of Android devices, together with their touchscreens and app stores, all but put paid to the future of "small screen-plus-T9 keyboard" form factors. Since then, only the Koreans have attempted to shoehorn Android into devices like the Galaxy Folder and LG Wine Smart (which this writer still owns.)
Just before the modern foldable iterations, LG made a valiant attempt to create “dual-screen” cases that would pair with its Android smartphones, but their popularity has remained tepid. The market cried out for more: a single foldable display without gaps between screens.
In 2013, Samsung demonstrated concepts in this vein and finally delivered in February 2019 as the Galaxy Fold.
Consider the abovementioned theory of the cautious Chinese phone maker and the lead the Korean juggernaut has built up outside of China. Now, we have China-only foldable devices from Xiaomi, Huawei, Honor, Vivo, and even Oppo itself. Yet, the Oppo Find N2 Flip is only the third folding-screen device available officially outside China with native Google Mobile Services, if you're not counting on the Royole FlexPai devices and the Honor Magic Vs coming to Singapore.
A bit about the phone
Our Oppo Find N2 Flip review unit has come to us in a sandstone colourway the company termed “Astral Black”.
On the outside, the Find N2 Flip's 3.26-inch AMOLED touchscreen is the first thing to catch your eye (not only because of what you can do with it, but more on that in the full review.)
Inside, a 6.8-inch E6 AMOLED panel packing FHD+ resolution (2,520 x 1,080 pixels), with a noticeable but inoffensive crease, refreshes at 120Hz, and can handle HDR10+. The grunt work of TikTok scrolling and Reddit browsing is borne by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ processor, which shuffles apps around in ColorOS 13, based on Android 13.
The cameras are a 50MP main with an 8MP ultrawide (you probably have comments by now, as we do) and a 32MP punch-hole selfie shooter. You get a 67W SuperVOOC charger in the box (despite the phone's 44W wired fast-charging) and a pair of case halves made of hard clear acrylic.
So where’s your full review? I had my mind set on, well, that other flip foldable.
With a strong first-mover advantage, the Koreans have more foldables in the international market (and naturally more iterations of those foldables) on sale. Thus, the Oppo Find N2 Flip has to rival the relatively veteran Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 5G for market share here, which has had three iterations compared to its one attempt (if you don’t count the Find N foldable).
But it’s not all about specs and numbers. If there are certain things you can do without - and we think that it is possible - what the Oppo offers is a distinctive experience, and the main reason folks buy foldable phones.
So what exactly are these distinctives? Stay tuned for our full review to find out. We’ll leave you with a few quick camera samples, which should be enough to whet your appetite.
Quick camera samples
(Editor's note: the fuller review, benchmark findings, and scores will be published when complete).
Pricing and pre-order details
The Oppo Find N2 Flip will carry an SRP of S$1,299 (8GB RAM, 256GB ROM), and is available in two colours: Astral Black and Moonlit Purple. Pre-orders are from 3rd March 2023 till 10th March 2023, and retail sales will start from 11th March 2023. All pre-orders are entitled to a free pair of Oppo Enco Air 3 wireless earbuds (worth S$109) while stocks last.
You can pre-order the phone online through Amazon, Lazada, Shopee, iShopChangi, Challenger, Qoo10, and TikTok. You can also pre-order the phone at Oppo Concept Stores around Singapore.