If you’ve always looked at a Samsung flip phone but hesitated for some reason, there’s now a worthy alternative in the shape of the recently launched Oppo Find N2 Flip.
After following what the Korean company has done with the Galaxy Z Flip in the past four years, Oppo has learnt a few things and taken the opportunity to improve on some key areas.
One of them is the all-important foldable screen. Samsung has struggled to make the crease less obvious over the years and it appears Oppo may have found a way to do so on the Find N2 Flip.
The crease you see on the Chinese phone maker’s 6.8-inch AMOLED screen is not as pronounced as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, thanks to a hinge design that reduces the pressure on the foldable screen.
How does that work? It appears the screen is curved like a teardrop rather than flattened at the phone’s spine, so this helps prevent the crease from showing up so much.
The other advantage of Oppo’s design is to allow the Find N2 Flip to shut tightly like a clam. This doesn’t leave any gaps, thus adding to a more premium feel. The hinge design also prevents dust and small particles from entering the phone and scratching the screen.
The new phone only comes in two variants – black and purple. The black version has a matte finish for the cover for a more secure grip, and the purple version has a shiny mirror finish that most fashionistas will approve of.
What’s also impressive is the 3.26-inch screen on the phone’s cover, which sits beside the camera module.
With the relatively large screen, you can read more information off the cover screen. Plus, compose better selfies using the primary camera rather than the less endowed front-facing camera.
A flip phone certainly has distinct advantages. By activating the cover screen in the camera app, you can also get your subject to look at themselves just like standing in front of a mirror to pose better before taking the shot.
Oppo, like fellow Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, has worked with a famous lens maker to up its imaging cred as well. With the Hasselblad brand on the Find N2 Flip’s cover, you’d expect great photos.
In the phone, you’d find two cameras – a 50-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel ultrawide angle camera. Here, you might find some trade-offs moving from a candybar phone to a flip model.
Somewhat disappointingly, there is no optical zoom camera on the Find N2 Flip and the ultrawide camera has only 8 megapixels in its sensor, which are barely enough for a good-quality shot.
The good news is that Oppo has done an excellent job using the Marisilicon X Imaging chip to derive images using AI algorithms. During my tests, photos turned out well exposed and the colours were close to real life.
Portraits shot with the Find N2 Flip show good skin tone in complex lighting conditions. People in a photo are also well extracted before the bokeh, or blur, effect is applied to the background, giving an accomplished shallow-depth-of-field look.
The 32-megapixel selfie camera is also pretty good, although I see myself using the rear-facing camera more because it churns out more natural-looking images without over-sharpening.
For me, the biggest surprise about the phone is its battery life. I have used the phone for two days without charging under normal circumstances.
Even after doing a vast amount of photography and videography, the phone can last throughout a day with 20 per cent of power left, thanks to the efficient MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ processor and 4,300mAh battery.
Along with 8GB of RAM, this processor does well in benchmark tests as well. It scored a respectable 10,755 with PCMark and 8,191 with 3DMark’s Wildlife Test, which is nearly on par with the Oppo Find X5 Pro‘s 8,128 using a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.
Firing up some 3D-intensive games to test, I found the Oppo phone running smoothly without any noticeable stuttering. Mobile editing for photos and videos was also a fuss-free process.
If you are looking for a folding phone that can handle two phone lines, the Find N2 Flip has two SIM card trays. You can install an e-SIM number too but the second SIM card tray will be disabled in this mode.
Despite the positives, Oppo can still improve on its flip phone. The cover screen needs pack in more functionality that helps you get around a common task quickly without having to flip open the phone.
Right now, I can only reply to SMSes or WhatsApp messages using pre-defined messages or emojis via the cover screen, which is quite a limitation. It would be better if the phone can create messages, say, by using a speech-to-text feature.
Another thing that annoyed me was the inability of the camera to flip images taken with the cover screen.
Even though I have disengaged the “flip selfie” option in the settings, the camera doesn’t save the image with the text in the correct orientation. I have to manually correct the photos by flipping them vertically.
So, not perfect yet from Oppo. That said, despite these minor shortcomings, the S$1,299 Oppo Find N2 Flip is a great option for those seeking a flip phone.
It is a worthy rival to the Samsung Z Flip series, thanks to an innovative foldable screen design and image quality that is pretty good for a flip phone.