Being a child of the 90s, I reminisce on the days of my first flip phone fondly. The simplicity, ease of use, and even the convenience are unmatched by anything we have today, and I am sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. For a few years now, companies like Samsung have been cashing in on nostalgia by creating a flip phone with their patented folding screen but often it was met with lukewarm reactions as cost, build durability and cameras were all a concern. Oppo wants to change all that, with their first attempt at a folding device with their global release of the Find N2 Flip. A phone that brings some welcome upgrades to an exciting new space for the company.
For the unaccustomed, Oppo has been around since 2004 and has been on a relentless pursuit of spreading optimism and inspiration to the world with technology. There are over 500 million people worldwide using their devices and have won Red Dot and iF Design Awards for much of their hardware positioning them to be a major player in the smartphone space this coming year. The Find N2 Flip is a first for the company with this type of form factor. They have been making folding devices for some time now and have been received well by the tech. community but sadly those of us in North America have yet to see a global release, until now.
With a beautiful no-gap “invisible crease” design and textured matte finish on our review unit, the N2 Flip when not folded looks like a conventional slab phone. It has an aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass 5 construction paired with a 6.8-inch display with a 1080 x 2520 resolution, a super vibrant 1600 nits of brightness, and a fluid 120hz refresh rate, all par for the course for a 2023 flagship device. The magic happens when it is folded though, the phone collapses down into a very svelte and pocketable 85.5 x 75.2 x 16mm form factor kin to flip phones of old but with the welcome upgrade of a 3.26-inch AMOLED cover display to display notifications and interact with widgets (shots fired Samsung). In our opinion, it is the nicest-looking foldable to date and it is quite striking.
Getting back to the appeal of a folding device for a moment, we are very impressed by what Oppo has done here. Most folding devices have a very visible and often annoying crease running across the display, and rightly so, however, Oppo has managed to reimagine the hinge design to create something quite magical. The screen curves in a water drop shape when the phone is shut, and that helps ensure you don’t have a single line across the screen being subjected to all the pressure, and therefore, not creating a distinct crease. This aptly named ‘Invisible Crease’ is difficult to see and is nowhere near as visually distracting as Samsung’s. You also can’t feel it under your finger either which is an engineering marvel. The other benefit of this design is that when the phone is shut, there’s barely a gap between the two sides of the phone’s display. No gap means there’s no space for dust and pocket debris to collect. Lastly, Oppo has also addressed durability concerns and says the phone has been certified to withstand 400,000 open and shut actions, which should give some confidence that the phone will last a typical phone lifetime.
We also really like the outer cover screen Oppo has included, it is big and vibrant and displays some pertinent information like the weather, calendar, incoming calls, etc. It is not as intuitive as we would like but since getting the phone, a software update has also made Spotify and WhatsApp accessible and interactable on the screen for added functionality, which we do appreciate.
Internally, the N2 Flip is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ chipset with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. We have been very impressed by how well this chipset has performed as most consumers would never have heard of it. The overall experience, especially compared with a 120Htz screen, has been great. Navigating the OS, opening apps and even playing games has been a very fluid experience, even more so than my s23 Ultra (at times). The best way I could describe it is, it is ‘almost’ Google Pixel smooth which is the best compliment I could give. Especially considering they make Android. Battery too has been equally impressive as the efficient chipset and 4300 Mah capacity have meant this phone can easily go 1.5 days with moderate use and best of all you can quickly top it up with the 67W charger included in the box and they also throw in a case! Color OS which is Oppo’s own customized Android ROM is also very close to stock Android with little bloatware and common-sense options available to consumers to help make the phone their own. Again, very few complaints here, there is a lot of reliance on Google’s stock apps, and navigating through the different options and menus was quick and painless. It will continue to be my favorite Android skin besides Google’s own with the Pixel.
Lastly are the cameras. Sub-par cameras are typically a cost-cutting measure in previous attempts from Samsung but I am pleased to write that Oppo has again leveled up here. With a 50MP f/1.8 main camera paired with an 8MP f/2.3 ultrawide and 32MP selfie camera, there is a lot to like about this combination. The main camera delivers some very pleasing results with the help of their MariSilicon X NPU image processing and Hasselblad color science, dynamic range is also very good, colors are lifelike, and highlights and shadows remain very well balanced. The ultrawide fairs similarly well but did struggle in some lower light situations with maintaining detail and focus. The thing that impressed me the most is the selfie camera. I will go on record saying it is the best selfie camera on a device in 2023 for photos but not for video. It is crisp yet punchy and the photos it outputs are very good. The reason that video is not included is because it tops out at 1080p, and the quality is not up to par with other flagships. It is still very usable, but I expected better.
To sum up, this phone IS better in many ways than Samsung’s own Z Flip 4. I especially like the nearly creaseless screen, battery life, and better cameras paired with basically stock Android. While North Americans may not be all that familiar with the Oppo brand, they are the ones to watch in 2023. The question is, have they beaten Samsung at their own game? Only time will tell, for now, this is the one to beat.
BUY yours here – https://www.oppo.com/en/smartphones/series-find-n/find-n2-flip/