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Review of the Oppo Find N2 Flip: new hinge reduces crease

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

Oppo’s first folding flip phone to be sold outside its Chinese home market is the Find N2 Flip, an Android clamshell aimed squarely at challenging Samsung’s popular Z Flip 4.

The next-gen flipper costs £849, undercutting Samsung by £50, and uses a different type of hinge that aims to help solve one of the most obvious flaws with folding phones: the crease in the middle of the screen.

The metal and glass form is immediately familiar, with a bright 6.8in screen that looks like a regular phone when open. The flexible OLED screen still folds in half, but Oppo’s hinge design creates a “water drop” shape at its centre instead of an even loop.

That allows the radius of the fold not to be too tight, creating less of a crease in the surface of the display when unfolded. That’s not to say there is no visible depression that cuts across the screen, but it is shallower and less pronounced than other folding phones.

The N2 Flip’s hinge feels solid when fully open, and it closes with a satisfying snap, but it offers less resistance and has a lot more play than Samsung’s folding phones. It can hold the screen open between 45 and 110 degrees, but wobbles while doing it.

The phone is only splash-resistant, not submersible, as is the industry standard. Oppo offers no formal dust-resistance rating for the N2 Flip, but has built multiple protections from dust into the back of the hinge. The phone is also rated to last more than 400,000 folds, which is more than 100 openings and closings every day for 10 years.

Main screen: 6.8in FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED (403ppi)

Cover screen: 3.3in AMOLED (250ppi)

Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 9000+

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Operating system: ColorOS 13 based on Android 13

Camera: 50MP+8MP rear, 32MP front

Connectivity: 5G, nano sim + esim, wifi6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3 and GNSS

Water resistance: IPX4 splash

Folded dimensions: 85.5 x 75.2 x 16mm

Unfolded dimensions: 166.2 x 75.2 x 7.5mm

Weight: 191g

Unusually for an Android phone of this price, the N2 Flip has a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ chip, rather than one from Qualcomm. On paper, it is slower than the chips in rivals from the last two years, but on the whole it performed well, felt snappy and carried out tasks just fine, with a little stutter here and there in some graphically intensive games.

Battery life is very good for a folding phone, generally lasting up to about two days between charges when used mostly on wifi with the main screen on for about five hours plus a couple of hours used on 5G while out and about. Longer stretches on 5G in congested areas shortened battery life by about half a day, but that is still far longer than the Samsung Z Flip 4, which only lasts 31 hours under similar conditions.

Oppo rates the batteries to maintain at least 80% of original capacity for at least 800 full charge cycles.

The phone is generally repairable by Oppo in the UK, with a replacement battery costing £72. The company operates a trade-in scheme and publishes yearly sustainability reports, but not for individual products. The Find N2 Flip does not include recycled materials.

Oppo’s ColorOS is a heavily customised version of Android 13, with a colourful design and features that are more familiar in Asia than is the case with most of the Android phones sold in the west.

It works fine, but lacks polish. Small errors are visible across the whole interface, such as asking for a “password” on the lockscreen when it is actually requesting a passcode with the number pad, and what appear to be slightly off translations of Chinese into English everywhere. These are niggles, but they shouldn’t exist in a phone of this price from a manufacturer as big as Oppo.

More annoyingly, you can’t quickly open the camera with a double press of the power button like you can on western Android phones, including the Oppo sub-brand OnePlus; you have to resort to double-pressing one of the volume buttons, which doesn’t work if the screen is on or if music is playing.

While the cover screen generally works fine, the display is almost always upside down when you fold the phone or pick it up from a desk, requiring a second or so to rotate itself when you pick it up.

Oppo will provide four years of Android updates and five years of security updates from release, similar to Samsung’s and Google’s policies but lagging Apple’s six-plus years of support.

The N2 Flip has a main 50-megapixel and 8MP ultrawide camera on the outside and a 32MP camera on the inside screen.

The main camera is pretty good, shooting generally well-detailed and properly exposed images in good and medium light, but photos can look a bit grey in dimmer settings. Low-light performance is reasonable, as are portrait shots, but there’s no macrophotography mode available.

The ultrawide camera is poor, however, producing dark, grey shots – something I would use only in bright conditions.

The 32MP selfie camera is pretty good as these things go, but you also have the option of shooting using the main camera with the phone closed, which works well.

Overall, the cameras on the N2 Flip are nothing to write home about, lagging most high-end competitors at this price but perfectly fine for general snaps.

The Oppo Find N2 Flip costs £849 and will ship on 2 March in black or purple.

For comparison, Samsung’s Z Flip 4 costs £899, the Oppo Find X5 Pro costs £799, and the OnePlus 11 costs £729.

The Oppo Find N2 Flip has proven that good folding phones aren’t just the domain of the market leader Samsung and can be made for closer to mainstream prices.

The N2 Flip excels at putting a large screen into your pocket in a compact folding package. It looks and feels the part, keeping all the novelty of the clamshell phone, but improving on previous designs, with its water-drop hinge reducing the crease in the screen. It lasts far longer than other folding flip phones on battery and feels snappy in day-to-day usage.

The big cover screen on the outside is handy, but feels under-utilised, with limits on what you can do with it. The general software needs polishing for this premium price, too. The camera is fine, but not up to the same standard as you would find on similarly priced phones. There is certainly room for improvement.

Oppo rates the screen and hinge for 400,000 folds, which should mean it lasts for the life of the phone. But as this is the company’s first folding device to launch outside China, it doesn’t yet have the same track record of durability that Samsung has spent the last four years working on.

I’m cautiously optimistic, but this is still new technology, and more fragile than a traditional phone that needs treating with care. Buying insurance might be wise.

Pros: a great large screen that folds in half, water-drop hinge decreases crease visibility, large cover screen, good battery life, dual-nano sim and esim, undercuts competitors on price.

Cons: less durable than a regular phone, only splash-resistant, no dust-resistance rating, average cameras and no optical zoom, software needs polish, not the fastest phone.

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