Oppo is showing that it can do more than just go toe to toe with market leader Samsung in the foldable smartphone segment. The latest Oppo Find N3 Flip pushes the hardware front with a third camera, while its cover screen can now run full-screen third-party apps. Although the Find N3 Flip is more expensive than its predecessor, the S$1,499 price tag is identical to its main rival, Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5.
- 6.8-inch main display (LTPO AMOLED, 2,520 x 1,080 pixels, 120Hz) and 3.26-inch cover screen (AMOLED, 720 x 382 pixels)
- MediaTek Dimensity 9200 chip with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
- 50MP main camera, 48MP ultra-wide, 32MP telephoto camera, and 32MP selfie camera
- 4,300mAh battery (with 44W fast charging)
At 198g, Oppo's clamshell foldable is slightly heavier than Samsung's (187g), but it's about the size of my palm when folded. When unfolded, it's like a typical smartphone, with slim but slightly raised bezels. The crease is practically invisible when viewing the display dead-centre, though you can still feel it while scrolling webpages or navigating the user interface. The gapless hinge feels sturdy, and not too wobbly. The Find N3 Flip is IPX4 splash resistant compared with the previous model, which didn't have any IP rating. But there's room for improvement, seeing as Samsung's foldables are IPX8 water resistant. The main 6.8-inch display is bright enough to be usable under the midday sun, and has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
The 3.26-inch cover screen probably got the biggest upgrade. While it retains the same dimensions as before, it can now run full-screen third-party apps like WhatsApp and YouTube. So you can use an app on the outside screen, unfold, and continue with the larger main display for the full experience. The reverse, though, doesn't work — the app just closes. There's even a squashed virtual keyboard for input in apps like Gmail. But I feel these so-called Mini apps works best for consuming content, like watching YouTube. The other major upgrade are the cameras. There's now a third 32MP telephoto camera. These cameras are pretty solid, taking detailed and colour-accurate photos in good lighting. Lowlight photos also exceeded my expectations: Usable, and not too noisy. Overall, these cameras are only slightly below flagship phones, and probably just as good for most users.
If there's one criticism of the Find N3 Flip, it's the Dimensity 9200 chip powering it. MediaTek's flagship SoC is not as fast, especially in multi-core performance, as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip found in Samsung's foldables. To be fair, most users probably can't really distinguish between the two. Daily tasks like web browsing, video playback, and games ran smoothly and without a hitch. The Dimensity 9200 did perform slightly better than its Samsung rival in our battery test. It managed 8 hours in PCMark's battery test compared with 7hr 7min for the Galaxy Z Flip 5. However, the Find N3 Flip seemed too quick to throttle the performance — by almost half — in benchmarks like 3DMark Wild Life Extreme, which likely helped it maintain relatively cool temperatures of between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius.
At S$1,499, the Oppo Find N3 Flip costs S$200 more at launch than the previous model. But you get a more useful cover screen, camera improvements, and even some official splash resistance. Compared with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, I think the Oppo Find N3 Flip wins some, but loses some. I prefer Oppo's cameras, but Samsung's clamshell foldable will be a more consistent performer in apps and games. And while I like the idea of full-screen apps on the cover screen, it's also finicky to type using the cramped keyboard. It probably boils down to personal preferences between Oppo and Samsung. In short, the Find N3 Flip should definitely be on your shortlist if you're looking at clamshell foldable phones. Get it from Lazada, and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Oppo.
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