Chinese smartphone giant Oppo’s latest effort to enter the Apple and Samsung-dominated ultra-premium mobile device market is here: the foldable Find N3.
With the Find N3, Oppo has sought to address the weaknesses in previous foldable designs, and overall the new device is a worthy upgrade on earlier models.
Being able to switch between normal oblong smartphone mode and tablet mode with a 7.8-inch screen providing a larger view at a high 2440 by 2268 resolution, and a smooth, up-to-120Hz refresh rate plus 10-bit colour with 1 billion hues on a pocketable device is great.
A medical professional acquaintance who uses the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold said being able to fit in reports, letters, and scans on the bigger screen to better see detail means fewer disruptions having to head back to the PC, and more patient time instead.
I like the ability to take photos and video with the phone bent open at a 90-degree angle, so you have the viewfinder at the top, and controls at the bottom of the display.
Folding screens require software tweaks, and Oppo has customised Google’s Android 13 with its ColorOS skin accordingly. That includes multitasking, with the “Boundless View” feature making it easy to run two or three apps at the same time and boosting productivity.
The improved designs of the Flexion Hinge and inner screen mean the crease in the middle is now barely noticeable, by touch and visibility. It really is an impressive piece of engineering.
Speaking of screens, they are both remarkably good. The cover display is 6.31 inches measured diagonally, 2484 by 1116 pixel resolution, and again with 10-bit colour and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) support like the inner screen. What’s more, both screens have a very high 2800 nits peak brightness and are very visible outdoors.
Inside, the Find N3 is built on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and while not Apple speedy, you get very good system and graphics performance.
Despite being foldable with a hinged spine, the Find N3 is a fairly slim phone at just 11.7mm, not counting the big circular rear camera mount; it weighs 238g, which is just 17g more than the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max.
My review device came with a “vegan leather” case backing that feels good, and the device feels solid and well built.
The camera system dominates the back of the Find N3, with three big and fast lenses.
Interestingly, Oppo isn’t talking much about computational photography and no longer develops its custom MariSilicon X neural processing unit for image enhancements.
Instead, for the Find N3, the smartphone maker went with a biggish Sony Lytia sensor that stacks pixel transistors below the photodiodes for better light capture, for the main wide-angle camera.
This has a 48-megapixel resolution and uses advanced autofocus and optical image stabilisation.
The results from that camera, passed through colour calibration from the famous Hasselblad photography company in Sweden, gets you pictures and video (up to 4k at 60 frames per second) with some of the best detail I’ve seen in a smartphone — even in tricky and low-light situations.
Ditto for the 3x optical zoom periscope lens with 70mm equivalent focal length and a ½-inch Sony IMX581 sensor that can be cropped to give 6x zoom with no real loss of quality.
The ultrawide camera provides a 114-degree field of vision, and also has a large ½-inch sensor.
Geeky camera stats aside, the Find N3 camera system is very premium indeed. The selfie cameras aren’t bad either, but I spent most of the time with the main imaging system.
Battery life on the Find N3 is pretty good, lasting a day despite the dual screens. Unfortunately, the Oppo Find N3 misses out on “wireless” touchpad charging. In comparison, rival device Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 supports 15-watt wireless charging.
Given that newer cars have charging touchpads, I suspect that missing feature will annoy, and it possibly explains why the Find N3 is being promoted with an 80W (!) capacity car charger.
My friend who likes to call from bathrooms while out on the town, with predictable water-logged accidents as a result, had better stay away from the Find N3 because it’s merely IPX4 splash resistant and cannot be submerged.
For now, the Oppo Find N3 is arguably the top foldable smartphone, with its standout displays and excellent cameras.
The high-end tech in the Find N3 doesn’t come cheap. Resisting the almost-inevitable folding cash pun, the Find N3 costs three grand for the 16 gigabytes RAM/512GB storage model. An ultra-premium phone every step of the way then.