OPPO Find N Review: Showing Others How To Design A Foldable Smartphone

I was excited the moment I noticed the very first OPPO Find N teaser. OPPO surprised everyone when it shared it, and the phone launched not long after that. Why was I excited? Well, because of the size of the device. It was immediately noticeable that it’s quite compact when folded, and I do believe that’s what foldable phones should be in that state. The whole point of having a foldable phone is for it to be compact when folded, and offer a large display when unfolded. That’s exactly what the OPPO Find N offers.

We’ll talk more about that in the review, of course. Before we do start, however, it is worth noting that this phone is made for the Chinese market. It comes with a software build that is not adapted to global markets, and even though we’ll talk far more about it in the software section, it is worth saying here as well. That being said, I really did enjoy using this phone, and am excited to share with you what I’ve experienced. So, let’s get started.

The OPPO Find N is a great-looking phone at just the right size

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The OPPO Find N is made out of metal and glass, as you’d expect out of a premium smartphone. It’s quite hefty at 275 grams, which is to be expected for a foldable smartphone. This phone is like a middle ground between the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3. It unfolds as the Z Fold 3, but it’s considerably smaller, and that’s a good thing, in my opinion. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is quite large even when folded. It’s so tall that it’s not comfortable to use with one hand at all. Reaching parts of the display is a chore, and I quickly decided that it’s not a foldable phone for me. The Z Flip 3, on the other hand, has a really small display when folded, and it’s not usable as a general display would.

The outer display can easily be used with one hand

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That’s where the OPPO Find N comes in. Its outer display is large enough to be used without unfolding the device. As a matter of fact, you can comfortably use it with one hand. When you need a large display, simply unfold the device. We’ll talk more about the displays in the next section, let’s talk more about the design. OPPO did a great job through and through. The company arguably did a better job than Samsung. Why? Well, it figured out a better way to deal with the crease on the display, and the phone is also gapless when folded. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has an easily noticeable, and easy-to-feel-with-a-finger crease right down the middle, that’s not the case here. The Find N does have more than one crease, but it’s not easy to notice, and you won’t exactly feel those under your finger. It’s noticeable when you’re using dark mode, but barely.

The Find N’s hinge game is strong

OPPO used a different hinge in order to make that happen, as the display folds in a different way. The phone also doesn’t have a gap when it’s folded. You can basically see through the Z Fold 3 when it’s folded, if you look at it from the top or bottom, but that’s not the case here. The right side of the secondary display is also curved, which helps with usage and navigation gestures, so it’s also a nice touch. The bezels are quite thin, and the phone sits really well in the hand, despite the fact it’s quite thick, which is normal considering it’s a foldable smartphone.

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All in all, the OPPO Find N does offer a premium build, and it feels great in the hand. It is slippery, but considering that it’s not huge when folded, it’s much easier to manage than its competition. Using it with one hand when folded is not a problem at all.

Display sizes are ideal for a foldable smartphone

The OPPO Find N has two displays, of course. The main panel measures 7.1 inches, and it offers a resolution of 1792 x 1920. This is an LTPO AMOLED display with refresh rates up to 120Hz. It offers an adaptive refresh rate, which is great for battery life. The display does support HDR10+ content, and has a peak brightness of 800 nits. This display does have a UTG glass on top of it, and it actually feels really nice to use. It doesn’t feel plasticky, nor fragile, while its bezels are quite thin.

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The second display on the phone measures 5.49 inches, and it offers a resolution of 1972 x 988. That is also an AMOLED display, but it’s not a high refresh rate one. It offers a refresh rate of 60Hz. This panel is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus, the same as the phone’s backplate. The panel is curved on the right side, which is a nice touch by OPPO. The curve is not too steep, which makes it great to use, and great for navigation gestures.

Both displays are sharp, vivid, and have great viewing angles

Are the displays any good though? Well, yes, they’re excellent, actually. While some displays tend to look a bit yellowish and weird, that’s not the case here. The colors are great, the displays are vivid, and the viewing angles are excellent. Most important of all, they’re quite responsive to the touch, and the transition between them in usage is seamless. OPPO even did a great job optimizing that 60Hz display, so it doesn’t feel particularly choppy or anything of the sort. All in all, the displays are a joy to use, they do get bright enough, and I don’t have any major complaints here. They’re not the best out there, but are more than good enough. Do note that there is a punch hole on each of them, though, but in different places.

The OPPO Find N flies through everything, even during heavy multitasking & gaming

The OPPO Find N is a high-end device, and it does deliver in the performance department. Android 11 that comes pre-installed here, and the ColorOS 12 UI, do a great job collaborating with the hardware on offer. Using the phone feels really snappy, as the Snapdragon 888 SoC does its job really well, and the same goes for LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage. I reviewed the 12GB RAM variant with 512GB of storage, by the way. There is also an 8GB RAM version with 256GB of storage.

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We won’t talk much about software here, as there’s a separate category for that. But in terms of sheer performance, I didn’t manage to get the phone to stutter, at all. It flew through everything I threw at it, and that includes gaming. No matter what game I installed, no matter how graphically intensive it is, the Find N did a great job. COD Mobile played great, and so did Asphalt 9, for example. I even tried out some lighter options, and even installed Flappy Bird on the device, even though it’s not available in the PlayStore. We’ll talk a bit about scaling issues in the software department, but those are easily fixable.

There are some features dedicated to that large display

The OPPO Find N was a joy to use in a number of ways due to its large display. Even when I ran two apps side by side, and indulged in some heavy multitasking, the phone performed admirably. Everything was blazing fast including browsing, media consumption, photo editing, video editing… and everything else you can imagine, pretty much. I really have no complaints on the performance side of things, but that doesn’t include the software, we’re talking about sheer speed it can do things, and smoothness of operation here. Once again, we’ll talk about the software aspect in the next paragraph.

The software is its main problem, but that’s not surprising as this is not a global unit

One thing that you need to keep in mind is that this phone is made for the Chinese market. OPPO was nice enough to send us a unit, just to see what the company can do from the hardware standpoint. That part was quite impressive, to say the least. Now, OPPO’s global ColorOS software is really, really good, and it’s a shame OPPO doesn’t plan to launch this phone globally, at least not yet. The OPPO Find N would shine with the global version of ColorOS. The Chinese version, well, it’s good, but it does struggle in a number of ways, as it’s not adapted to global users. That is one big takeaway that you need to take here. Before we get to the bad, let’s start with the good, shall we.

The good

ColorOS runs really smoothly on the device. I haven’t noticed a single hiccup, let alone lag or anything of the sort. The transition between the main and secondary displays is seamless. You can simply fold the device and then swipe up on the main display to continue using it, otherwise it’ll lock itself. There are some additional options regarding this.

OPPO’s software is also packed with features, and that goes for customization features as well. You have a lot of theming options here, as you can change icon shapes, decide what you want to see in the status bar, get access to some advanced gesture notifications (that goes for both navigation and non-navigation gestures), and so much more. There’s a lot of customizability available here.

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The device allows you to customize app scaling for the main display. So, if an app doesn’t scale properly in full screen mode, or gives you issues, such as Facebook, for example, you can change its aspect ratio. The Facebook app blocks dark mode in full screen mode, for example, while the TV Time app is forced to portrait orientation, so it ends up standing sideways in full screen mode. Those are just some examples, but you can easily change that to 16:9 or 4:3 modes, and you’re all good. TikTok is another example for it, actually, as you’ll need to alter that as well.

There are even gestures for splitting the display in half, as all you need to do is swipe with two fingers from the top, and you’re good. You can launch basically any app in a small window, which you can resize, and use on top of anything else you’re doing. OPPO does allow you to take full advantage of this display, and it does provide you with plenty of customizability options. If only the company offered a global variant of this software, as there are some issues as well, read on.

The bad

So, what’s the problem? Well, this model did come with Google Play Services out of the box, as OPPO did install them for us to use. I’d do it myself if OPPO didn’t. The regular variant sold in China does not come with it, though. That being said, even with Google Play Services installed, things are far from ideal for global users. Some apps are not visible in the Play Store, such as Netflix, for example. While you’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops to get everything up and running when it comes to notifications.

You’ll need to add apps to the ‘Auto Launch’ menu in order for all notifications to get through, but even that is not as simple. ColorOS presumed which apps should be added to that menu, and it adds them. For me, it was Viber and a number of other apps. Other than those apps, you have only five additional slots available, which was not enough for me. Luckily, there was the ‘Associated launch’ menu as well, and apps added there mostly pushed notifications my way. Even with all that set up, though, and apps locked in memory, sometimes it was a struggle. Even OPPO’s very own ‘Clock’ app failed me this morning, as my alarm didn’t go off. That happened only once, even though the app is allowed every permission and added to every notification menu, but it still failed. That was actually the most annoying aspect of the experience for me.

There are some other caveats though. For example, you’re not able to change the default launcher on this Chinese software build. You’re stuck with OPPO’s launcher, as options for other launchers are not even visible when you install them, and you cannot force them to be default once even if you choose that option via launchers themselves. The only solution is to root the device, and force some other launcher to be the default one. The same goes for the main SMS app, by the way. I was able to set Google Messages, but the system quickly reverted that, and removed the option entirely.

There are bugs with some third-party apps, as widgets are not visible for some of them, plus some apps were not able to use GPS properly. There are some scaling issues with apps, due to the display aspect ratio, but you can luckily choose between 16:9, 4:3, and full screen for the main display. You can do that for every app. Another issue I’ve spotted has to do with the Play Store. Every couple of days I get a cache error, which requires me to delete the cache manually, otherwise I can’t use the Play Store properly.

So, it’s obvious this software build is not made for global markets. It’s a pain to use, even for me, and regular users would probably give up and be quite annoyed in the process. So, before you go ahead and try to import this device, keep this in mind. You probably shouldn’t get it if you live outside of China, at least not now. Let’s hope that OPPO will change its mind and actually offer this phone with a global build of ColorOS, as that would change things monumentally.

Battery life is excellent, to say the least

The OPPO Find N comes with a 4,500mAh battery on the inside. That battery is just as big as the one inside the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and the Find N has smaller displays, while its outer display also has a lower refresh rate. Does that reflect on the battery life? Oh yes it does, definitely. The OPPO Find N actually offers excellent battery life, to say the last. I was able to get past 7 hours of screen-on time constantly during my day, even on really long days I ended up having 15-20-percent of battery left after over 7 hours of screen-on-time. Just to be clear, I was using the main display for the majority of the time on every single one of those days, it was being used 60-70-percent of the time.

So, yes, it’s safe to say that the battery life was excellent, at least for me. Your mileage may differ, of course, as I’m not much of a gamer, even though I did play some games for the purpose of this review. Not even TikTok was able to quickly deplete the battery on the main display, which is a rarity when it comes to smartphones. I was truly impressed with the battery life the OPPO Find N offered, to say the least. My expectations were considerably lower, to be quite honest.

You can get it from 0 to 100-percent in 70 minutes

Now, even if you end up depleting the battery before the end of the day, you can rely on 33W wired charging here. A 33W charger ships with the device, so there’s no problem there. This charging can get you to 55% in 30 minutes, and to 100-percent in around 70 minutes. If you prefer wireless charging, there’s always 15W wireless charging support, and 10W reverse wireless charging.

The camera performance is good, but not great

The camera performance is… well, good. This handset comes with the same 50-megapixel camera as the Find X3 Pro. Truth be said, it does not provide identical results, as the Find X3 Pro is still better in that regard. OPPO will likely continue optimizing this camera, and bring it to the same level, though. I’ve received two system update during my usage, and I’m expecting more to come in the near future.

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That being said, as I said, the camera performance is good. It’s not the best in the market, but it’s flagship-level. The phone does a great job when there’s plenty of light present. It captures a lot of detail, and the colors are really good. That especially goes for reds and blues, which end up looking excellent. I’ve noticed that some pictures do tend to be overexposed at times, but that’s not a common occurrence.

Even low light images look good

Images in low light end up looking mostly great, especially outdoors. If you find them to be too dark, you can always utilize the phone’s dark mode in the camera app, which lights up the image a lot. It also does a great job when it comes to balancing such shots. The low light camera performance is good indoors as well, though it’s not as consistent as it is outdoors. If the light is too dim, the images can look a bit blurry. Once again, that’s not as common. I’ve noticed it had issues with dog hair in lower light, but that’s a pain point of many smartphones. The video recording is good, as is the selfie camera. You can check out some camera samples below.

OPPO Find N camera samples

It’s equipped with two really good speakers

The OPPO Find N comes with two speakers, and both of them are bottom-firing. Truth be said, I would have liked to see a second speaker to be top-firing or front-firing, but this is not a huge problem at all. The speakers are really good, I’d even say excellent. They get really loud, and are quite sharp as well. There’s plenty of bass present, but it’s not overpowering, while the vocals end up being quite clear.

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The output is well-balanced, and the speakers are great for pretty much everything. I’ve listened to music with joy, while I had no issues using them for podcasting as well. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack here, but you can use the Type-C port or just connect your headphones via Bluetooth.

Call quality is up to par as well

In regards to call quality, there are no complaints. That goes for both the built-in microphones, and the earpiece. My callers were quite clear, I was able to hear everything perfectly, and they heard me without issue as well. The thing is, I even had to lower the volume. OPPO spared no expense in the call quality department and related hardware

The OPPO Find N gets almost everything right, but it’s not made for markets outside of China (yet)

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If the OPPO Find N came with a global ColorOS build, it would have been an easy recommendation despite its price tag. This is the best foldable smartphone I’ve laid my hands on. The size of it is perfect, the build quality is excellent, and so is battery life. It performs admirably, and the camera quality is good as well. There are really no complaints save for the software that is made for the Chinese market, and there’s nothing you can do about that, for now. Let’s hope OPPO will re-release this phone in global markets, as it would have been a really compelling phone for many people.