Fast Charge: The Oppo Find N2 Flip teases a bright future for foldables
OPINION: This week’s launch of the Oppo Find N2 Flip gives me hope that 2023 will be the year that foldables ditch the high price tags and compromises and finally go mainstream.
Looking back at the past few years, Samsung has well and truly dominated the foldable scene not only in the UK but much of the western world. Since 2019, the company has delivered yearly updates on its big-screen Galaxy Z Fold range and, since 2020, it has done the same with its clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip range.
But what about other smartphone manufacturers?
You’ve got niche options from the likes of Huawei with its £1800 Mate Xs 2, though despite that high price tag, the phone lacks access to Google Play and 5G connectivity due to ongoing restrictions in the US. The Chinese market is also jam-packed with foldables of all sorts, though essentially none of these ever make it outside of China.
There’s also the Motorola Razr which struggled with the initial 2019 model, lacking flagship-level specs despite costing $1499 in the US, though that has improved with the £949 Motorola Razr (2022) that launched at the end of last year.
That essentially means that, excluding the past couple of months, Samsung has gone unchallenged in the west for four years, and that means it could somewhat relax when it came to upgrading core specs and dropping the price because it had no real reason to. Well, until now, that is.
It started with the release of the upgraded Motorola Razr (2022) that fixed most complaints with the older 2019 variant which came with an extremely high-end price tag but mid-range components including the Snapdragon 710 and a single 16MP rear shooter. The new version packs the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, capable 50MP main and 13MP ultra-wide cameras and a much-improved hinge mechanism compared to Samsung’s Z Flip 4.
Fast forward a couple of months and we now also have the Oppo Find N2 Flip, which I feel truly changes the game in the clamshell foldable market in 2023.
The Find N2 Flip boasts a range of improvements on just about every other foldable, including the relatively recently revealed Motorola Razr. That includes a 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED display with LTPO tech with a serious reduction in the crease caused by the folding form factor, a 4300mAh battery that delivers all-day battery life and a large bezel-less cover display.
In fact, I was so impressed with the foldable that I awarded it four and a half stars in our review, as well as the Trusted Reviews Recommended Award.
If that wasn’t enough, the Find N2 Flip is also the cheapest of all foldables currently available at £849 compared to the £949 RRP of the Motorola Razr and £999 for the Galaxy Z Flip 4, though both can be found slightly cheaper depending on where you look.
It’s not the only foldable teased for a UK-focused launch in the near future either, with Honor teasing an MWC launch for the gapless Honor Vs foldable.
All this means that not only will UK consumers finally have a range of foldable smartphones to choose from, but it should push innovation forward – especially from Samsung, which has delivered relatively incremental updates to its foldables over the past few years.
The increased competition should hopefully drive prices down too. When you can buy a clamshell foldable for the same price as the flagship Samsung Galaxy S23, you simply can’t justify price tags of over £1000.
2023 is going to be an exciting year for foldable smartphones, both in terms of tech and wider availability, and I cannot wait.