Rule-bending new foldable champ lighter than iPhone 14 Pro Max; cheaper than Galaxy Z Fold 4!
This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
The foldable phones that see the light of day each and every year aren't many... Therefore, when new ones do arrive, their appearance turns into a proper celebration - of course, at least if you're a phone nerd!
And although the very end of the year might seem like a bit of a bizarre time to launch new devices, a ton of Chinese companies seem to disagree, as did Oppo by rolling the red carpet for what might turn out to be the two most important foldable phones we've seen in a while - the Oppo Find N2 and the Oppo Find N2 Flip.
The cherry on top is that Oppo's closest competitors are so far behind in terms of weight and pricing that there was no way I'd miss honoring OnePlus' sister company with the deserved attention for what might turn out to be the most important foldable phone of the year 2023!
Foldable Oppo Find N2 puts Galaxy Z Fold 4, iPhone 14 Pro Max to shame with extra-lightweight design
Unprecedented! The new Oppo Find N2 is lighter than Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max, which... doesn't fold.
Although this might seem a bit counterintuitive at first, I think it's actually pretty fair to compare new foldable phones with "normal" phones and other foldables at the same time!
In the end, new foldable phones have two goals - to become the new "default", replacing the slabs we've been using for almost two decades, and to be better foldable phones than previous devices of the same kind…
Well, the miraculous Oppo Find N2 strikes massive wins in both categories!
- Oppo Find N2 - 233g
- iPhone 14 Pro Max - 240g
- Huawei Mate Xs 2 - 255g
- Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 - 262g
- Galaxy Z Fold 4 - 263g
At only 233 grams, the Find N2 becomes not only the lightest foldable on the market but also the first foldable phone-tablet (ever!) that's lighter than a mainstream slab phone - sponsored by Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max chunky monkey, sitting at exactly 240g, or seven grams more than the foldable Find N2!
Reaching a "normal" phone weight was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) challenges for big foldable phones, which is why the new standard set by the Oppo could and likely will play a massive role in pushing innovation in the foldable market forward, quickly!
Unbelievable price makes Oppo Find N2 way cheaper than Galaxy Z Fold 4; little to no compromise from Oppo
Foldable phones are getting cheaper! Well, except Samsung's.
But the lightweight design of the Find N2 isn't where Oppo's overachieving spirit ends!
Before looking at pricing, I have to make it clear that part of the reason why the Oppo Find N2 turns out to be way more affordable than other foldables is that we're looking at converted prices from the Chinese market. Still, even if you were to import the (currently) China-exclusive Find N2, it's likely that this one will cost you some 20% less than getting a brand Galaxy Z Fold 4 from Samsung.
As for the shocking fact that the Oppo Find N2 ends up being cheaper than an iPhone 14 Pro in Europe, that's again, thanks to the conversion, which excludes import fees, but also due to Apple's decision to shoot iPhone 14 prices in Europe through the roof, while keeping US prices unchanged.
At just CNY 8,000 / $1,145 / €1,080 / ₹95,000, the Find N2's China price is so much lower than that of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (assuming that's the most obvious benchmark) that it almost feels like a direct attack on Samsung! Of course, that’s before the import markup, which makes the Find N2 a $1,530 / €1,450 phone - still noticeably more affordable than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 at launch.
Weight and price aside, is the Oppo Find N2 a better foldable phone than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the rest of the competition?
Really, this question can't be answered just yet, and that's because the Oppo Find N2 is too fresh off the shelves (it hasn't really reached the shelves yet) to tell. This means you'll have to come back for our full Oppo Find N2 review to find out how it stacks up against the competition from Samsung and other foldable phone-makers...
That being said, though, of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't give you some early thoughts on the Oppo Find N2, so let's go ahead and do that…
- Thanks to its 5.5-inch outer display (and lightweight design), the Oppo Find N2 is shaping up to be the more/most practical foldable phone-tablet not just compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 but, in some ways, even compared to large slab phones that can be difficult to operate with one hand - all while hiding another, large 7.1-inch display on the inside
- In a similar fashion, the Oppo Find N2's 7.1-inch inner display makes it ideal not only to use as a mini tablet in split-screen mode (which is now made very easy thanks to Oppo's improved software), but also to use with one hand; that could prove useful in situations when you need a bigger display to navigate the streets with Google Maps, while your other hand is busy or if you need to have both Maps and another important app open at the same time
- With brand new primary, zoom, ultra-wide, and selfie cameras, the Oppo Find N2 is also a contender for the best camera system in any foldable phone; for instance, every camera found on the Find N2 boasts a larger, higher megapixel sensor compared to the ones found in the Galaxy Z Fold 4, with the difference between the ultra-wide cameras being the most noticeable
- Compared to the much larger Galaxy Z Fold 4 (4400 mah), the Oppo Find N2 boasts a larger 4520 mah cell while also being able to recharge significantly faster at 67W (100% in 42 min); at the same time in a huge upgrade from the old Snapdragon 888, it now comes with the same Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip which performed wonders for the Galaxy Z Fold 4's battery life, meaning battery endurance and efficiency on the Oppo Find N2 should (technically) be noticeably better than on Samsung's foldable, which also has larger displays to power
Oppo Find N2 is far from perfect; lacks water-resistance - but you could easily work around its weaknesses
Far from perfect... Unless you live in China.
In the end, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention the elephant(s) in the room when it comes to the Oppo Find N2…
Unlike Samsung's much more expensive Fold 4, the Oppo Find N2 doesn't come with any form of water protection, which could be a dealbreaker for those who like to roam around seas and oceans or have clumsy fingers.
That being said, water resistance is one of those things that you either really appreciate having on your phone or don't quite care about… So it's up to you to decide if that's a dealbreaker...
Questionable software support makes the Oppo Find N2 a bit less ideal
The other factor that might hold the Find N2 back is the fact that Oppo, like almost any other Chinese phone-maker, doesn't boast a great track record of timely and reliable software support…
Again, I don't think that's what makes or breaks a phone, especially when its selling point is folding in half and when this phone is so much more affordable than its biggest competitor, but it's certainly not something to overlook!
Global availability could be the Oppo Find N2’s Achilles’ heel, unless…
And we come to the biggest elephant in the building, which I alluded to a few times already, and that's the fact that the Oppo Find N2 is a device that can only be bought in China - or imported through third-party vendors if you live in the US, UK, Europe or elsewhere.
The bad news is that import fees will make your Oppo Find N2 purchase a bit less of a "steal" than it feels before the markeup and that you'd have to make sure the model you order supports the international version of Oppo's Origin OS (most units that ship abroad do).
The good news is that third-party vendors are usually very good at bringing the international version of the software to Chinese phones ASAP and that even with the import fee makeup, the Find N2 will end up costing less than a Galaxy Z Fold 4 - at least if we judge by pricing at launch, which means it's very likely to cost even less than the Galaxy Z Fold 5, expected in August 2023.
I've left the best news for last, and that's the fact that Oppo is "very open" to bringing the Find N2 to the international scene! Apparently, the company is now waiting for the initial response from enthusiasts like you and me before deciding whether to start selling the Find N2 outside of China or not.
So, make yourself heard! Would you like to see the Oppo Find N2 launch in your country and (finally!) pressure Samsung into stepping up its hardware game and reducing prices? I know the answer for myself…