We are halfway through 2022, and even though we say we’re still in the early days, there are plenty of foldable smartphones available in the market right now (with many more on the way). Samsung will reportedly launch two foldable smartphones later this year — the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Other Android smartphone manufacturers, such as Motorola and OPPO (and even Google) are also said to be readying their foldables for the year 2022.
Amidst all the tough competition, how can OPPO become a key player in the foldable market? Let’s take a look at what OPPO currently offers with its Find N foldable smartphone, what it needs to do, and where it needs to improve so that it becomes Apple of the foldable world.
Last year we saw a new entrant in the foldable market race, and yes, we are talking about OPPO. The company launched its Find N foldable last year, and even though it was the company’s first-ever foldable, it got a lot of things right and proved to be a worthy competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. This year, OPPO is rumored to be preparing two new foldable smartphones. However, we believe that the company needs more than just a perfect product to succeed in the modern era. But, before we get into things that OPPO needs to improve, let’s take a look at what the Find N already does right.
What OPPO does right
1. Flat-looking crease
One of the quirks of foldable smartphones, and often a reason why a lot of potential buyers end up not buying them, is the display crease. Naturally, anything that folds will form some sort of a crease. However, one of the things that makes the Find N stand out in the foldable world is how the company has managed to minimize the screen on the Find N.
Out of all the foldables available right now, OPPO Find N features a folding display whose crease isn’t very easy to spot. The company has managed to do this by leaving some extra space in the hinge that gives the screen a bigger curve. This not only makes the display feel flat but also doesn’t leave any gap when the phone is closed, which isn’t the case with other foldables such as Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
The company nailed the first-generation hinge and crease, and it needs to do the same with the second-generation foldables. With rumors suggesting that an even better hinge is on the way, things are looking good for the OPPO Find N 2 (or whatever OPPO ends up calling it).
2. Display dimensions
Another area where OPPO’s Find N outdoes Samsung’s foldable is in the dimension of both the inner and outer displays. The outer display of the OPPO Find N is much wider than Galaxy Fold’s outer display, making it easy to use and look almost like a normal smartphone display. On the other hand, the outer display of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold is much narrower, compelling you to use the inner display for all the tasks.
While it isn’t a con as such, it makes the outer screen (sort of) impractical. On the other hand, you can easily use the outer screen of the Find N just like a normal smartphone, which comes in handy in a number of situations and especially when you have to perform quick tasks.
Similarly, the inner display of the OPPO Find N is wider than Samsung’s by default, making it convenient for reading, web browsing, and running two apps at a time. All in all, the display dimensions on the OPPO’s foldable are much better than Samsung Galaxy, and we hope the company keeps the same trend with the second-generation Find N.
Things that could make OPPO the king of the foldable market
1. Availability in more regions
A lot of reviewers put OPPO’s first foldable in the same segment as the Galaxy Z Fold 3. However, we don’t see a lot of people using the Find N on the streets as much as we do with the Fold 3. Why is that the case? Well, it is primarily because OPPO decided to sell Find N only in the Chinese market. It might be due to supply chain constraints, no approval from regulators, or any other reason, but the Find N never made it out of China. However, to become a key player in the foldable space, OPPO needs to launch its foldable product in its key global markets outside China, especially Europe.
2. Pricing is the key
Pricing is another key area that decides whether a product will be successful in the market or not. Value-for-money plays an important role in a product’s success, especially in markets such as Asia and Europe. At $1,500, the OPPO Find N comes off as a premium device. Yes, the foldable undercut its Samsung competitor by close to $300, but the $1,500 price tag is still high. Google and Samsung are reportedly looking to launch their next-generation foldables around the $1,200-$1300 price bracket, and if OPPO plans to take on these companies, it needs to price its foldable in the same range or undercut it.
3. Software plays an important role
The software can make or break a device. As we have all come to know, OPPO’s ColorOS isn’t the best Android skin for non-Chinese markets. It has a lot of benefits. But, at the same time, it has its quirks, such as delayed notifications and overpowering battery optimizations. Samsung, on the other hand, offers a much better software experience. Our own Roland Udvarlaki is an avid Galaxy Z Fold 3 user and he says that Samsung has nailed the software experience on its foldable.
The Samsung skin also comes with more features, such as the ability to open three apps on-screen at once and the ability to choose a different layout for the outer screen and inner screen — something that the OPPO Find N doesn’t offer. To make its foldables more usable, and to make the best use of its excellent screen real estate, OPPO needs a major overhaul in the software part.
4. Support for stylus and other features
Another feature that drives users towards the Samsung foldables is that its latest Z Fold device supports smart stylus input. You can draw, edit, create, annotate, and do a lot of things with Samsung’s stylus on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. However, the OPPO Find N doesn’t support stylus input. This feature can make or break the decision for a lot of people, and we really hope the next generation OPPO foldable supports some sort of stylus input.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is the latest foldable flagship from Samsung. It has an IPX8 certificate, supports the S Pen, and comes with the powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset.