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(Pocket-lint) - Having teased and shown off various prototype devices with flexible screens - including a rollable phone - Oppo has finally announced its first proper folding smartphone: the Find N

It bears a passing resemblance to the Galaxy Z Fold, a phone series which brought that book-style folding tablet design to the mainstream. But exactly how does it compare to Samsung's flexible smartphone? 

Design 

  • Find N: 132.6 x 140.2 x 7.8mm (unfolded) - 132.6 x 73mm x 15.9mm (folded)
  • Z Fold 3: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm (unfolded) - 158.2 x 67.1 x 14.4mm (folded)
  • Both: Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Z Fold 3: IPX8 water resistance

Talking broadstrokes, when it comes to design, the two phones are very similar. They both feature that main internal display that folds shut, turning a small tablet-sized device into a candybar smartphone shape, with a smaller display on the front cover. This allows you to use the phone without needing to open it every time.  

Material choices are similar too, with both devices opting for an aluminium and glass build, using the metal for the frame and hinge covering, but glass on the back. In fact, both use the latest Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back to ensure it's as scratch resistant and durable as possible.

Size and shape are quite different though, with the Oppo being shorter and wider than the Samsung, giving it a more squat appearance. 

It's safe to say Oppo's camera housing design has a little more flourish than the Samsung, with a unit that sits in a platform that gently curves and ramps up from the main glass surface on the back. That's similar to what we saw on the Find X3 Pro earlier in 2021. Samsung took a different approach, opting for a simple pill-shaped protrusion. 

Buttons and ports are similar on both, with the two devices featuring a recessed power button on the right edge that also incorporates the fingerprint sensor for unlocking. Samsung has a volume rocker switch on the same edge, but Oppo opted to put its own volume control on the other side. 

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Both also feature punch-hole cameras for selfies and video calls in both the front cover display and the primary internal display. Placement - again - is a little different, with Oppo opting for a left corner placement and Samsung going with a camera placed centrally in the right side of the main screen near the top edge. 

As for waterproofing, Oppo hasn't said whether its phone has an official IP rating, but Samsung's does feature IPX8 protection against water, meaning it can survive virtually any water-based accidents. 

Displays 

  • Find N: 5.49-inch - 1972 x 988 (18:9) - cover display
  • Z Fold 3: 6.2-inch - 2268 x 822 (25:9) - cover display
  • Find N: 7.1-inch - 1792 x 1920 (8.4:9) - 120Hz - 1000 nits peak - internal display
  • Z Fold 3: 7.6-inch - 1768 x 2208 (7.2:9) - 120Hz - HDR10+ - 1200 nits peak - internal display

As mentioned, both phones have two screens with one smaller one on the front cover and another, larger, square-ish flexible display inside. 

On the front, Oppo opted for a 5.49-inch 18:9 full HD display, which should make it a bit more useful than the 6.2-inch 25:9 ratio display on the Samsung. Reason: the ratio is closer to a standard smartphone screen shape, making it seem far less narrow and cramped than the Samsung cover display. 

Due to this slightly wider ratio on the front, the screen internally is also closer to square on the Oppo model than the Samsung. Despite have slightly different resolutions, given the size and ratio of the screens, the sharpness should very similar. All screens are AMOLED based, and both phones have refresh rates up to 120Hz on the internal displays. 

Both devices have adaptive refresh technology. Oppo's can reach as low as 1hz when necessary, saving battery life on static pages. Samsung's lowest refresh is 10Hz. 

One of the big promises of the Oppo flexible screen is that its crease should be less obvious than Samsung's, thanks to using a different kind of protection over the display. What's more, when folded shut, the two halves of the display feature very little in the way of a gap.

Oppo's internal screen features what the company calls a 12-layer Serene Display, which includes a 0.03mm layer of ultra-thin glass. 

To make most of the two-screen system, both use similar software tweaks too. If you launch an app on the front screen and open it, it'll seamlessly open on the bigger internal display. And vice versa. They also both have a split-screen multi-tasking ability to make the most of the bigger internal surface area. 

Hardware specs

  • Both: Snapdragon 888 processor 
  • Find N: 8GB/12GB RAM - 256GB/512GB storage
  • Z Fold 3: 12GB RAM - 256GB/512GB storage
  • Find N: 4500mAh - 33W flash charging - 15W wireless
  • Z Fold 3: 4400mAh - 25W wired charging - 11W wireless

Moving on to hardware specifications and - again - there are similarities. Both phones feature the Snapdragon 888 processor, for flagship level performance. They also both feature 12GB RAM and up to 512GB UFS 3.1 storage in their top models, although Oppo also has an 8GB/256GB version. 

Even when it comes to battery capacity and charging capabilities, the two phones are quite similar (although not identical). Oppo's phone has a slightly higher capacity battery at 4500mAh, which is just 100mAh more than the 4400mAh on the Samsung.

Where you'll see a bigger difference is in charging speeds, with Oppo opting to use a 33W version of its fast VOOC charging technology. Similarly, if you use Oppo's own AirVOOC wireless charger, you'll get 15W speeds from that versus a maximum of 11W wireless charging on the Samsung. 

Camera details

  • Both: triple camera system
  • Both: two selfie cameras
  • Find N: 50MP main - 16MP ultrawide - 13MP telephoto
  • Z Fold 3: 12MP main - 12MP ultrawide -12MP telephoto

As mentioned, the two phone feature two selfie cameras: one punched into each display. Both also feature the same number of cameras in the rear housing on the back of the phone, with similar makeup. 

That means the two have a primary camera joined by an ultrawide and a telephoto zoom lens, for three distinct focal length to help add versatility to shooting. 

Samsung uses a 12-megapixel sensor in each of its cameras, where Oppo has mixed it up a bit. The main camera features the same 50-megapixel sensor found in the two main cameras on the Find X3 Pro. That's joined by a 16-megapixel ultrawide and a 13-megapixel zoom camera. 

Conclusion

With Samsung having been in the flexible market longer, and having brought the form to the mainstream, it's a safe choice and - currently - it's a lot more widely available than Oppo (which initially launches in China only). 

Where Oppo has a bit of an advantage is in the front screen, which has a less narrow ratio that makes it a lot better to use on its own without the experience feeling compromised. Samsung's feels a little cramped still. 

Price will likely come into it, but without knowing the Oppo price yet, that's a comparison we can't make. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.