OPPO Find N2 Flip 5G Review: A Better Clamshell

2023 could be a significant year for OPPO. At least when it comes to its South African operations.

Ever since the smartphone maker officially launched locally in 2020, it has specialised in bringing entry-level and mid-range devices into the country, but with each passing quarter, it has been upping the ante.

This latest quarter is no different, as OPPO debuted the Find N2 Flip 5G. It is notable for two reasons – it is the first foldable that the brand has launched in SA, and it is the first Find series phone to be released on our shores.

As such, there is a lot for the Find N2 Flip 5G to live up to, with Samsung pretty much dominating the foldables space, both locally and abroad.

Can this new offering still some of the shine from its South Korean competitor?

To find (excuse the pun) that out, we recently spent two weeks reviewing the Find N2 Flip 5G (referred to as the N2 Flip from here on out).

Here’s what we found out about OPPO’s first foldable for SA.

Hey, what’s that?

We start, as always, with design.

Regardless of which side of the fence you sit when it comes to foldables, they still inspire interest and awe. It has been the case with previous models we have reviewed, and the same holds true for the N2 Flip. Whenever we remove the device from our pocket, place it on a table, or are simply holding it, one question invariably follows – Hey, what’s that?

After vetting the person asking the question, we normally handed the N2 Flip over. This is then followed by comments of the size of the foldable, which does indeed feel a bit more robust (weighs 191g) than over clamshell-type offerings. There is also a keen observation of the cover display, which too is more sizeable than other devices’ front screen.

In fact, it is one of the big selling points of the N2 Flip, as the increased screen real estate facilitates app use, and navigation, sans opening up the phone. More on that later, however.

As for the experience of interested onlookers, after unfolding the N2 Flip, the next thing that is usually said is a remark about how tall the phone is. It features a large 6.8″ FullHD+ flexible AMOLED screen (2520×1080), which does stand tall at 16.62cm.

Other elements that get a shoutout include the colourway, which on our review model is referred to as Moonlit Purple.

It is here when some comparisons to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 5G, which has a similarly Purple colour option in its lineup, along with being a clamshell design in nature.

As mentioned though, the N2 Flip both feels and is bigger. The hinge, which has been newly engineered for this offering, also has a more satisfying mechanism to it. OPPO has made a point of highlighting the durability of the hinge, with the company throwing around the figure of 400 000 folds for how many times it can open and close.

While we got nowhere as close to that many folds in our review period, the N2 Flip certainly feels more capable than others. The same goes for the display itself, and in particular the crease. That’s not to say that there isn’t one, because there definitely is, but it looks less pronounced and noticeable on the N2 Flip than other devices.

This seems to be a problem that will continue to plague the foldables market for some time, and while OPPO has taken a good crack at it, it is yet to master the design.

All about the cover

Now for the cover screen, which may very well be the feature than differentiates the N2 Flip in comparison to other foldables with this form factor.

It is a 3.26″ screen that delivers a 720×382 resolution, but apart from being large, the cover display is designed to facilitate a number of operations. This includes widgets for handling notifications, messages, emails, calendar events, and more, but also interfaces for the camera system.

The only element missing is the ability to craft replies to said messages, but outside of folio-style foldables that feature a far larger cover display, the N2 Flip is the best use of a cover screen we have seen on this form factor to date.

Looking at the other elements of the phone, the UI is one of the better ones we have encountered for an Android device. In recent months we have noticed far more bloatware on devices, but the N2 Flip does not suffer from this ailment.

In fact, ColorOS (version 13.0 on this device) is one of the cleaner UI that we have interacted with.

As for performance, the foldable is solid by all accounts, handling multitasking, switching between applications, and navigating through settings well. It never lagged, nor felt underpowered during our time reviewing the phone, but the benchmarking scores were a little lower than we expected.

The Find N2 Flip 5G is running an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ chipset which takes care of the heavy lifting and 5G capabilities of the phone. Added to this is 8GB RAM and 256GB onboard storage, which is all par for the course on flagship phones these days.

In our testing, the N2 Flip registered 1 066 and 2 904 on GeekBench 6’s single-core and multi-core respectively. To put that in context, the Galaxy Z Flip4 mustered 1 310 on single-core and 4 059 on multi-core. As such, it seems like it’s more a case of Qualcomm having more powerful mobile silicon than MediaTek at the moment.

That said, you don’t feel like this phone is struggling to get things done.

Shifting to camera performance and OPPO has leaned on the expertise of Swedish camera house Hasselblad for the primary dual camera setup – a 50MP main lens and 8MP ultra wide-angle lens.

As expected, it is a solid all-around shooter that excels while outdoors. Low light photography is equally adept, with the dedicated Night Mode helping in that regard too. Our only issue with the latter is some slight graininess when you’re zooming into content.

Video performance is a bit of an oddity, as the max setting is 4K at 30fps, which seems a little underpowered given what is available on the market. The video performance is serviceable, but content creators may want a bit more out of this foldable.

Final verdict

When it comes to clamshell foldables, the OPPO Find N2 Flip excels in many areas.

The design is noticeably more robust than other options, along with sporting a cover screen that dwarfs that of competitors. Added to this is a solid all-around camera matched by in-hand performance and a 4 300mAh battery that sips on power by foldable standards.

The aspect that counts against it, however, is price. At R28 999 (RRP) the OPPO Find N2 Flip 5G is as expensive as the Huawei P50 Pocket at launch, but has the advantage of 5G. The Galaxy Z Flip4 has both beat on price though, retailing for R20 999 when it debuted.

While the Find N2 Flip is one of the better foldables we have encountered to date, it is also one of the most expensive.



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