Foldable phones are still far from being mainstream, but that hasn’t stopped smartphone companies from continuing to innovate and push the industry forward.
At MWC 2023, we saw a range of foldable phones from Oppo, Honor, and Tecno, and even got confirmation about an upcoming OnePlus foldable phone coming later this year. Let’s take a closer look at each device and see what’s new.
1. Oppo Find N2
We first laid eyes on the book-style Oppo Find N2 foldable phone in December last year. The device looks almost identical to its predecessor which means it retains its acclaimed small and pocketable form factor, minimal crease, and really satisfying hinge.
The Find N2 has the same 7.1-inch inner display and a slightly-bigger-but-still-compact 5.54-inch FHD cover display. The brightness has been bumped up to 1550 nits and 1350 nits on the inner and outer displays respectively.
Oppo has also fit the device with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip which should help deliver better battery life and sustained performance, and the 67W charging is a welcome addition too.
The Find N2 also boasts a new 32MP telephoto and a 48MP ultrawide camera with Hasselblad color calibration. Sadly, the device will not see a global release as it’s China-only.
2. Oppo Find N2 Flip
Don’t worry though, the clamshell Find N2 Flip is available globally and looks amazing. Unlike the barely-usable 1.9-inch cover screen of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Find N2 Flip has a bigger 3.26-inch cover screen, allowing you more ways to use the outer display on your flip phone.
Clearly, the Find N2 Flip is a direct rival to the Galaxy Flip 4.
Unlike the Find N2, the N2 Flip has a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ processor, slower 44W charging, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the cover screen. The 6.8-inch inner display has a peak brightness of 1600 nits, and the decently-sized 4300mAh battery also looks promising.
3. Honor Magic Vs
The Honor Magic Vs was another book-style foldable we saw at MWC 2023. The best part about the device is its innovative hinge that “reduces the number of components of support structure from 92 to 4” and helps reduce the thickness to 12.9 mm when folded shut with no gap.
This is a big deal because one of the reasons foldables aren’t mainstream yet is that they have too many moving parts inside the hinge. The more moving parts, the greater the chances that the device will face some structural integrity issues later down the line.
The simpler the design, the longer it will last, and Honor seems to have figured out how to achieve that. The Magic Vs also boasts a 5000mAh battery and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. Sadly, the brightness is limited to 800 nits on the 7.9-inch main display.
4. Tecno Phantom V Fold
There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Tecno yet, and that’s precisely why its debut foldable Phantom V Fold was such as surprise to us.
Although Tecno is mostly known for its entry-level budget phones, the Phantom V Fold looks very premium, especially with its leather finish and big circular camera bump that houses a 50MP main, a 50MP telephoto, and a 13MP ultrawide lens.
Both the 7.85-inch inner display and the 6.42-inch LTPO cover display have a peak brightness of 1100 nits, and the latter is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. Just like the Honor Magic Vs, the Tecno Phantom V Fold can’t stand on its own when unfolded at an angle—something that Samsung’s foldables can do.
Coming Soon: OnePlus Foldable Phone
Alongside all these folding devices, we also got confirmation that OnePlus is planning to launch its debut foldable phone later this year. The company didn’t show the handset itself, so we don’t know what it looks like yet, but it did promise that the device will offer the same fast and smooth experience that OnePlus phones are known for.
Given that Oppo and OnePlus are partners (with OnePlus the junior member), the new Oppo devices might give us an idea of what to expect.
Should You Switch to a Foldable Phone?
While regular smartphones mostly look the same now, it’s foldables where most of the hardware innovation happens these days. And if you’re looking to try out something new, getting a foldable phone will definitely start some very interesting conversations.
If you’re an average user, however, you should probably wait for a year or two before making the switch. Granted, the tech is very impressive and it’s evolving quickly, but foldable phones in their current state are still not recommendable enough for most people.
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