Pete Lau, Oppo’s chief product officer (and OnePlus CEO), introduced Oppo Find N, the company’s first foldable smartphone, in a blog post. On the second day of Oppo’s annual Inno Day, December 15th, the gadget will be unveiled.
Although the post doesn’t go into much detail about the device, a teaser clip shared on Twitter shows it to have a form factor similar to Samsung’s Z Fold smartphones, with a huge inside folding screen and a smaller exterior screen that can be used as a standard smartphone. Unlike the tall thin exterior display of the Fold 3, this little outside screen appears to have a comparable aspect ratio to a typical smartphone.
In his blog post, Lau concedes that other companies had commercialized foldable smartphones before Oppo. However, he says that these rival gadgets lack the “utility, durability, and user experience” that would make them appealing to the majority of people. “It is better for Oppo to debut a product later when it is ready to give a wonderful user experience rather than hurrying to follow up with trends,” Lau says.
The Find N is reported to be the culmination of four years of research and development and six generations of prototypes, with the first generation of the Find N dating back to April 2018, according to Lau. In February 2019, the company unveiled one of its foldable prototypes, however this one had a single huge display that wrapped around the outside of the device rather than the internal folding screen found on the Find N.
The goal, according to Lau, was to create a device with a beautiful design that feels nice in the hand while simultaneously being functional and simple to operate. “Both the closed-screen and open-screen experiences for a foldable smartphone should be equally straightforward to use,” Lau adds. “On top of that, we should build a revolutionary efficient experience that no standard smartphone can provide.”
The Find N will be unveiled on the second day of Oppo’s annual Inno Day event, which showcases concept technologies and products. Oppo has used these events in the past to introduce concept technology such as the Oppo X 2021, a rollable phone, and AR glasses, none of which have made it to market. Oppo has teased a gadget with a retractable rear camera for this year’s Inno Day, as well as more augmented reality glasses, in addition to the Find N.