In the west, Samsung has been largely unchallenged in the foldables market after the first couple of underwhelming Motorola Razr foldables failed to make an impact. But that could change in 2022, not just from Motorola with the souped up Motorola Razr 2022 , but from Chinese giant Oppo, which looks set to release a couple of foldables outside of China later this year.
The reliable leaker Yogesh Brar told Pricebaba that Oppo is bringing two new foldable smartphones to market this fall: the Oppo Find N Fold and Oppo Find N Flip. These will both pack Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset and, as the names suggest, go toe to toe with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The Find N Fold will likely be much like the original China-only Oppo Find N: a normal looking smartphone that opens up to reveal a larger tablet. The Find N Flip, meanwhile, will behave like the Moto Razr or Galaxy Z Flip series, allowing you to fold your regular-sized phone in half when not in use, making it more compact.
If these were a China-only release, like the original Find N, this likely wouldn't bother Samsung too much. But early signs suggest that Oppo has a bigger goal in mind, with Pricebaba spotting listings for both handsets on the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) website earlier this month.
As it is, Samsung should be worried. Despite there being no U.S. release, we went hands on with Oppo's debut foldable in our Oppo Find N review earlier this year. Our phones editor Jordan Palmer was enormously impressed, praising the advantages it had over the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: no gap when folded, no obvious crease and a sturdier feeling hinge. "While it shares similar lackluster battery life with other foldables and seriously underwhelming cameras, I’d much rather use the Find N than the Galaxy Z Fold 3," he wrote.
While it may make Samsung executives uncomfortable, a worldwide release of Oppo's next foldables should be welcomed by everyone else. Not just because it gives consumers more choice generally, but because competition leads to innovation.
Samsung’s latest foldables are impressive products, but they're definitely more evolution than revolution, and we can only hope that a bit of healthy competition will push Samsung to being more bold with next year's Fold and Flip phones.