Let’s not beat around the bush—the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the king of foldables. For years, the Z Fold series has been the only real option if you wanted a tablet that could somehow fit in your pocket. Well, almost.
But there’s now a serious challenger from Oppo in the shape of the Find N2. Unlike other foldables from Honor, Xiaomi and Huawei, this is not a straight copy of the Samsung. There are some interesting ideas here that could potentially make this a better foldable—and this one actually fits in your pocket.
Right, enough chatter. It’s time to settle the question once and for all. Which one is actually better, the Samsung or the Oppo? Let’s find out.
First blood to Oppo
Let’s start with the basics. Both the Z Fold 4 and the Find N2 come with a big screen that folds inwards, revealing a smaller cover screen. The industry is converging towards this more conventional form factor. The original Huawei Mate X and the improved Mate Xs had a screen that folded backwards and we all know how that one turned out—the Mate X2 that came after became yet another Samsung clone.
Where these two differ is in the screen sizes. You know the Z Fold formula by now—you’ve got a tall and narrow screen at the front, and when you open it you’ll find a 7.6-inch display, which is still slightly taller than it is wide. The outer screen is a little bit wider than before—thanks to a thinner margin on the left that expands the display right to the edges—but it’s still awkward to type on.
The Oppo does things differently. It’s a bit wider than the Z Fold 4, but much shorter. It’s an adorably petite device as a result—about the same size as an iPhone 12 or 13 Mini. And unlike the Samsung, it’s actually nice to type on here, and it’s also much better to use one-handed. The Z Fold 4 has a sort of Reachability mode buried in the settings, but that’s hardly fair compensation.
As you can imagine, using the cover screen is so much nicer on the Find N2 than the Z Fold 4. You can actually scroll through Instagram or TikTok without feeling cramped. The Samsung lets you see more posts at a time, but that’s its only advantage over its competitor. And don’t get me started on browsing the web, where the Oppo absolutely crucifies the Samsung.
A tale of two hinges
But of course, the real highlight of any foldable is when you, you know, unfold it. The Z Fold has been able to stay opened at different angles for a while now and the Find N2 is only now adding this functionality. The Oppo’s hinge isn’t as tight as the Samsung’s—it holds its angle anywhere between 45 and 145 degrees and anything less or more than that it just flops open or closed. The Z Fold 4 can hold seemingly any angle.
But just because Samsung’s hinge is tighter doesn’t mean it’s better. It doesn’t always open flat so you do end up having to bend it more to fully open it. And it doesn’t make the most reassuring sound, either. Every once in a while the phone makes a cracking glass noise—kinda like when you bend a glow stick—that literally sounds like I’m breaking the screen. It really doesn’t inspire confidence.
When it’s open, though? Man, are these screens fantastic. They’re OLED displays with 120Hz refresh rates and they’re gorgeous. But the Oppo goes one better with its hinge.
See, the Find N2 uses a Flexion Hinge that enables the screen to fold in a sort of teardrop shape, and if you look closely you can kinda see it. Not only does this let the phone close flat—the Oppo is clearly thinner than the Samsung at the latter’s thickest part—but it also means there’s less of a crease when you open it.
This year, Oppo has widened the hinge so that this teardrop shape has been made wider, and so the crease is even less pronounced. It’s still there—it’s not “completely gone” like everyone says it is—but it’s less noticeable than on the Z Fold 4. And you’ll definitely feel it less when you run your finger over it.
With such a large display, reflections are more of a problem, and the Oppo has a far better anti-reflective screen than the Samsung. It’s a bit bluish, sure, but it’s still a lot less distracting than what you get on the Z Fold 4, which is practically a mirror by comparison.
Where the Samsung pulls back ahead is in the screen size. It’s a physically larger display (7.6 inches versus 7.1), but the main difference is that when you open it up, it’s still a portrait screen. There’s more height as a result—you get more stuff on screen at once. On the Oppo, you get a portrait screen at the front, but a landscape display on the inside, so there’s less screen real estate; everything gets cut off. You have to rotate the screen to see more—yes, it’s almost square, but you do still get a bit more content to fit at the top and bottom.
So the Oppo has a better cover screen, but the Samsung has a better inner display. But hey, if the Find N2’s folding screen gets a bit annoying you can just close the device and just use it like any other phone. This, not its cute and pocket-friendly size, is the Oppo’s true USP.
Android still lets the side down
The truth is, both these phones are compromised by the software. Third-party app support on Android tablets is notoriously bad, and it’s the same story on these foldables—a lot of these apps are just blown-up versions of their phone counterparts. Samsung can boast all it wants about full-sized Bloomberg apps, but if the ones that people actually use for work (you know, like WhatsApp or Slack) waste all this screen real estate then what’s the use?
You get the same experience social media apps like Facebook or Twitter, which just magnify your feed. On the flip side, I’ve now found the perfect phone for old people—you can finally browse your Facebook feed without squinting, especially if you also maximise the size of the fonts.
The real benefit of the big screen, however, is the ability to split screen, and here Samsung again pulls into the lead. You can have up to three apps open at the same time, instead of just two on the Oppo, and you can also add a fourth app as a floating window. The Z Fold 4 will also force unsupported apps, like Instagram, to work with split screen. You’ll get the old “app may not work in split screen” message but it doesn’t seem to affect its actual functionality in any way.
As for the Find N2, I like that you can simply run two fingers down the screen to enable split screen, and I like the animation too. But then you open Instagram and it just fails completely. Why Oppo, why?
There are a few other things I like about the Z Fold 4, like the taskbar that shows all your split-screen apps, and a split keyboard that puts the keys closer to your thumbs; it makes it genuinely enjoyable to type and work on the inside screen. That’s why I kept the stock Samsung keyboard on the Z Fold 4, even though Gboard and SwiftKey are technically better.
Now I should point out that the Oppo Find N2 is running on Chinese market software, because—as you might have guessed—it’s only be sold in China. Perhaps if there was a global release, it would’ve been better optimised? Who knows?
Compromised video and gaming
Now, what about videos? Well, they’re great on these big screens, but not perfect. Yes, they’re larger than your average phone, but you get huge black bars on the top and bottom. And while most of the time you won’t notice the crease on either of these phones, the reflections can still be distracting sometimes.
But what about the outer screen? The Oppo’s is shorter and wider, which makes it taller and less wide in landscape. So, that would make it better for videos, right? No, trust me, you won’t want to watch videos here. There’s nothing wrong with the screen itself, which is bright, vivid and just the right size. But it doesn’t have stereo speakers—the sound only comes from one side, which is the dumbest thing I can think of.
The reason why is because the phone opens up in landscape mode, which means both the speakers have to be at the bottom. The Z Fold 4 has speakers at the top as well, so they’re in exactly the right place whether the phone is open or closed.
The more you use the Find N2, the more you realise that Oppo has had to make a few sacrifices to get that perfect outer screen size. It really should’ve had a loudspeaker built into the earpiece—like, say, almost every other phone on sale—but maybe the company’s saving that for the N3.
Now, you might be thinking that the big inside screens are good for gaming. They’re ginormous, they have 120Hz refresh rates and…nope.
When you’re playing games in full screen the controls along the outer edges can be a bit hard to reach, so for fast-paced games at least, it’s not really a viable option. Also, a lot of games aren’t optimised for such a big screen, so they can be very pixelated. Really, you should be playing them on the outer screen, and this is one area where the Samsung has a bit of an advantage.
The wider display gives you a better view of what’s going on. But it’s still a bit narrow on the top and bottom, and the weight and width does make the phone a bit cumbersome to hold. The Oppo is quite a bit lighter, but the bottom line is, you really shouldn’t be buying either of these phones for gaming.
All much of a muchness, except for battery life
As for the rest of the specs, they’re about the same as a regular flagship phone. Both the Samsung and the Oppo come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, along with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, so they perform very similarly. They’re both very smooth in daily use, although because they have two displays they’re not quite as fast as other devices with the aforementioned chip when you’re pushing the performance envelope, such as during gaming.
The Oppo pulls ahead again when it comes to battery life. Despite being a physically smaller phone, it has a slightly larger 4,520mAh battery, compared to 4,400mAh on the Samsung. That’s because the Z Fold 4 has to fit wireless charging, which the Find N2 lacks.
The Samsung’s battery also has to drive two larger displays. The net result is that the Find N2 can deliver five hours of screen on time, whereas the Z Fold 4 can barely hit three. That means while the Oppo can last about a day and a half, the Samsung is dead by the end of the day. For something that’s supposed to be a productivity device, that’s not good.
Not the camera quality you’d expect at this price
Let’s be honest, you won’t buy any of these phones based on their cameras, but here’s how they fared anyway. Both the Oppo and the Samsung come with a triple camera setup with a 50MP main camera, an ultra wide (48MP for the Oppo, 12MP for the Samsung) and a telephoto (32MP with 2x zoom for the Oppo, 10MP with 3x zoom for the Samsung) shooter.
The Z Fold 4 does the typical Samsung thing of oversaturating and oversharpening the photos, but it does offer a good amount of detail across all three cameras. The Oppo has more natural colours because of its Hasselblad colour science, but it squanders the megapixel advantage it has with its ultra wide and telephoto cameras. The photos look very soft in comparison.
Low light performance is a bit more complicated. The Z Fold 4’s extra saturation gives you more vivid photos, whereas the Find N2’s photos are completely washed out; the latter really do look like phone photos from five years ago. But it has to be said, it’s the Oppo that delivers more detail. And there’s some weird artefacting going on with the Samsung.
Video performance is very similar on both phones, although the Samsung has the ridiculous option of 8K recording. It also offers better stabilisation and smoother exposure control, but it also tends to underexpose the video and again applies a bit too much sharpening.
And then we come to the selfie cameras. The outside cameras on both phones deliver a similar amount of detail, as does the inner camera of the Find N2. But the Z Fold 4 only has a 4MP inner selfie camera, and it’s an under display camera as well, so it’s bad—like, smeared-with-Vaseline bad. I should point out that the display over the camera is higher resolution than it was before, so it’s much less distracting when you’re just using the phone or watching videos.
The Samsung wins by the skin of its teeth
So what have we learnt here? I said at the beginning that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the king of foldables, and for good reason. Samsung has had years to polish the fold formula, taking it from its ropey beginnings and turning it into the refined device it is today. This phone is a far cry from the fragile Galaxy Fold from four years ago.
But there’s a sense that Samsung is resting on its laurels. The Z Fold 4 looks almost identical to the Z Fold 3; it also has almost exactly the same features and it’s even more expensive now. And that’s why the Find N2 is a breath of fresh air—it’s smaller, lighter and therefore easier to fit in your pocket. It also has a better outside screen, but Oppo has made some compromises because of it, and you can really tell.
The Samsung also feels like the more premium device overall, with its polished aluminium body, better multitasking UI and a more consistent camera performance. But it better have those things when it starts at RM6,799; this range-topping model with all 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage costs a whopping RM7,299.
So the Z Fold 4 is still king. But the Find N2 runs it real close. I really like this thing, which is why it’s a shame that this phone will only ever be sold in China. Come on, Oppo—just bring it in already.
Photography by Luqman Azlan