Now, let’s get to know foldable screen phones again

There are very few mobile phone brands that start making smartphones from non-mainstream forms, and OPPO is one of them.

Perhaps you have forgotten that OPPO released its first smartphone in 2011, model called X903. Compared with the model number, its codename is more familiar: Find. The design of a side-sliding full keyboard seems a bit unusual in an era when the iPhone is dominant and competing products are imitating it.

▲OPPO X903 (Find)

This unique sense of exploration is exactly OPPO’s annotation for the Find series. So ten years later, the Find N folding screen mobile phone was once again launched in a novel form: it used the smallest size in the industry in exchange for a unique and good feel, eliminating the threshold for folding screens from being an early adopter to being commonly used.

When the burden of daily use is no longer required, how should folding screens evolve? OPPO has discovered a new answer: Find N3.

It is not a conventional stacking upgrade, but a profound innovation. Whether you have used a foldable screen phone or not, its uniqueness from the outside to the inside will definitely give you enough freshness.

Folding flagship, first of all, imaging flagship

The appearance of OPPO Find N3 has two strong memorable points. One is the angular and square design, and the other is the largest circular camera module among current folding screens. Put together with Find N2, it feels like "switching a shotgun into a cannon".

▲The left is Find N3 and the right is Find N2

With such a flamboyant camera module and the high-profile Hasselblad logo "H", I have to start with the image to introduce you to this beast.

After the one-inch outsole became the flagship configuration of the video flagship, the concept of "a bigger sole will crush people to death" quickly became popular. In this context, it seems to be a false proposition for folding screens to become imaging flagships.

You know, the current one-inch image flagship, the body thickness in the lens area has reached about 14mm, while the unfolded thickness of Find N3 is only 5.8mm. If you copy the imaging configuration of Find X6 Pro to Find N3, it will become a walking volcano.

Find N3 changes the way of thinking and space game. Suppose you have two storage shelves, one large and one small, and they are the same height. How to make small shelves store the same number of items as large shelves? The answer is to add more layers of small shelves.

The sensor of the Find N3 wide-angle lens uses folded pixel technology. To put it simply, the two core components in the traditional back-illuminated sensor are separated from the same layer into two layers, allowing them to have more room to expand.

▲The left is a traditional sensor, the right is a folded pixel sensor

These two components are the photodiode responsible for light sensing, and the peripheral transistor responsible for charge conversion and signal reading. After separating them, the performance of the two is greatly improved, thereby driving improvements in photon saturation and dynamic range.

In human terms, it achieves image quality comparable to one-inch on a 1/1.43-inch sensor. Let's look directly at the proofs and pay attention to the details of the light and dark areas of the picture. Find N3 has achieved a great degree of preservation based on the correct relationship between light and shadow.

▲Wide-angle lens shooting

Whether it is a large light ratio, bright and transparent, or an overall dark environment, the wide-angle lens of Find N3 can capture pictures with rich details, advanced light and shadow, and full colors.

▲Wide-angle lens shooting

We mentioned in our review of Find X6 Pro that its three highly consistent lenses made us forget about the “main camera”. This sentence is also applicable to Find N3.

When sorting out the sample photos, I found that there were even more ultra-wide-angle and telephoto photos than wide-angle photos in the album. When creating, I rely on intuition and experience to judge which focal length is more suitable for the current scene or angle, rather than considering which lens is of higher quality and can take better-quality photos.

▲ Shooting with super wide-angle lens

When looking at the ultra-wide-angle sample above, you should be able to feel the meaning of "image quality consistency". The light and shadow effects, detail presentation, and color performance are indistinguishable from wide angle. A more perspective perspective gives the picture a stronger impact.

The periscope telephoto lens has the same sensor size as the ultra-wide-angle lens, 1/2 inch, but the pixels have been increased from 48 million to 64 million. This is also the most luxurious telephoto lens in a folding screen phone so far.

▲Telephoto lens shooting

High pixels bring a benefit. Find N3 can split a 6x ultra-telephoto lens out of thin air. You can take pictures with a more compressed space and still have excellent detail performance.

▲Same camera position, the difference between 6X (left) and 3X (right) lenses

In addition to the highly similar imaging quality of the three cameras and the correct light and shadow relationship shown in the sample photos, the Hasselblad portrait mode of the Find N3 is also a highlight.

OPPO has introduced a complete image algorithm into the portrait algorithm, which means that the two sets of algorithms are simultaneously performed at the digital film stage to avoid "plastic-like" calculation traces. So you can see that no matter whether the main camera or the telephoto camera, the blur effect is just like that of a traditional camera.

▲Shoot using portrait mode

In these few days of experience, I have become accustomed to using portrait mode as the default shooting mode. This is the charm of computational photography and computational light and shadow. Whether you are a photography novice or an experienced player, you can find fun.

Another fun part is looking back at the photos. The moment you press the shutter, Find N3's super light and shadow image engine will quickly calibrate and calculate the light and dark relationship of the screen to generate a high-precision HDR display effect.

Enter the photo album and there will be a ProXDR button below the photo. You can experience the beauty of high dynamic display by clicking on it. Find N3's 7.8-inch high-quality internal screen is an excellent carrier for reviewing photos. This is a unique experience brought by folding screens.

Unfortunately, due to the excessive amount of real-time calculations, photos taken in portrait mode cannot currently be displayed in the ProXDR format. In addition, it can currently only be viewed in local photo albums and cannot be displayed on social software. This requires the entire industry to work together to establish standards.

In terms of photography experience alone, you can think of it as a foldable Find X6. It is also an imaging flagship, but Find N3 happens to be in a foldable form. The folding flagship should also be an imaging flagship.

Interaction efficiency you've never seen before

Over the past four years, foldable screen phones have become thinner, lighter, more powerful, and more reliable. However, the maturity of hardware has also become a fig leaf for the slow progress of software systems.

A survey report released by iResearch last week showed that 62.6% of folding screen users expect hardware innovation, while 97.6% of users expect software innovation.

You and I are tired of hearing the traditional narrative of large-screen adaptation and split-screen operation at various press conferences. What other possibilities are there for foldable screen interaction? OPPO Find N3 brings some unexpected features.

The most eye-catching thing is undoubtedly the "super vision panoramic virtual screen". It sounds a bit like virtual interaction such as VR, but it is actually a very intuitive and practical multi-application split-screen function that you can get started with.

There are three highlights of this feature. The first is the split-screen success rate, which is not limited by application adaptation. Under OPPO’s self-developed framework, almost every application can be used in split-screen mode. If you want, you can even run three games on the same screen, spawn monsters, and complete tasks at the same time.

What’s more interesting is that it allows split-screen operation to break away from the limitations of the physical size of the screen.

With traditional application split-screen, the experience of a candy bar machine is not as good as that of a folding screen, and a folding screen is not as good as the experience of a notebook. Due to the screen size, the applications squeeze each other when the screen is split, resulting in incomplete display of content and inconvenience in reading and operation.

Find N3 uses a very novel interaction logic to solve this problem. You can imagine that behind the Find N3 screen, there is a curtain of about 15 inches. When three applications are opened at the same time, they can be laid on this curtain in various arrangements.

In a physical sense, its 7.1-inch internal screen is the window through which you observe this curtain. The window will display your current 1-2 highest priority applications. The waiting applications will only reveal a corner. Click to move the window over and let it appear.

An example would be more intuitive. For example, I am used to opening Xiaohongshu and Gaode Map at the same time. I use Xiaohongshu to find the places that are good for shopping and filming in Guangzhou recently, and I use Gaode Map to check how far they are from me.

Stretch both apps to full screen mode at the same time. I can look at pictures and text descriptions at the same time. If you are interested, you can click on the Amap map waiting nearby to view the route with a larger view, which is simple and convenient.

Or, you can open Feishu, the browser, and WeChat at the same time, revise manuscripts, check information, and reply to WeChat, and the operation is smooth and smooth. Compared with the sliding navigation bar to switch applications on a candy bar phone, or the simple split screen of a traditional folding screen, the efficiency is immediately obvious.

The third highlight is that you can save your favorite multi-screen combination solution to the desktop, which is equivalent to DIYing a super application and entering work, entertainment and other modes with one click.

OPPO Chief Product Officer Liu Zuohu wrote this product experience on the eve of the release of Find N in 2021:

What else to expect from a smartphone? This is a proposition that all brands and product people are exploring. The screen is the starting point for the evolution of smartphones. When everyone has a mobile phone with the same shape and configuration in their pocket, we seem to be back at the same starting point. If we can "truly" break through the boundaries of screen size, the current efficiency and interactive experience will be subverted again.

This passage seems to be an advance preview of the "super vision panoramic virtual screen". The folding form breaks through the boundaries of the screen size that can fit in a pocket, and this set of interactions transcends the physical size boundaries of the folding screen.

The reason why I focus on the system of Find N3 is because the team’s dedication to the system is no less than that of the image. This can be seen from the startup activation interface. A new navigation bar is added on the left side of the interface, and you can see the step you are currently in.

Find N3's more than 20 native applications have reorganized the hierarchical relationship of the pages. For example, in photo albums, compared to Find N2, you can quickly switch photo albums and find the photos you want in the navigation bar on the left side of Find N3.

▲The left is Find N3 and the right is Find N2

In addition, you should have discovered that there is an extra line of taskbars at the bottom of Find N3. You can drag your most frequently used applications in to facilitate you to quickly start or switch. If you find it annoying, you can long press on a blank space to hide it, and long press on the gesture indicator bar to call it out again.

The icon on the far left of the taskbar is the new application library. All applications can be sorted by letter, frequency of use, and installation time, and can be quickly located and opened. Long press the application to display it in floating window or split screen mode.

On the right side of the application library is the "File Any Door", which will automatically store your recently used pictures, documents and other information. The amazing thing is that you can preview files in Keynote, Pages, CAD, Markdown and other formats directly on Find N3, which is equivalent to breaking down the barriers between various ecosystems.

It should be noted that files in proprietary formats from Apple, Windows and other ecosystems can only be previewed and viewed on Find N3 and cannot be edited, making them more suitable for emergency office and collaboration scenarios.

With such a set of combinations, Find N3's system interaction makes the folding form more meaningful. The logic of the product has changed from "folding screens require better systems" to "more efficient systems require folding screens to carry them". It's not just a big phone, it's more like a small computer.

From good to excellent

Although Find N3 is very different from N2 in terms of appearance and system, the two are essentially the same.

In April 2018, the first-generation prototype of Find N was born within OPPO. The reason why it will only be launched in 2021 is because the product department hopes to polish it and mature it before launching it on the market. Liu Zuohu once revealed that during this process, Find N adhered to two basic points: first, it looks good, and second, it is easy to use.

The first two generations of Find N were small, sleek, and the key word was cute. The Find N3 is tough and sharp, and the key word is atmosphere. Although the styles are different, the design look and feel of both meet the basic point of "good-looking".

There are a few details worth paying attention to. The back covers of Qianshan Green and Log Gold are made of glass. Submariner Black and Collector’s Edition are made of plain leather. The glass is about 6g heavier than the plain leather. If you have strict requirements on the feel, it is recommended to choose the plain leather version which is as light as 239g.

▲ On the left is Qianshan Green, on the right is the Collector’s Edition

Another difference between the glass and plain leather versions is the material of the camera ring. The former uses a whole piece of glass, which is cut first and then polished, so the integration is stronger. The latter is forged from titanium alloy, which is light and strong.

In addition, the outer screen of Find N3 uses super ceramic glass, which is more resistant to drops than the previous generation, but the edges are no longer curved. It is speculated that it is to improve the production yield and anti-fall performance of super ceramic glass.

Perhaps there is no need to say more about the second basic point – "ease of use". The images and system experience introduced above are enough to show the advantages of Find N3.

If you are a fan of audio, video and games, Find N3 will also have an outstanding experience with flagship configurations such as consistent screen quality inside and outside, four speakers that support spatial audio, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and standard 12GB large memory.

It’s a pity that it abandons wireless charging for the sake of thinness and lightness. 67W wired fast charging can charge the battery from 0 to 100% in about 45 minutes.

For the Find N3 team, "easy to use" not only means worry-free, comfortable and happy use, but also peace of mind. This is why Find N3 has added a “national secret certified security chip”.

What is it used for? To put it simply, it protects your fingerprints, face data, and encrypted files on your phone from the hardware level. If the phone is unfortunately lost, it can prevent it from being cracked or tampered with, and allows the owner to remotely lock or erase information.

There are two more obvious security features, namely private call mode and privacy coding 2.0. The former relies on a dual-diaphragm sound unit to reduce the possibility of sound leakage during calls. The latter can use the mosaic function in the photo album to use one-click AI to identify personal information in screenshots and blur them.

The Collector's Edition goes one step further and adds a "VIP mode", which can be entered by simply flipping the three-stage switch on the side of the fuselage. Once turned on, all sensitive permissions such as the phone's camera, microphone, and positioning will be disabled.

In certain meetings or venues that may involve confidentiality, turning this mode on can fundamentally prevent rogue software from eavesdropping or accessing private information. It will not be a commonly used function for most users, but it must be a function that is urgently needed by a minority group.

This is why Vanke founder Wang Shi became one of the first users of Find N3. If you are a business leader, securities manager, important person in an agency, etc., who has strong demand for privacy and security, it can be regarded as your invisible golden bell.

▲Before the release of Find N3, the “spy photos” widely circulated on the Internet

Looking back at the three generations of Find N products, from the freshness and youthfulness of the first generation, to the perfection and maturity of the second generation, to the power and advancement of the third generation, Find N's original intention – "to discover a new possibility" has been recalled. .

The Find N product line has thus completed the transformation from "excellent" to "excellent": while the basic experience is first-class, it is also unique in terms of imaging, system interaction and security.

Let’s go back to Liu Zuohu’s soul torture two years ago: What else is there to look forward to in smartphones? I believe you have new answers.

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