Samsung clearly wants to make foldable devices mainstream, and at the moment it has a bit of a monopoly in that niche market. Of course, there are other options, but Huawei’s Mate X2 and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Fold are not as widely available outside of China, and Royole’s FlexPai 2, which appears in the wild, is virtually unheard of. However, they will not be the only players in the foldable smartphone arena soon, and after many years of teasing, OPPO can finally dive into the fight as early as next week.
OPPO / Weibo
The dream of foldable and flexible phones has been around for years, perhaps prompted by Samsung’s vision almost a decade ago. Everyone certainly seemed interested in the view, but few actually followed up to make it a reality. Even fewer have actually succeeded as the market seems to be quite slow to warm up to the idea of these unorthodox mobile devices.
OPPO was betting just as long on foldable phones with the look of a clumsy prototype back in 2016. That device looked more like a giant Galaxy Z Flip or a Surface Duo that only had a single, foldable screen. In early 2019, it teased a working prototype of its foldable phone, but decided at the last minute not to show it at the Mobile World Congress that year, and that’s probably for a good reason.
The prototype OPPO unveiled resembled the Huawei Mate X and Royole FlexPai, with an “outie” design where the screen folded outward. Although it is a bit more economical compared to having only one monitor, it seems that the durability risks were too high cost to pay in the long run. Both Huawei and Royole dropped the design in favor of an “innie” fold like the Galaxy Z Fold.
According to MyFixGuide, OPPO’s actual foldable phone will also be an “innie.” It may be “OPPO Find N” that was recently seen at a Chinese certification as OPPO PEUM00. If the stars and planets match, this phone can actually debut before the year is over.
OPPO has scheduled its annual INNO DAY on December 14 and 15, the second day reserved for a “New Flagship Product Launch Event.” Some think it might be advertising the OPPO Find X4 there, but hopes are high that it would be the company’s foldable phone instead. Both OPPO and Vivo have been rumored to launch foldable devices this year, heralding what could be the next generation of more accessible and more common foldable phones.