In the wonderful world of tech, foldable phones are unquestionably the biggest change in the last few years. The market has absolutely exploded this year, with a host of models offering new specs and features.
Devices like the Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 have dominated the book-style foldable stakes. But for me, the flip phone segment is far more exciting. Those devices are better priced, putting them within reach of a greater range of users.
As a very enthusiastic onlooker, it has been exciting. But despite several attempts, no-one has quite nailed the formula. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is arguably the closest we've got to the perfect flip phone, with a solid user interface and robust hardware.
But that may have to give up its perch, because the Oppo Find N3 Flip has just been unveiled. And I think that might just be the saviour the flip phone market has been waiting for.
The device takes a similar form to the Oppo Find N2 Flip which came before it. It features a vertical cover display, with a similar aspect ratio to the unfolded inner display. That screen also gets a boost, with more full sized apps able to run on it.
But that's not the best bit. No, that moniker has to be reserved for the camera array – a Hasselblad branded unit which packs in a trio of sensors. Crucially, that includes a telephoto lens, which has yet to be found on a flip phone.
And that's why I think the market is about to turn a corner. See, one of the main gripes users have with flip phones is that they just aren't up to scratch with comparably priced Android phones. It's a fair criticism – you'll have to sacrifice some battery capacity and camera functionality on most devices.
But having that telephoto camera on-board signals a change in this regard. It marks a point where parity between those who fold and those who don't is closer than ever.
And let me be absolutely clear – I'm not saying this specific device is the saviour. While I think the Oppo sounds like a fantastic device, it's not a brand name which carries a lot of weight outside of tech fields. For that reason alone, it could struggle to make the kind of significant splash it really deserves to.
But this change will just be the start. Proving that is can be done is crucial, because it will force other brands to play catch up. I would be stunned if the next generation of Samsung's Z Flip range doesn't have a telephoto camera on-board. The same can be said of the eventual successor to the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra.
In a few years time, I think a flip phone is going to be the pick for a lot of users. That's a sentiment which is echoed by industry research, too. And when it is, at least a portion of the acclaim should be directed to this handset.