It looks like Samsung might have some serious competition in the best foldable phones game, with Oppo reportedly set to launch its first ever folding handset.
According to the Chinese leaker Digital Chat Station on Weibo, the handset will unfold into a tablet, like the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The tablet experience should be slightly larger though, with the internal screen tipped to be between 7.8- and 8-inches, compared to the Z Fold 3’s 7.6-inch panel.
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Said screen has a 2K resolution, apparently, and will boast a 120Hz refresh rate for super-smooth scrolling. Presumably there’s also an external screen for use when closed, but one isn’t mentioned here so it’s possible it doesn’t have one, like the Surface Duo 2.
Like Samsung’s latest foldables, the Snapdragon 888 chipset is said to be running the show. With a new Qualcomm chip expected soon, that suggests a release could be imminent.
So far, that sounds like two pretty indistinguishable foldables, but Oppo’s real advantage comes when you get to the camera spec.
While the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has an array of three 12MP rear cameras with front-facing 10- and 4MP lenses, the Oppo foldable will apparently pack the Sony IMX766 50MP sensor on the back, and a 32MP front-facing camera for selfies.
That sounds like the Oppo handset will be the clear winner for photographers, then, and it may prove to be cheaper too, given Samsung’s high price of entry. That said, Oppo is itself no stranger to very expensive handsets, with it previously delivering devices such as the Oppo Find X3 Pro.
Then there’s the question of availability. It’s up in the air as to whether Oppo’s foldable will be available throughout the world, or simply limited to China. The chip shortage may limit the company’s ambitions, after all.
If that is the case, then Samsung should breathe a sigh of relief. Because even the most keen foldable shopper will know that importing a phone with a potentially fragile screen would be a very brave move indeed, given the warranty limitations.
Of course, if the rumours are correct, Samsung may also have the long awaited Pixel Fold to contend with, too...
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