Could 2022 really be the year of folding smartphones? In a way, yes, because the crease that is taking the market – excuse the pun – it seems to be precisely this. And unlike 2021, in which Samsung was able to act unchallenged due to lack of competition (yes, there was Mate X2, but we all know Huawei’s situation), the year that has just begun puts us in front of several alternatives.
Two above all: Oppo Find N, presented in mid-December and ready to do battle at least on the Chinese market, and then also the latest arrival, that Magic V that Honor unveiled a few hours ago and that is already being talked about for a respectable technical data sheet and, of course, for its form factor.
If we were to describe them to the man on the street who knows nothing of technology and does not follow the evolution of the market, we could say that they are smartphones that have in common the fact that they fold.
Nothing more, nothing less. And yes, that are equipped with an external display and an internal large which is accessed once opened like a book the device. We specify “book”, because there are other foldable ones on the market, which however open like old flip phones – see for example razr 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 3.
They also have the functionality in common , namely that of providing a large display in a relatively compact body. And the only way the most popular way today is the one offered by foldables. Multitasking, browsing, writing, reading, gaming: so on and on, the three solutions proposed by Samsung, Oppo and Honor (in strict order of release on the market) allow you to live a satisfying experience from different points of view.
We will not enter here into the merits of the pros and cons, so we refer to our dedicated in-depth analyzes: here we are interested in finding out what are the meeting points between the three models and which are the differences from a technical point of view.
DISPLAY AND FORM FACTOR
Let’s start immediately from the element that most of all differentiates the three folding smartphones: the form factor.
Galaxy Z Fold 3
- External display: 24.5: 9
- Internal display: 22.5: 18
- External display: 18: 9
- Internal display: 9.64: 9
- External display: 21.3: 9
- Internal display: 10.3: 9
Of the three, the one that comes closest to the experience of using traditional smartphones is Oppo Find N thanks to the 5.49-inch external display with an 18: 9 ratio: a ratio that we also find on other non-folding devices , and which allows you to use the screen more easily, especially for typing.
Instead, they are more elongated Z Fold 3 (24.5: 9) and Magic V (21.3: 9), with the solution proposed by Samsung which, given in hand, we can define the most extreme with the long display is tight. Even in this case, however, typing and navigation in general are far from impossible, indeed: in the end it is a matter of taste and habit.
By contrast, Find N is the one that has the smallest screen diagonals: 5.49 “outside, 7.1” inside, compared to Honor’s 6.45 “-7.9” and 6.2 “-7.6. “from Samsung. They are all OLED panels : Find N, however, has a refresh rate that stops at 60Hz, while the Z Fold 3 and Magic V go up to 120Hz.
Three different brands have three different solutions for the hinge, which in all cases seems to be very well made (for the Z Fold 3 we have the tests). The Samsung smartphone adopts the Hideaway Hinge, a solution that with the Flex mode allows you to keep it open at any opening angle between 75 and 115 degrees. The Sweeper technology protects the mechanisms from dust and up to 200,000 closures are guaranteed.
Oppo has focused heavily on the disappearance of the central fold, whose visibility has been reduced by 80% compared to the competition – here the explicit reference goes to the Z Fold 3. The hinge is called Flexion Hinge and is made up of 136 components.
The gap between the two parts of the display has been eliminated, thus avoiding the entry of dust which, over time, could create problems when opening / closing the smartphone. Also in this case the hinge allows you to keep the device open with angles between 50 and 120 degrees.
Magic V adopts a “water drop” hinge – Waterdrop – which, according to the company, ensures that the display does not have any creases in the center. The system adopted by Honor is quite similar to that of Oppo.
UNDER THE SHELL
If the Z Fold 3 and Find N rely on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform, Magic V is the first folding instead to be based on the most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 . We will see how this choice will actually affect daily use.
There are no substantial differences instead for what concerns the RAM, which in all three cases reaches 12GB (Find N also has the 8GB version), and the internal memory, from 256 or 512GB both on the Z Fold 3, and on Find N, both on Magic V. None of these have the slot for memory expansion , while there is a double SIM slot.
Z Fold 3
- External: 10MP
- Internal: 4MP
- Rear: 12 + 12 + 12MP
- External: 32MP
- Internal: 32MP
- Rear: 50 + 16 + 13MP
- External: 42MP
- Internal: 42MP
- Rear. 50 + 50 + 50MP
Beyond the megapixels, the differences between the three smartphones reside in the positioning of the internal camera , which on the Z Fold 3 is integrated under the display , while on the other two it is housed in a hole: top left on Oppo, in the center of the right side of the display on Honor.
The three manufacturers have opted for similar solutions for the rear cameras: the tele that we find on the Z Fold 3 and Find N is replaced on Magic V by the 50MP Ultra Spectrum (or Spectra Enhanced Camera) camera with 20mm focal length and f / 2 aperture. , 0. It will be interesting to see how it behaves in the interpretation of the colors of the shots.
Here we will be brief: the stylus is still exclusive to Galaxy Z Fold 3 : neither Find N nor Magic V support the stylus. It goes without saying that this represents a significant differentiator, given that the Samsung S Pen allows you to perform some activities in an extremely fluid and satisfying way. In this field, the know-how acquired by the Korean company is decidedly superior to the competition. We will see with the next generations of folding Oppo and Honor.
BATTERY AND DIMENSIONS
The last notes concern the battery and the dimensions of the three devices.
- Z Fold 3: 4.400mAh
- Find N: 4,500mAh
- Magic V: 4,750mAh
In terms of amperage they are all very similar to each other, but it is obvious that it is not possible to make an objective comparison on autonomy based only on the technical data sheet. We will see in daily use how the Oppo and Honor solutions will behave. On Magic V there is no wireless charging , all have instead the fast charging system (up to 66W on Honor) and reverse (up to 10W on Oppo).
Let’s end with the size and weight: the most voluminous are Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Magic V, the most compact – thanks to the more “traditional” form factor when closed, it is Oppo Find N , which makes this feature one of its strengths (and differentiation). More compact, yes, but not lighter: the palm of lighter lighter goes to Samsung (271g), while the heavier the Magic V Honor that in Space Silver and Black versions touches 293g.
A final note goes to the resistance: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the only one of the three to be IPX8 certified . Also in this case it pays the fact that the Korean manufacturer is already in the third generation of its folding, and the accumulated experience has certainly allowed him to reach this milestone. Not obvious, by the way.
Here the comparison is more difficult, because of the three only Galaxy Z Fold 3 is available on our market . We report the prices of leaflets for the Chinese market to have greater uniformity of evaluation, without however making comments that would otherwise risk being misleading.
Z Fold 3
- 12/512GB: 14,999 yuan, about 2,077 euros
- 8/256GB: 7,699 yuan, about 1,066 euros
12/512GB: 8,999 yuan, about 1,246 euros
- 12/256GB: 9,999 yuan, about 1,384 euros
- 12/512GB: 10,999 yuan, about 1,523 euros