Sunday, June 16, 2024

OnePlus’ next foldable phone may get a huge camera upgrade

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Person keeping Oppo Find N3 Flip gold in purse.Oppo Find N3 Flip Oppo

OnePlus’ merger back into its parent company, Oppo, has been both good and bad for the “Never Settle” brand. While OnePlus has seen a dismaying downfall in the quality of its previously distinctive interface, it has helped make up for that in camera performance — thanks in large part to Oppo’s partnership with imaging stalwart Hasselblad. That collaboration is rumored to bear fruit once again, this time in the form of a flip phone with a robust camera.

Despite rumors of Oppo and OnePlus quitting the foldable segment, OnePlus is already planning to launch a second folding phone this year. However, unlike the OnePlus Open, the upcoming foldable will feature a Galaxy Flip-like clamshell format. In addition to the new form factor, the OnePlus flip phone could likely sport a telephoto and macro rear camera, according to a rumor spotted by Android Authority on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Weibo/Smart Pikachu

The rumor from an apparent technology influencer named Smart Pikachu (alias and post translated using Google Translate) suggests that these camera features will be found on Oppo’s next compact foldable and will presumably carry over to a similar — or rebranded — phone from OnePlus.

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Telephoto cameras are a rarity on flip phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 because they add thickness to the phone. However, Oppo’s current flip phone, the Find N3 Flip, launched in October of last year and features a triple camera setup — including a 2x telephoto camera. Simultaneously, the ultrawide camera on the phone fulfills the macro photography duties.

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Therefore, these functions being present on what is likely to be called the Find N5 Flip (Chinese brands usually skip the numeral 4, which is considered ominous in their culture) does not sound surprisng. However, it does not clarify the exact specifications of these suggested cameras.

A OnePlus flip phone makes perfect sense

Oppo Find N3 Flip Oppo

While the rumor does not explicitly say that, it can potentially imply that OnePlus launches the exact same phone with its own badging. This is believable as it took the same route with the OnePlus Open and the OnePlus Watch 2, which are sold as the Oppo Find N3 and the Watch X in markets where OnePlus either doesn’t sell or is less prevalent.

The rumor also suggests Oppo’s next foldable is at least a few months behind competitors. It doesn’t appear they use “behind” technologically since Oppo’s previous foldables have offered better hardware, especially in terms of cameras, than counterparts from Samsung.

Despite the rumors claiming the cancellation of OnePlus’ and Oppo’s next set of foldables, which the latter has denied, we expect the launch to happen later in the year compared to last year. Another reputed leaker previously suggested a delayed launch of the Oppo Find N5 (which could also be the OnePlus Open 2) from the second to the fourth quarter of 2024.

With brands aggressively expanding to flip phones, rumors about Oppo entirely giving up on the category feel less convincing than ever. We will know more in the coming months when more leaks flow in and the phones potentially enter production.

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