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☕ Good morning! Stay well out there people
Oppo launched its compact foldable phone, the Find N, this morning, pricing it at a competitive $1,200, but sadly will be a China exclusive for now.
What to know
- Oppo’s new flagship is a Galaxy Z Fold 3 rival, and while it’s not quite at the level of the Fold 3, it does have an appealing aspect ratio that tells us Oppo focused a lot on having a less ominously tall device when compared to the Fold 3.
- Instead of being toweringly tall when closed, the Find N is only a 5.5-inch display that opens up to a 7.1-inch tablet size. The final aspect ratio is 8.4:9, which makes it pretty close to square, just a little taller than it is wide — so it feels more like a landscape ratio than the Fold 3, which is 11.2:9, on the other hand.
- That aspect ratio just looks good and feels friendly to use, and the 120Hz OLED display from Samsung on the inside looked gorgeous from what I saw across YouTube.
- It runs the Snapdragon 888 and doesn’t have the latest Oppo NPU chip.
- The pic above, from MrMobile’s YouTube video, tells a story of aspect ratios.
- The fold hinge mechanism is interesting: It has a teardrop shape fold, which means the display doesn’t quite crease, so in early testing there’s less of a visible crease when the display is open. I wonder if it’ll hold up.
- Some less great features: It’s somehow a touch heavier than the Z Fold 3 despite being smaller, and there’s no IP rating, and whatever you think of the quality of an under-display camera, there is a punch hole in that internal screen.
- It has a 4,500mAh battery, which seems fine.
- The good news is Oppo did send out the device already to a small handful of outlets, mostly YouTubers, like MrMobile and it’s getting put through its paces, with people getting as much as a week with the device before videos came out.
What we’re seeing:
- One obvious reveal from testing on clips on YouTube is that its cameras didn’t seem great, not up to the Fold 3.
- ColorOS still doesn’t seem like a great bit of software: MrMobile points out notifications didn’t come through reliably, something not unheard of from Oppo.
- The general vibe here is that Oppo hasn’t really pushed the space forward too much. It’s tough to bring the fight to Samsung, especially for a first-gen product, and come out on top. It’s hard to compare pricing in Oppo’s home market versus global pricing.
- But one of the best things, even if you don’t really care, is that the foldable space has a new competitor.
Bonus: Oppo’s retractable camera.
- Oppo didn’t completely detail or show off its retractable camera we saw from last week.
- But a slightly longer video it posted told us it brings 2x optical zoom when extended, and can retract in 0.6 seconds, retracting automatically during falls to prevent damage.
🔊 WhatsApp finally lets you preview voice messages before sending them (Android Authority).
🐅 Google’s Android 12 Go brings privacy and speed boosts to low-power phones: faster app launches, longer battery life, and more privacy controls (Android Authority).
💻 Dell has three new concept devices, including a mini wireless webcam and a PC companion, to make work easier (Gizmodo) Plus, the Dell Concept Luna laptop, which is all about repairability (The Verge).
🔨 IBM and Samsung say their new chip design could lead to week-long battery life on phones (The Verge).
📸 Opal’s C1 offers DSLR-rivaling video quality in a small form factor — but it’s invite-only (The Verge).
📺 There’s some more chicanery with HDMI: Now HDMI 2.1 is an upgrade to HDMI 2.0, except when it isn’t. “HDMI 2.1” ports don’t need to actually support HDMI 2.1 features. Why, why, why (Ars Technica).
👕 How Shein beat Amazon at its own game and reinvented fast fashion to become ultrafast. It’s all a bit gross reading this long read (Rest Of World).
⛏ Somehow there’s been one trillion views of Minecraft videos on YouTube, and YouTube made a little video to celebrate. One trillion?? (YouTube).
🕸 Spider-Man: No Way Home reviews are ridiculously positive, not even just a good Spider-Man but one of the best Marvel movies (Rotten Tomatoes).
😢 Keanu Reeves finally explains “Sad Keanu” (AV Club).
🏖️ “Why do we train our kids to expect winter break and summer holidays but take away that privilege when we’re adults?”
I want to take a moment and look at LG’s TVs set to be launched at CES 2022, because they don’t really look like TVs at all.
LG’s first Objet Collection TVs are the Objet and the StanbyMe. These are real, non-typo’d names and the point is they are a little weird: they can roll and rotate, and one of the two to be launched even comes with a built-in battery.
Stanbyme: New TV #1 (27Art10)
- The first new TV from LG is the LG StanbyMe 27Art10, which is a 27-inch display that perches atop a stand.
- It has wheels, and three-hour battery life for viewing, and seems to want to be dragged around with you as you do things in the home. LG says it has touch and gesture controls, plus the TV has swivel, rotation, tilt, and height adjustment.
- So, you can watch TV, make calls, check recipes, and keep things on track as you wander about.
- I don’t know, this does seem like a future we’re seeking. Lots of people have screens everywhere now. Why not just one you can drag around?
- Maybe at CES 2023 we’ll get a floating display!
Objet: New TV #2 (65Art90)
- The other non-conventional TV is a big 65-inch size display, with a fabric cover you can use to hide the TV when it’s not in use.
- The major weirdness here is that the premium OLED TV is made to be leaned against a wall instead. It’s not made to be mounted or put on a stand.
- It’s all an attempt to take the fight to Samsung’s “lifestyle” TVs including The Frame.
- Let’s see where they fall on pricing…
Leaning against a wall,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor